Tuesday Aug 20, 2019
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has decided to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over widespread human rights abuses by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi confirmed the decision. "An in-principle decision has been taken to take the issue of disputed Kashmir to the International Court of Justice," the foreign minister said on Tuesday.
He said all legal aspects were considered before taking the decision, and that the matter would be taken to the ICJ as soon as possible. He said the law ministry would soon issue further details in this regard.
The decision comes after Pakistan's recent diplomatic victory at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which met for the first time in over five decades last week to discuss the critical situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
During the meeting, UNSC members urged parties to the Kashmir dispute to refrain from taking any unilateral action, effectively rejecting India's stance that Kashmir was an internal issue and not an internationally recognised dispute.
The disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since independence from Britain in 1947. It was extremely rare for the Security Council to discuss Kashmir. The last time there was a full Security Council meeting on the Himalayan region was in 1965.
Sources told Geo News that four of the five permanent members – China, the United States, Great Britain, and Russia – openly backed Pakistan's stance at the UNSC meeting last week.
They said that, during the meeting, Britain called for an investigation into reports of torture and human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir.
Only France opposed Pakistan's position at the UNSC meeting, they said.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will soon start a diplomatic campaign over the Kashmir issue.
Sources said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to send a message to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in his speech to the local Hindu community during his upcoming visit to Tharparkar's Shiv Mandir.