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Pakistan to take its dispute with India to ICJ

21 August, 2019

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Pakistan on Tuesday said it will take its dispute with India over Kashmir to the International Court of Justice, after New Delhi revoked the special status of the Indian-held Kashmir earlier this month.

“We have decided to take the Kashmir case to the International Court of Justice,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said. “The decision was taken after considering all legal aspects,” he said. “The case will center on human rights violations by India in Kashmir,” he added.

Separately, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that Pakistan will take the Kashmir case to international forums as India did not lift curfew and continued violating human rights of Kashmiris in the occupied valley.

Addressing a press conference to brief about the federal cabinet’s decisions, she said Prime Minister Imran Khan informed the cabinet about his telephonic conversation with United States President Donald Trump. The prime minister, she said, apprised the US president about the curfew imposed in the Indian-held Kashmir for the last 16 days and the brutalities by the occupation forces inflicted on the Kashmiris. Imran Khan also informed President Trump that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was going to carry out genocide and ethnic cleansing in the occupied Kashmir, after its complete lockdown and suppressing the Kashmiris’ human rights, she added.

Dr Firdous said the media should be given access to the occupied valley so that the world could know about the situation on the ground. Narendra Modi is acting like Hitler and the media should highlight the oppression and atrocities being perpetrated by his forces in Held Kashmir, she added.

The real face of India, she said, should be exposed before the world through the media, especially social media. The Pakistani media is already highlighting the issue and it needs to further apprise the world about Indian brutalities on innocent Kashmiris, she said. “Azad Kashmir is the gateway for Pakistan. It is the first line of defence for Pakistan as stated by the prime minister,” she added.

The special assistant said the prime minister appreciated the role of overseas Pakistanis for the cause of Kashmir. She said as the member of the United Nations Security Council, India tried to stop its meeting on Kashmir and the United States did not come to its support, which shows the latter’s sensitivity towards the issue. Britain has also made strong remarks about the situation in Kashmir, she said, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the UN General Assembly session on September 27 while Modi will speak on September 26.

Dr Firdous welcomed reconciliatory role of United States President Donald Trump on Kashmir situation and the regional peace. She said the nation is proud of the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly contested the case of Kashmir at international level. She said the international community has taken cognizance of the situation in the occupied valley and has been expressing concerns over the unilateral Indian actions there.

The special assistant said the UN Security Council’s meeting has negated the Indian claim of Kashmir being its internal matter. “India can neither change reality of the festering dispute through its unilateral actions nor can hoodwink the world community,” she said, adding that Pakistan will present the case of oppressed Kashmiri people and the Indian injustices at every forum.

The special assistant said Pakistan firmly stands with their Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for the right to self-determination. She vowed that Pakistan will continue to extend political, diplomatic and moral support to Kashmiris till the dawn of independence.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday held a telephonic conversation with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to discuss the current situation in Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir. He underlined that the illegal and unilateral steps taken by India in the occupied valley entails a grave risk for peace and security in the region. The foreign minister briefed his French counterpart on the illegal and unilateral actions of India to alter the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir which is in contravention of the international law and United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, the Foreign Office said in a press release. He apprised the French foreign minister of the continuously deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Indian-held Kashmir, including severe shortage of food and medicines, communications blackout and complete lockdown for the last 16 days.

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