Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated his warnings regarding the precarious situation in occupied Kashmir and said Indian actions in the disputed region are inching towards the unthinkable.
In an op-ed in CNN Online, the foreign minister wrote that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to revoke the special status of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) has reminded people of extremism and xenophobia that are still present in the world today.
He added that international media, human rights organisations and legislators in the western world have criticised the actions of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for its illegal annexation of the occupied valley.
FM Qureshi also noted the brutalities faced by the people of Kashmir since the lockdown by the Indian armed forces on August 5 – including the communication blockade, night raids, mass arrests, alleged torture and food and medicine shortages.
The foreign minister further blamed Modi’s government for gaslighting the international community into normalising India’s decision to revoke IOK’s special status.
“India’s government wants to gaslight the international community into normalising India’s de facto annexation of the Muslim-majority state, and its ethno-nationalist sabre-rattling in a region with major US interests and international stability at stake. But, the world must stand up for what is right,” he wrote.
He also urged the international community to expose BJP’s political agenda and its plans to allow Indian nationals to buy land in occupied Kashmir, putting the Muslim majority at risk – leading to a potential change in Kashmir’s identity and demography.
FM Qureshi said Modi’s agenda is violating the Fourth Geneva Convention – which prohibits a country from moving its people into occupied territory.
“As the country that has always committed itself to speaking up for the people of Kashmir, Pakistan cannot be silent on the unfolding catastrophe in Kashmir”.
The foreign minister also noted Pakistan’s request to implement several United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) recommendations – including the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations in the occupied region.
He added that Pakistan has called for a peaceful resolution to the Kashmir dispute through the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions, which prioritises the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
“We must not be naïve about what is happening in Kashmir, and India must be stopped before this goes any further,” he wrote.