UNITED NATIONS Pakistan on Tuesday asked the United Nations Security Council to meet over India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, the Himalayan region that has long been a flashpoint in ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that he has written a letter to UN Security Council asking it to convene a special meeting to discuss the illegal steps of India of changing the status quo in Kashmir.
The move by India blocks the right of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to frame its own laws and allows non-residents to buy property there. Telephone lines, internet and television networks have been blocked since the Aug. 5 decision and there are restrictions on movement and assembly.
“Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote in a letter to the Security Council seen by Reuters.
In a video message, he said the letter has been forwarded by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr Maleeha Lodhi.
He said Pakistan deems that Indian actions have jeopardized the regional as well as global peace. He said it was India’s wrong evaluation that it could crush Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi said if seven hundred thousand Indian troops deployed in occupied Jammu and Kashmir for decades could not defeat the freedom struggle of Kashmiris, the reinforcement of one hundred and eighty thousand troops will also fail.
Qureshi said he also mentioned in the letter that India was planning another massacre of Kashmiris in the held territory and if New Delhi considers that Pakistan and Kashmir people would bear it silently, it would be a grave mistake.
He expressed concern that India might stage another Pulwama-like incident in order to divert international attention from the situation of occupied Kashmir.
The minister said Pakistan will go to any extent for the defence of the motherland if India resorts to any misadventure.
He said whole Pakistan would express solidary with Kashmiris tomorrow (Aug 14). The nation would also observe August 15 as the Black Day and the world would witness that protest would be held against Indian steps in every world capital.
Qureshi said Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Muzaffarabad on August 14 to present the government’s stance before the elected representatives of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The minister said Kashmiris must remember that Pakistan has been standing by their side and “is ready to go to any extent for them.”
Poland is president of the Security Council for August. Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters at the United Nations on Tuesday that the council had received a letter from Pakistan and “will discuss that issue and take a proper decision.”
The Himalayan region is divided between India, which has occupied the populous Kashmir Valley and the Jammu city, Pakistan, which controls a wedge of territory in the west, and China, which holds a thinly populated high-altitude area in the north.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on India and Pakistan to refrain from any steps that could affect the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Guterres also said he was concerned about reports of restrictions on the Indian side of Kashmir.
The U.N. Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute between India and Pakistan over the region, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of the mostly Muslim Kashmir.
Another resolution also calls upon both sides to “refrain from making any statements and from doing or causing to be done or permitting any acts which might aggravate the situation.”
U.N. peacekeepers have been deployed since 1949 to observe a ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
Concerns about Islamophobia
Qureshi said increasing incidents of Islamophobia could become a threat to peace and stability of the whole world.
In a statement, he said the attacks on mosque and places of worship were condemnable and a source of concern.
Appreciating the Pakistani man who captured a gunman to avert human loss at Alnoor Islamic Centre in Norway, he said whole nation salutes the courage and valiance of the hero.