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India, Pakistan Blast Each Other Over ‘Illegal Settlements’ On Both Sides Of Kashmir

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India and Pakistan continue to accuse each other over Kashmir. After Pakistan attacked India over changing the demography in Jammu and Kashmir, there are reports in the Indian media that have lambasted Islamabad for settling retired army men and laborers in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir (PaK).

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According to Zee News, a huge influx of Pakistani laborers from outside Pakistan-administered-Kashmir has been seen from the past few months mainly because of the ongoing construction works of Chinese companies.

Talking to Zee News, an officer who has inside information about the activities in PaK said “The demographic profile of PaK has already been changed by settling ex Pakistan Army soldiers from its Punjab province. Due to ongoing CPEC projects, a huge area of public and private land in the PaK has been given free of coast to Chinese companies. This is worrisome. “

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In fears that India will try to recapture PaK,  Pakistan is scared of Indian action post the abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir last year says AK Mahapatra, Professor of International Studies in an interview.

“In the coming days, China and Pakistan will be even closer. China is constantly supporting Pakistan on Kashmir, while US and western countries questioned China’s role for spreading coronavirus. India should take tough measures against the Chinese companies engaged in various projects of CPEC in PaK,”  he stated.

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A spokesman of the Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN said: “The Kashmir issue is a dispute left from history and should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the Charter of the UN Security Council resolutions.”

Responding to these remarks, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava rejected the reference to Jammu and Kashmir made by the Chinese spokesperson.

India has made it clear that will take up the issue with China to expose Pakistan’s conspiracy to change the demography of POK besides its interference in that region.

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“China is well aware of India’s consistent position on this issue. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has been, is and shall continue to be an integral part of India. Issues related to Jammu and Kashmir are [an] internal matter to India,” he said.

“It is, therefore, our expectation that other countries, including China, would refrain from commenting on matters that are internal affairs of India and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We also expect China to recognize and condemn the scourge of cross-border terrorism that affects the lives of the people of India, including in Jammu and Kashmir,” he added.

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Allegations like these are not alien to India. Earlier, “Pakistan strongly denounced and rejected the latest Indian action aimed at illegally changing the demographic structure of Jammu and Kashmir. The so-called “Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020” is another illegal step by India to settle non-Kashmiris in IOJ&K by changing the domicile laws,” Pakistan Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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The new law gives those who have resided for 15 years in the Kashmir a chance to become permanent residents. “This Indian action, a continuation of India’s illegal and unilateral steps since 5 August 2019, also constitutes a violation of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, bilateral agreements between India and Pakistan, and humanitarian norms”, a statement from the foreign ministry stated.

Urging the UN to look into this issue, Islamabad asked assistance to prevent India from changing the demography of the volatile region, and hold New Delhi accountable for its persistent violations of international law.

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