Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday wrote a letter to the United Nations requesting to conduct plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, where Article 370 was abrogated by the Modi government recently. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir await the ‘free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations as agreed to by India and Pakistan and decided by the Security Council 70 years ago,” the foreign minister wrote in his letter to the UN Secretary General and President of the UN Security Council.
The Modi government revoked the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and bifurcated it into two union territories. Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its 'internal matter'. New Delhi has also asked Islamabad to accept the reality and stop its anti-India rhetoric.
Qureshi, in his letter to UN chief Antonio Guterres and UNSC President Vasily Nebenzya, said Indian action aimed at bringing about a ‘demographic change’ in Kashmir.
He said India wanted to ‘preempt the UN-administered plebiscite’ envisaged under numerous UN Security Council Resolutions to ascertain the wishes of the Kashmiri people to join Pakistan or India.
The FO said that the letter not only builds on Pakistan’s efforts to sensitise the international community about the alleged human rights violations in Kashmir but also presents its comprehensive position on the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
It also contained the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, bilateral agreements and letters to the UN in a sequential manner, laying out the international law and Pakistan’s legal case on the issue.
In line with the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s commitment to the Kashmiri people, the Foreign Minister’s letter is part of Pakistan’s ongoing diplomatic efforts to sensitise the international community to the plight of innocent Kashmiris, the FO said.
It said that India’s actions in Kashmir were a threat to regional peace and stability and hold hostage peace and development on South Asia.
Pakistan will continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people, the statement said, ahead of Khan’s address to the UN General Assembly on Friday.
With PTI Inputs