ISLAMABAD: The United Nations has expressed concern over Indian government’s move to revoke the special status of occupied Kashmir, part of a UN-recognized disputed territory.
The concern was expressed by UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stephane Dujarric while talking to reporters at the regular briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Dujarric said the Secretary-General had all along maintained that India and Pakistan should resolve all outstanding disputes between the two countries, including Kashmir, through dialogue.
He urged all parties to exercise restraint.
Earlier, the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, known as UNMOGIP, has observed and reported an increase in military activities along the Line of Control.
FM writes to UN chief about Occupied Kashmir
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has written a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations and apprised him about the critical situation of the Occupied Kashmir and the regional peace and security situation.
The letter said that India was committing brutalities on innocent and defenseless Kashmiri people under the draconian laws in the occupied Kashmir.
It said the United Nations has a responsibility to speak out against these violations, documented by an independent entity such as OHCHR and occurring in a territory recognized by the UN Security Council as disputed.
The letter said the pace of Indian firing and shelling across the Line of Control is picking up again. Not only these Indian actions violate the ceasefire understanding of 2003 between the two countries, they are causing civilian casualties and leading to heavy damages to the civilian infrastructure.
The Indian government on Monday announced to repeal the special status given to the occupied Kashmir under the constitution’s Article 370, which is feared to spark unrest in the disputed territory.
The announcement was made after massive deployment of additional Indian soldiers by the Indian government and thousands of tourists and Hindu pilgrims had been forced out of the Himalayan valley.
Educational institutes have been closed, public gatherings banned and internet and cellular services suspended indefinitely in the occupied valley. Mainstream and separatist Kashmiri leaders alike placed under house arrest, including former J&K CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Residents of the valley had stockpiled essential rations and fuel amid the security crackdown.