After the Indian government issued a gazette notification regarding the Jammu and Kashmir domicile laws, Pakistan, as expected, has denounced the decision, calling it a strategy to change the demography of the volatile region.
#Pakistan strongly condemns & rejects the latest Indian action aimed at illegally changing the demographic structure of IOJ&K. This is a clear violation of international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention.
? https://t.co/OqlQuywxNL pic.twitter.com/tNy3tOdMYu
— Spokesperson ?? MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) April 2, 2020
In a statement issued by Pakistan Foreign office – Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the new domicile law introduced by the Indian government which permits an Indian citizen who has resided in occupied Jammu and Kashmir for 15 years to call the territory his or her place of domicile.
As reported by the EurAsian Times earlier, a person residing in Jammu and Kashmir for at least fifteen years will now be eligible to be a domicile of the union territory, according to the new rules.
In the latest gazette notification, Section 3A of the J&K Reorganisation (Adaptation of State Laws) Order 2020, under the J&K civil services (decentralisation and recruitment) Act, has been introduced to define domicile as that “who has resided for a period of fifteen years in the UT of J&K or has studied for a period of seven years and appeared in class 10th/12th examination in an educational institution located in the UT of J&K.”
Before August 5, 35 A of the Constitution (now abrogated) empowered J&K assembly to define a J&K resident, who alone were eligible to apply for jobs or own immovable property.
Terming the move “illegal”, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Order 2020 was a violation of international law and the Geneva Convention.
The statement said Pakistan had been trying to sensitise the world community to India’s attempt to change the “demography and distinct identity” of Kashmir.
“The latest Indian action, at this moment of a global health crisis, is particularly reprehensible as it seeks to take advantage of the international community’s focus on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and further advance Bharatiya Janata Party’s ‘Hindutva’ agenda.”
The statement called on the United Nations and the world community to take notice of India’s actions and hold it “accountable for its persistent violations of international law”.