Let Kashmir Speak: Pakistan FM Qureshi's OpEd published in CNN Online
ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says India's draconian measures in Kashmir are inching the situation towards the unthinkable.
In an op-ed in CNN Online, Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote that the unilateral move of India on August 5 abrogated the special autonomous status granted to Jammu and Kashmir within its constitution. What has followed has reminded the world of the extremism and xenophobia that still plagues it. He wrote it has forced everyone from international media to human rights organizations and legislators in the Western world to call the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party-led Indian government out on its actions.
Qureshi added that the people of Kashmir have been under total lockdown and have seen shortages of food and medicine. Thousands have been detained through mass arrests.
Using the familiar tactics of night raids, alleged torture, a media blackout and the suppression of protests, the Indian government has been trying desperately to conceal the dire humanitarian and security situation on the ground.
Qureshi further said India's government wants to gaslight the international community into normalizing India's de facto annexation of the Muslim-majority state, and its ethno-nationalist saber-rattling in a region with major US interests and international stability at stake. But, the world must stand up for what is right.
He demanded the international community to expose the reality that the BJP government is enacting a nefarious political agenda. In its plans to allow Indians to buy land in Kashmir, India's government is putting Kashmir's Muslim majority at risk-a policy that could change Kashmir's identity. In Pakistan's opinion, he said, this violates the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits a country from transporting its own people into occupied territory.
Foreign Minister said 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.
He said we requested the implementation of several UNHCHR recommendations, including the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations and regular reporting by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Jammu and Kashmir.
Most of all, we have called for a peaceful solution to the dispute through the implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions that put the wishes of the Kashmiri people first.
We must not be naïve about what is happening in Kashmir, and India must be stopped before this goes any further.