Pakistan categorically rejected on Sunday Indian attempts, including the recent briefing by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, seeking to portray a totally false impression of “normalcy” in India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan said in a statement that India-occupied Jammu & Kashmir continues to be the largest prison in the world with the heaviest deployment of Indian occupation forces since the coercive, unilateral and illegal Indian actions of August 5.
New Delhi controversially revoked on August 5 the autonomous status of the part of Jammu and Kashmir it controls. Hours before its move, India curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing in hundreds of thousands of troops to the occupied Himalayan territory.
Kashmir, split between India and Pakistan since 1947, has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the two nuclear-armed arch-rivals.
The Foreign Office reiterated that India’s actions were aimed at altering the internationally recognized disputed status of the Himalayan territory and changing its demographic structure to preempt the results of a UN plebiscite.
Islamabad said that Kashmiri leaders, especially the Hurriyet leadership, remain under house arrest or imprisoned. It said that international media and credible human rights organizations continue to highlight the humanitarian nightmare — which has only intensified after more than 5 weeks — including arbitrary arrests of innocent Kashmiris, kidnapping of hundreds of young boys by Indian occupation forces to coerce their parents into submission, communication blockade and curbs on freedom of media.
“Shops remain closed, Kashmiris are unable to offer Friday prayers in mosques and there are credible reports of shortage of food items, including baby food and essential medicines,” the Foreign Office said. “Contrary to Indian claims, [the] use of pellet guns continues in a brutal assault by Indian occupation forces against innocent Kashmiris.”
The statement further said that India has failed to justify why Kashmiris were unable to get in touch with their loved ones through the “iron curtain forced by India on IOJ&K, inhumanly cutting off more than 8 million Kashmiris from the rest of the world”.
It said the unilateral actions have prompted the international community and human rights groups to question Indian assertions of “normalcy”, including the denial of permission to Indian opposition leaders themselves to visit the valley.
“The Government of India is exerting a completely authoritarian and dictatorial control over all information coming out of IOJ&K, distorting truth and twisting facts in a desperate attempt to promote its own narrative, which is in total contrast to the ground realities, as consistently corroborated by reports in the international media,” the statement read.
It noted that India recently attempted to pass on a false and fabricated story, blaming deaths of some Kashmiris in IOJ&K on “Pakistani militants”.
“The Indian NSA has also been trying to justify increasingly frequent reports of Kashmiri casualties by blaming them unsuccessfully on Pakistan. In a farcical attempt to twist truth, Indian army tried to portray two Pakistanis, Mohammad Nazeem and Khalil Ahmed, who had inadvertently crossed the LoC near Hajipir on 21 August 2019 as ‘militants’,” the Foreign Office said.
“This was despite the fact that the incident was discussed during the weekly military hotline contact between both sides on 27 August 2019, when Indian authorities acknowledged that they were inadvertent crossers and informed Pakistan that routine formalities are taking place after which they will be returned. Such devious tactics reflect Indian desperation and attempts to shift international attention from the humanitarian nightmare in IOJ&K.”
The statement said that Pakistan has consistently sensitized the international community about the danger of a false flag operation by India to shift attention and apportion blame to Pakistan for its indefensible actions in Kashmir.
Instead of indulging in fabricated stories, the Foreign Office said, India should comply with international obligations and immediately cease its atrocities against innocent Kashmiris, lift the communication blockade and allow international fact-finding missions and media to visit the disputed territory to distinguish facts from fiction.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office also summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and strongly protested the statement by the Indian national security adviser.
This was the second time in the last 24 hours that the Indian diplomat was summoned by Islamabad.