ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan today condemned India’s use of cluster munitions on civilian population living close to the Line of Control (LoC) and called on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take note of the “international threat to peace and security”.
“I condemn India’s attack across LoC on innocent civilians and its use of cluster munitions in violation of international humanitarian law and its own commitments under the 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons,” said the premier via Twitter. “UNSC must take note of this international threat to peace and security.”
“It is time to end the long night of suffering for the people of occupied Kashmir. They must be allowed to exercise their right to self-determination according to UNSC resolutions. The only road to peace and security in South Asia runs through a peaceful and just settlement of Kashmir,” the premier added.
Referring to United States President Donald Trump’s offer for arbitration in the Kashmir dispute — which was rejected by India and welcomed by Pakistan — Prime Minister Imran stressed that this was the time to avail mediation.
“President Trump offered to mediate on Kashmir. This is the time to do so as [the] situation deteriorates there and along the LoC with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces,” said the premier, warning: “This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis.”
The premier’s comments come after India, in a major escalation in the ceasefire violations, began using cluster munitions on civilian population living close to the LoC. The use of cluster bombs on the Neelum Valley over the past few days has caused multiple fatalities and injuries to several others, including minor children.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday contacted Organisation for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Dr Yousef bin Ahmed Al Othaimeen and discussed “increasing Indian aggression in Kashmir” with him, reported Radio Pakistan.
Condemning the “brutal use of power against innocent Kashmiris by India”, Qureshi said India was flouting international laws by subjecting Kashmiris to human rights violations. He asked the OIC to take notice of this serious situation and in response, Dr Othaimeen assured him of providing all out cooperation in this regard.
Earlier, Qureshi chaired an emergency consultative meeting at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, and urged the international community and world human rights watchdogs to take immediate notice of the situation.
He also met Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, sharing his concern on India sending more than 28,000 troops to occupied Kashmir and expelling tourists from the area. On July 22, the US president — at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Imran at the White House — revealed that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently asked him if he would like to be a mediator or arbitrator on Kashmir.
Prime Minister Imran immediately welcomed his remarks, saying: “Right now, you would have the prayers of over a billion people if you can mediate [on Kashmir].” Trump’s statement caused a political storm in India where opposition parties called Modi’s reported request to the US president an act of treason and asked him to explain why he had made such a request. But the Indian government denied ever asking Trump to mediate on Kashmir and reiterated India’s traditional position that it would not accept any third-party mediation on its disputes with Pakistan.
On August 1, Trump once again offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, telling reporters he is willing to intervene but a decision would be up to the leaders of both the countries. India, however, again rejected President Trump’s offer, reiterating that any discussion on the dispute would be bilateral.
India has deployed at least 10,000 troops in occupied Kashmir in recent days, with media reports of a further 25,000 ordered to Kashmir. There were some 500,000 Indian security forces already based in the region. Indian government has also introduced other security measures, including a call to stock up food and fuel, over ‘terror threat’ claims.
Kashmiri and opposition politicians in New Delhi, however, have raised concerns that the extra troops were being deployed for other reasons. They include fears that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government could carry out a threat to scrap Kashmir’s special status under the constitution.
Political leaders in the territory have warned that cancelling constitutionally guaranteed rights — which mean only state domiciles can buy land in the region — could spark further unrest in the Muslim-majority state.