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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan categorically rejected the Indian Supreme Court’s judgement on the status of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and emphasised that Jammu and Kashmir was an internationally-recognised dispute and any process, subservient to the Indian Constitution, carries no legal significance.

Pakistan’s official response was announced by caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani through a news conference here soon after the Supreme Court of India upheld the Modi government’s 2019 annexation of the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally-recognised dispute, which remains on the agenda of the UN Security Council for over seven decades.

The final disposition of Jammu and Kashmir is to be made in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and as per aspirations of the Kashmiri people,” Jilani said. He added that India had no right to make unilateral decisions on the status of this disputed territory against the will of the Kashmiri people and Pakistan, adding Pakistan did not acknowledge the supremacy of the Indian Constitution over Jammu and Kashmir.

“Any process, subservient to the Indian Constitution, carries no legal significance,” he further underscored.

The foreign minister stated “India cannot abdicate its international obligations on the pretext of domestic legislations and judicial verdicts. India’s plans to annex IIOJK are bound to fail.

The judicial endorsement of India’s unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019 is a travesty of justice, based on distorted historical and legal arguments,” he further stated.

Jilani said the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict fails to recognise the internationally-recognised disputed nature of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He added that the Indian Supreme Court’s judgement also fails to cater to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, who have already rejected India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019.

“The judgement is yet another manifestation of the pliant judiciary under India’s ruling dispensation…Restoration of statehood, conduct of State Assembly elections or similar steps cannot serve as a substitute to the grant of the right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people,” Jilani said, adding the judgement could not distract the international community’s attention from the gross and systematic human rights violations being perpetrated in the IIOJK.

India’s unilateral and illegal measures since 5 August 2019 have been aimed at changing the demographic structure and political landscape of the IIOJK, in flagrant violation of international law and the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, especially Resolution 122 (1957), he said, adding they remained a matter of grave concern for Pakistan as their ultimate goal was to convert the Kashmiris into a disempowered community in their own land.

“These measures must be rescinded to create an environment for peace and dialogue,” he added.

Jilani reaffirmed Pakistan’s continued full political, diplomatic, and moral support to the people of IIOJK for the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination.

Responding to a question about the government of Pakistan’s next course of action, he said that was an initial reaction of Pakistan and a meeting of all stakeholders would be convened “very soon” to chalk out our future course of action.

“We have already launched a campaign internationally and we will, certainly, be writing to the UN chief, the OIC, the EU Parliament, and other international organisations to highlight the illegality of this decision.”

He said the caretaker government would also consult the leadership of all the political parties for a unified response against the Modi government’s latest “illegal” move, adding that India’s domestic court judgements will have no impact on Jammu and Kashmir’s status as internationally recognised dispute which is one of the oldest agenda items on the UN.

He added the Indian Supreme Court’s verdict had “no legality at all” and the legal experts within India are also saying the same.

To another question, Jilani said India had already lost its credibility globally due to its latest ongoing assassination campaign of the Sikh leaders, adding the international community would not buy its narrative with regard to Jammu and Kashmir.

“If a country loses its credibility, then no narrative works internationally,” he underscored, adding that for the last many years, India’s extra-territorial killings are being condemned not only by Canada but also within the US.

“What happened in Canada and the US, it’s the tip of the iceberg and now you will see many other revelations from many other countries with regard to India’s global assassination campaign,” he maintained.

Asked if Pakistan intends to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on India’s illegal measures in IIOJK, he said that this option can only be availed if India accepts the ICJ’s jurisdiction. He said India had always tried not to accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ on such issues.

To another question if Pakistan could also consult China, he pointed out that though China also had its serious concerns over India’s illegal and unilateral measures, yet Pakistan would frame its own strategy on its concerns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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