Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi informed on Thursday the European Union of the events of “far-reaching consequences” of India’s move to annex occupied Kashmir.
India earlier this week repealed article 370 and 35A of its constitution, revoking autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir. Article 370 granted special autonomy to Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. It allowed the state’s assembly to make its own constitution and gave it autonomous state power.
Article 35A allowed the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly to define who is and isn’t a permanent resident of the state. It also allowed the assembly to determine who gets state grants, who has the right to purchase land and property and who can permanently settle in the region.
The foreign minister telephoned EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini on Thursday. He said the unilateral steps by India in occupied Kashmir were against United Nations Security Council resolutions on the disputed territory.
The foreign minister briefed the EU high representative “on the events of far-reaching consequences unfolding in the region in the wake of the unilateral steps taken by the Indian government in order to consolidate illegal occupation of Indian-occupied Kashmir,” according to a statement issued by the Foreign Office.
He highlighted that India had deployed 180,000 additional troops, suspended mobile and internet services and imposed curfew, locking down the entire population of IoK.
The foreign minister conveyed that the steps taken by India had the real potential to further deteriorate human rights situation in IOK, as well as seriously impact peace and security in South Asia.
He had addressed two letters to the UN secretary general highlighting the gravity of the situation. Qureshi urged Mogherini to appropriately brief the EU member states on the matter.
The foreign minister also informed the EU high representative about Pakistan’s decisions to downgrade diplomatic ties, suspension of bilateral trade and review of bilateral agreements with India. She was also informed about Islamabad’s decision to take the matter to UNSC.
On the occasion, Qureshi expressed apprehensions that India could carry out a false flag operation, blame Pakistan and embark upon a misadventure into the Pakistani territory.
He emphasized that any escalation on Pakistan’s border with India could “jeopardize the efforts of the international community to bring peace and stability in Afghanistan”.
Mogherini stated that they were closely following the situation. She agreed that any escalation in the region could negatively impact the Afghan peace process, as well as the regional security and stability.
The EU representative underscored that all disputes should be resolved through dialogue and peaceful means.
Briefing to the diplomatic corps
The foreign minister also briefed on Thursday the heads of missions, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps about India’s move to change the disputed status of occupied Kashmir.
He urged them to stop India from committing blatant violations of human rights in the occupied Himalayan territory, according to Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal.
Qureshi said that India has turned the occupied valley into the largest prison in the world by deploying over 900,000 troops to subjugate 14 million Kashmiris.
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