ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Thursday rejected India’s claim that abrogation of special status for Kashmir was an internal matter.
Addressing a press conference while flanked by Spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India’s calling it an internal issue was illegitimate.
“Pakistan will review decision about downgrading diplomatic relations with New Delhi, only after India will review its decision about repealing Kashmir of special status,” he said to a query regarding cutting diplomatic ties with the nuclear-armed country.
He said India had turned the entire occupied Kashmir into a jail and there was one armed soldier deployed outside every single house.
The Indian government on August 5 announced to repeal the special status given to the occupied Kashmir under the constitution’s Article 370 and Article 35 A, and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The arbitrary move is feared to spark unrest in the disputed territory.
China has also slammed India for calling it an internal matter. Foreign Ministry spokeswomen Hua Chunying in a statement said this move was unacceptable and would not come into force.
“China is always opposed to India’s inclusion of the Chinese territory in the western sector of the China-India boundary into its administrative jurisdiction,” Hua Chunying had said.
She said, “Recently, India has continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law. Such practice is unacceptable and will not come into force.”
Foreign Minister Qureshi said 28 countries had been briefed about the ongoing Kashmir situation. He said the European Union could also play its role in resolving the long-standing Kashmir dispute. Pakistan had decided to again move the United Nations and its Security Council on this issue, he added.
He rejected the news of restrictions of airspace but confirmed that Samjhota Express train between the neighbouring countries had been suspended.
Mahmood Qureshi said former prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru had 14 times promised that the Kashmir conflict would be decided in accordance with desires of its residents.
He said no military option was under consideration, only diplomatic and legal options were being mulled over.