Pakistan has called for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, saying India’s decision to strip its part of disputed Kashmir of autonomy poses “an imminent threat” to international peace and could lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi denounced “recent aggressive actions” by India’s Hindu nationalist-led government, saying they “wilfully undermine the internationally recognised disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir”.
Quereshi accused India in a letter to the council of implementing a “racist ideology” aimed at turning its part of Kashmir from a Muslim-majority into a Hindu-majority territory.
“The Indian actions on August 5, 2019 have opened the way for realisation of this fascist policy objective,” he wrote.
Quereshi warned that any such attempt “will evoke strong Kashmiri resistance” and “the anticipated massive repression by India’s occupation forces will lead to ethnic cleansing and genocide”.
He said the Security Council has an obligation to prevent the recurrence of another Srebrenica and Rwanda, referring to the genocides in Srebrenica, Bosnia, in 1995 and in Rwanda in 1994.
Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz, whose country holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, said members would discuss the letter.
“Poland believes that this can only be resolved by peaceful means and … we are in favour of dialogue between Pakistan and India to sort out the differences,” he said.
“Strained relations between India and Pakistan negatively affect the whole South Asia region and may lead to serious political, security and economic consequences.”
India and Pakistan, which both now have nuclear weapons, claim all of Kashmir and have fought several wars over the divided region.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training insurgents fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan.
Pakistan denies the charge and says it offers only diplomatic and moral support to the rebels.
On August 5, India’s government announced it was revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrading its statehood to a territory, which limits its autonomy and decision-making power and eliminates its right to its own constitution.
India has imposed a near-constant curfew and a communications blackout as it tries to stave off a violent reaction to the move.
The unprecedented security lockdown kept people indoors on Tuesday for a ninth day.
Qureshi said in the letter to the Security Council that India’s repression in Kashmir has intensified in recent months, “including through the use of draconian laws”.
He said that since August 5, the entire territory has been transformed into “a massive military prison”.
Photo credit: Neptuul [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]