ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday rejected Indian government’s recently announced domicile rules for occupied Kashmir which allows non-locals to seek permanent residence in the disputed region.
On Monday, India notified new rules that permit those who have lived in India-held Kashmir for 15 years, or studied there for seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examinations in a local school, to apply for Kashmir domicile, a mandatory condition for seeking jobs in the Himalayan region.
Before the abrogation of Article 370 and the new domicile rules, no outsider could apply for permanent residency or government jobs in the conflict-hit region.
The Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement that the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) rules were in clear violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, international laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India.
“The domicile law is aimed at changing the demographic structure of IOJ&K and undermining the exercise by the Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through free and impartial plebiscite as per the relevant UNSC resolutions. 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,” the Foreign Office stated.
It observed that the timing of the illegal Indian action was particularly reprehensible as it used the world community’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic and reflected the opportunistic and morally bankrupt mindset of RSS-BJP.
The Kashmiri people would never accept the sinister “Hindutva” agenda of dispossessing them of their land, marginalising them politically and economically, and depriving them of their distinct identity, the FO stated.
It said Pakistan had been consistently sensitising the international community about the real Indian designs behind its illegal and unilateral actions of Aug 5, 2019.
Through these actions, along with continuing restrictions, excruciating military crackdown, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions and incarcerations, and grave human rights violations, India seeks to perpetuate its illegal occupation of held Kashmir.
The UN and international community must take immediate action to stop India from changing the demography and distinct identity of held Kashmir and hold India accountable for the persistent violations of international law, urged the FO.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2020