At a time when the world is battling the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan has raised the Kashmir issue once again at the international forum. The issue raised during the global pandemic has not found many takers while Imran Khan Government faces flack from veteran journalists for his inept handling of the crisis.
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Pakistan has raised Kashmir issue at various forums before and this time it has sought to use the Covid-19 outbreak to rake up Kashmir at the UN Security Council, where Islamabad’s recent efforts to highlight the issue fell on deaf ears.
As EurAsian Times reported earlier, Pakistan’s Foreign Office made public the contents of a letter written by foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the UN secretary-general and the president of the Security Council inviting the latter’s attention to what he described as the “dire” humanitarian crisis in Jammu and Kashmir.
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Pakistan asked the international community to urge India to free all political detainees in Kashmir and allow unrestricted access to medical and other essential supplies there.
The Foreign Office in a statement alleged that innumerable Kashmiri youth, members of civil society, journalists and Kashmiri leaders were behind bars at undisclosed locations and away from their families.
It asked the international community to urgently demand from India the lifting of communication barricade and allowing unrestricted access to medical and other essential supplies. “The Indian government must also be urged to immediately allow the release of all political prisoners from Indian jails,” it added.
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As EurAsian Times reported earlier, tensions between India and Pakistan spiked since New Delhi abrogated the Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir in August last year. India’s decision drew sharp reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was its internal matter. It also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda. Pakistan was also criticised by India recently for raising the Kashmir issue during the video conference of leaders of SAARC states on the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Qureshi’s letter rejected India’s narrative of normalcy in Kashmir and highlighted intensified ceasefire violations by Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC) since December. It added that durable peace and stability in South Asia would remain contingent upon a just and lasting solution of the Kashmir issue.
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France and other permanent members of the UN Security Council have thwarted efforts by China, acting on behalf of its close ally Pakistan, to raise the Kashmir situation at the world body, most recently in December.