Tuesday May 19, 2020
Pakistan has "strongly condemned and completely rejected" the Indian government's new domicile law, saying it "reflects the opportunistic and morally bankrupt mindset of [the] RSS-BJP combine".
A statement issued by the Foreign Office on Tuesday noted that the new law is "aimed at changing the demographic structure" of occupied Kashmir and denounced the "attempts to further deprive the people" there.
According to the statement, the 'Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure), 2020' is "illegal and in clear violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions, international law including the 4th Geneva Convention and bilateral Agreements between Pakistan and India".
"We reiterate that such steps can neither change the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir recognised as such by the United Nations and the international community nor can they prejudice the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people," read the official communique.
The statement highlighted that the timing of the move to introduce the law is "particularly reprehensible as it uses the world community’s preoccupation with the COVID-19 pandemic and reflects the opportunistic and morally bankrupt mindset of the RSS-BJP combine".
It said that similar to earlier "illegal Indian actions", the people of occupied Kashmir have "completely rejected the domicile law as 'unacceptable'".
"The Kashmiri people will never accept the sinister 'Hindutva' agenda of dispossessing them of their land, marginalizing them politically and economically, and depriving them of their distinct identity," added the statement.
The FO, in its statement, also noted that Pakistan has been consistently apprising the international community about the true designs behind India's illegal and unilateral actions of August 5, 2019.
"Through these actions along with continuing restrictions, excruciating military crackdown, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary detentions and incarcerations, and grave human rights violations, India seeks to perpetuate its illegal occupation of [Kashmir]," the statement underscored.
Urging the international community to take immediate action to stop India from changing the demography and distinct identity of the Himalayan valley, the Foreign Office in its statement vowed that Pakistan "will continue highlighting the plight of Kashmiri people at all international fora till the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UNSC Resolutions".
Last week, in line with Indian government’s August 5 decision to illegally annex occupied Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi had announced a new set of laws for the disputed territory that grants domicile rights to Indian citizens in the region.
According to Al Jazeera, experts and residents fear that it will alter the demographic status of the Muslim-majority territory.
The Doha-based channel reported that the law allows those who have resided for 15 years in IoK or studied for seven years and appeared in Class 10/12 examinations in educational institutions located in the region to become permanent residents.
The announcement comes eight months after the Indian government stripped the region of its limited autonomy that had protected the region for decades from demographic changes.