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India cautioned not to change status of occupied Kashmir

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Pakistan's Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal speaks to the media at the Foreign office in Islamabad on March 28, 2019. - Pakistan on March 28 said it had found no links between militants swept up in a recent dragnet and a suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir last month that brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP)

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Thursday cautioned India against changing the constitutional status of occupied Kashmir and reminded it that its high-handed tactics could not suppress the freedom movement.

“Pakistan opposes any move which violates the United Nations Security Council resolutions on the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. In principle, there cannot be any change in the status of Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir until a UN-administ­ered plebiscite is held in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions,” FO spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal said at the weekly media briefing.

Read: BJP releases election manifesto, vows to strip Kashmiris of special rights

The BJP, which has won the Lok Sabha polls and would get a second consecutive term, had pledged to revoke Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that gives a special status to occupied Kashmir. The BJP had also expressed its intent to annual Article 35A on the Constitution, which also relates to Kashmir.

The spokesman mentioned that Indian security forces had in fresh acts of violence martyred 14 Kahsmiris in Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Sopore and Bhaderwah areas of the Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He also condemned the house arrest of All Parties Hurriyat Conference leaders Syed Ali Shah Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and imposition of curfew across Srinagar on May 21 to prevent a march towards the Martyrs’ Graveyard at Eidgah.

“We also condemn the illegal detention of APHC leader, Masarrat Aalam Bhatt, under the draconian Public Safety Act, which is the worst example of lawlessness and human rights violations in IOK,” he added.

The spokesman expressed concern over continued illegal detention, despite deteriorating health, of senior Hurriyat leaders, including Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Masarat Alam Bhatt, Dr Hameed Fayaz, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Nahida Nasreen, Fahmida Sofi, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Mohammad Aiyaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmad Shah, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajudin Kalwal, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Maulana Sarjan Barkati, Qazi Yasir Ahmad, Syed Shahid Yousuf, Syed Shakeel Ahmad, Zahoor Ahmad Watali, Shahid-ul-Islam, Advocate Zahid Ali, Moulana Mushtaq Veeri, Muhammad Yousuf Mir, and over a thousand other Hurriyat leaders, activists, and students languishing in India’s notorious Tihar Jail in New Delhi and various other jails in occupied Kashmir.

“Imposing curbs, restrictions and caging the Kashmiri leadership can neither kill the reality of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute and the ideology that runs deep in the heart of every single citizen of IOK, nor will it wash away memories of the martyrdom of great leaders and all the martyrs of the Kashmir struggle from the minds of Kashmiris,” he said.

ZARIF: The spokesman said that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif would reach Islamabad on Thursday night. He will meet Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday.

Commenting on the latest escalation between Iran and US plus its Arab allies, he said, the issues need to be resolved through dialogue.

“We believe the situation in the region is serious and needs to be addressed through dialogue by all parties. We expect all sides to show restraint, as any miscalculated move can transmute into a large-scale conflict,” the spokesman added.