Pakistan has once again accused India of trying to alter the demography of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir in an effort to prove that Muslims are in minority in the region.
The strongly-worded statement from the Foreign Office came in response to reports that the BJP government has been seeking to amend the Indian constitution, abolishing the special status being enjoyed by the disputed state since 1947.
Under Article 370-A of the Indian constitution, the state of Kashmir enjoys special status, as no non-Kashmiri can permanently settle or buy land in the disputed territory. Theoretically the disputed Himalayan region enjoys autonomy, with New Delhi retaining control over defence, foreign affairs and economic matters.
“The Indian policy of killing innocent Kashmiris is part of a strategy to break the spirit of Kashmiris; alter the demography in Jammu & Kashmir; and convert it into a Muslim minority from an overwhelming Muslim majority state,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakria told reporters at the weekly news briefing.
“To that end, besides killing Kashmiris in scores, other measures that India has taken are settling non-Kashmiris, accommodating Indian forces personnel, who have been committing crimes against humanity, exclusive colonies for political manipulation, etc.,” Zakria alleged.
The spokesperson said Kashmiris had been promised the right to self-determination through a free, fair and transparent plebiscite under the UN auspices in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions.
This had been pending due to Indian obstinacy for the last seven decades, the spokesperson said, adding now, India was attempting to preempt the results of any future UN plebiscite by changing the demography of Occupied Kashmir through unlawful means in contravention of the UNSC resolutions.
He recalled that former adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had written a letter to the UNSG, underscoring the Indian attempts. “We expect the international community to take practical steps to halt Indian violation of the UNSC resolutions on Kashmir and its international obligations.”
Credit: Express tribune