Khan to oppose India on Kashmir

By AFP - Xinhua Source:Reuters Published: 2019/8/7 22:08:41

Warns of regional conflict for ending its special autonomy

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed Tuesday to challenge at the UN security council India's decision to strip  India-controlled Kashmir of its special autonomy, a move he warned could provoke conflict in the region.

Khan gave a forceful rebuke of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision Monday to scrap the special status granted to the  India-controlled Kashmir from India's constitution in front of a joint-session of parliament in Islamabad. 

"I want to make it clear that we will fight this issue on every forum, [including] at the UN security council," said Khan, who also promised to raise the issue with heads of state and take the matter to the International Criminal Court.  

Khan demanded action from the global community as he accused Modi of violating international law in pursuit of an anti-Muslim agenda in India. 

"If the world does not act today... [if] the developed world does not uphold its own laws, then things will go to a place that we will not be responsible for," Khan added. 

He went on to warn that "there will be a reaction" from Kashmiris if India tries to "crush them," likely leading to more violence in the region which in the past has brought the nuclear-armed rivals close to conflict. 

 India and Pakistan should refrain from taking actions that will unilaterally change the status quo and escalate tensions in Kashmir, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday when responding to a relevant question.

Voicing China's serious concern over the situation in Kashmir, spokesperson Hua Chunying said that China's position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. "It is an international consensus that the Kashmir issue is an issue left from the past between India and Pakistan."

The relevant sides need to exercise restraint and act prudently. In particular, they should refrain from taking actions that will unilaterally change the status quo and escalate tensions, Hua said. 

Pakistan's military announced it "firmly stands" by Kashmiris following a meeting of the army's top commanders in the garrison city of Rawalpindi to discuss India's move.

"Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfil our obligations in this regard," General Qamar Javed Bajwa said, in a tweet sent by a military spokesman after the meeting.

"Pakistan never recognized the sham Indian efforts to legalize its occupation" of the disputed mountainous region, spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

On Tuesday, an estimated 500 people demonstrated in Muzaffarabad, the largest city in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir.

"We want to tell India that Jammu and Kashmir is not the property of anyone. The people of Jammu and Kashmir will not sit quietly until they get their right to self-determination," protester Shamsher Khan told AFP. 

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