Islamabad: (Correspondent) Pakistan has asked the United Nations Security Council to summon a session on the deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir, after India revoked its special status.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote a letter to the UNSC president on Tuesday, asking that the Indian act, which is unconstitutional and against the conventions of the United Nations, should be discussed in a session.
The foreign minister stated that if India continues the acts of aggression then Pakistan will not stay silent.
“We are willing to go to any lengths for our defence,” mentioned the foreign minister, adding that the events of February 2018 stand as a testimony to his statement.
The FM had earlier announced that Pakistan would approach the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over India’s move to revoke Article 370.
During a news conference, Qureshi said he hand conveyed to his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar that New Delhi’s stance of revoking Article 370 being an internal matter had been dismissed by Islamabad.
“I said this was not right and Pakistan dismisses this stance. Occupied Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute. There are several UNSC resolutions on this and making those as the basis we have decided to once again go to the UNSC.”
An unprecedented security lockdown kept people in Indian-occupied Kashmir indoors for the ninth consecutive day on Tuesday.
Indian troops patrolling the disputed region had allowed some Muslims to walk to mosques to mark the Eidul Azha on Monday and shops had been opened briefly on previous days.
But residents are now running short of essentials under the near-constant curfew and communications blackout as India tried to stave off a violent reaction to the government’s decision August 5 to strip Kashmir of its autonomy.
Witnesses described hundreds of people chanting “We want freedom from India” and “Go India, go back” during a brief protest Monday. Officials said the protest ended peacefully.
The lockdown is expected to last at least through Thursday, India’s independence day.
Kashmiris fear India’s moves bringing the region under greater New Delhi control will alter its demographics and cultural identity.
India said its decisions to revoke Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrade it from statehood to a territory would free it from separatism.
Pro-freedom militants have been fighting Indian rule for decades. Some 70,000 people have died in clashes between militants and civilian protesters and Indian security forces since 1989. Most Kashmiris want independence.
India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir and have fought two wars over it. The first one ended in 1948 with the region divided between them and a promise of a UN-sponsored referendum on its future. It has never been held.
Islamabad has denounced the changes as illegal and in response has downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi, expelled the Indian ambassador and suspended trade and train services with India.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday said that India has curtailed the religious freedom of millions of Kashmiris living in occupied Kashmir during Eidul Azha.
FO Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal said that “restrictions and curtailment of this fundamental religious right of millions of Kashmiris constitute a serious violation of international human rights laws”.