Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Amended resolution presented in Parliament against scrapping special status of IoK

Joint parliamentary session reviewing tense situation in occupied Kashmir and along LoC after abolition of Article 370


ISLAMABAD: Following the opposition’s protest in the joint session of the parliament on Tuesday, an amended resolution was presented against the scrapping the special status of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

A joint session of Parliament began at Parliament House earlier today to discuss the deteriorating situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir, after the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the constitution which granted special status to the disputed valley.

The session started with Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati moving a resolution condemning Indian actions in the occupied valley.

The session had to be adjourned for 20 minutes after the opposition insisted on including a clause pertaining to amendment in Article 370 in the session's agenda.

Following the ruckus by the opposition, Senator Swati presented the amended resolution before the House, which mentioned Article 370.

The joint parliamentary session, summoned by President Dr Arif Alvi, was to review the tense situation in occupied Kashmir and along the Line of Control after the Modi government rushed through a presidential decree on Monday to abolish Article 370, which revoked the special status granted to occupied Kashmir and made the state a Union Territory with the legislature.

Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider was among the leaders present in today's session, which was chaired by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser. Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed, Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif are among the MNAs and senators in attendance. 

The opposition refused to hear policy briefing from Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, demanding that PM Imran and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi should address the House.

The opposition members also demanded that the production orders for their key leaders should be issued, so they can also attend the joint session.

The agenda for today's session stated, "This House may discuss the illegal and coercive attempt by India to alter the disputed Status of Indian Occupied Kashmir through repeal and revocation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution by the Indian Government and the recent surge in unprovoked firing and shelling on unarmed civilian population across the Line of Control and use of cluster bombs by Indian forces in Azad Jammu and Kashmir; deployment of additional troops and atrocities in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and other recent developments.”

The move to abolish Article 370 followed days of uncertainty in occupied Kashmir that began on Friday when New Delhi ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave "immediately". The authorities confirmed deploying at least 10,000 troops in the disputed region last week. A further 70,000 troops have been deployed since, according to unofficial reports, as panic continued to grip the residents.

All phones, internet services and cable networks in the disputed Himalayan region of more than seven million people were cut at Sunday midnight, and only residents issued with a curfew pass were allowed on the streets.

Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to occupied Kashmir. It limited the power of the Indian parliament to impose laws in the state, apart from matters of defence, foreign affairs and communications.

PM Imran addresses joint session

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the joint session of Parliament today, calling on the international community to act against the racist politics of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Prime Minister Khan warned of a conventional war between Pakistan and India in light of another Pulwama like situation which could arise if the situation in Kashmir kept on deteriorating. 

Khan added his party would travel to the West and inform them of the violations taking place in Indian occupied Kashmir. "It is our job to raise this issue in the world.

Speaking briefly on his meeting with US President Trump, Prime Minister Khan said had asked the US President to intervene in the Kashmir issue on good faith. 

The session of the Parliament has been adjourned until 11am on Wednesday.

Pakistan rejects scrapping of Article 370

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned and rejected the Indian government’s move to scrap Article 370. In a press release, the ministry stated that Indian-occupied Kashmir was an internationally recognised disputed territory.

“No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan,” said the press release.

“As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” it added.

The Foreign Office stressed that Pakistan stood firm in its commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of occupied Kashmir for the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination.  

'Threat of genocide'

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said there was a threat of genocide and ethnic cleansing in occupied Kashmir after India revoked Article 370.

He said Pakistan would request and appeal to the United Nations, OIC, friendly countries and human rights organisations not to remain silent on this issue.