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Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has apprised the UN Security Council and Secretary General on Indian actions that continue to escalate tensions in an already tense environment in South Asia and sought their rightful role in the de escalation.
In his latest letter dated 12 December 2019, Foreign Minister Qureshi wrote to the President of UN Security Council and Secretary General on Indian actions that continue to escalate tensions in South Asia through Indian leadership's bellicose rhetoric, issuance of new 'political maps', unprecedented LoC ceasefire violations during the year, deployment and testing of missiles of various ranges and capabilities, and attempts to change the demographic structure of occupied Jammu & Kashmir. The Foreign Minister urged the UN Security Council to play its rightful role and, in this context, also reiterated Pakistan's proposal to strengthen UNMOGIP's presence in the region.
He once again drew immediate attention of the world body to the serious threat to peace and security posed by India's unilateral measures on 5 August 2019 in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K), India's continuing violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people, and its belligerent posture and hostile actions vis-à-vis Pakistan.
Wrongful projection of the occupied territory of Jammu & Kashmir in the so-called "political maps" issued by the Indian Home Ministry recently is a continuation of the series of India's illegal actions, he said, adding that as the Government of Pakistan has stated, these maps have no validity and are null and void, as they are in violation of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.
Further escalating the already tense environment in South Asia, Qureshi wrote that India has stepped up unprovoked and deliberate ceasefire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) and is taking steps that are posing serious risks for regional peace and security. Some details include:
Over 3000 ceasefire violations, targeting over 300 civilians, including women and children since January 2019 alone.
-- Partial removal of fence on the LoC in five sectors. The reason could only be planning for some 'misadventure' across the LoC.
-- Deployment of Brahmos Missile regiments, Anti-Tank guided missiles and Spike missiles for use across the LoC.
-- Conduct of numerous missile tests since August 2019.
The setting of a department in IOJ&K for land transactions further substantiate concerns brought by Pakistan to the attention of the Security Council since 5 August 2019 about the deliberate plans to alter the demographic composition and identity of the occupied territory, in complete violation of international law, he added.
Meanwhile, He added that the reign of terror unleashed by the occupation forces in IOJ&K continues unabated. Curfew and communications blackouts have now entered the fifth month.
Qureshi said that Kashmiri political leadership remains in custody, in jails, and in detention centers across India, adding that thousands of Kashmiri youth have been abducted, many of them tortured and maimed, often publicly.
He said that Kashmiri protests have been violently suppressed, including by using pellet guns and other forceful means, adding that mosques and other religious institutions remain shut. Food and medicines are running short, the grim humanitarian situation is bound to further exacerbate as winter sets in, he added.
"India's claims of "return of normalcy" in IOJ&K are false and designed to mislead the world community" Qureshi said, adding that no independent observers, journalists or Indian opposition leaders have been allowed to visit Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and evaluate the situation.
Yet, successive independent reports including by the international media and human rights organizations, attest to India's massive ongoing repression in IOJ&K, he added.
He further said that these reports also confirm that Kashmiri alienation and opposition to India's occupation is universal. Reacting to Indian oppression, the Kashmiri people have been left with no choice but to resist foreign occupation. The response of the occupation forces is then expected to be characteristically brutal, resulting in wide-spread massacres.
In this backdrop, it continues to be our persistent concern that India may resort to a "false flag" attack to divert world attention, he further informed the world body.
"The bellicose rhetoric emanating from Indian leadership is further vitiating the atmosphere, threatening inter alia to review their nuclear doctrine, establish "physical jurisdiction" over Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), and "dismember" Pakistan", he said.
In the wake of these developments, Qureshi added that it remains imperative for the Security Council to play its rightful role in averting any threats to peace and security as well as bringing an immediate end to the suffering of the Kashmiri people under occupation.
To report on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and prevent possible escalation, he said that Pakistan has proposed strengthening of UNMOGIP's presence in the region.
He said that a reinforced UNMOGIP could better observe and report on the situation along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. It could serve as an important tool in the hands of the Security Council for maintenance of peace and security in the region, he said, adding that the Council must have this possibility in order to take informed decisions on ways to deploy tools of preventive diplomacy in case of further escalation and stop deterioration of the situation that could spiral out of control very quickly.
"Consistent with its responsibilities under the UN Charter, and relevant Council Resolutions on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, the Security Council must remain seized of the matter and play a proactive role in peaceful resolution of this long-standing dispute on the Council's agenda", the Foreign Minister added.
In a series of letters in recent months, the Foreign Minister has consistently updated the United Nations Security Council and the UN Secretary General on the grave situation in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IOJ&K). The Foreign Minister's letters to the President of the UNSC (and Secretary General of UN) dated 1,6,13 and 26 August, 16 September and 31 October 2019 convey Pakistan's serious concerns over India's illegal and unilateral actions in IOJ&K and the resultant human rights and humanitarian situation as well as India's belligerent rhetoric and steps on the ground posing serious risks to peace and security.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019