'Changing Kashmir demography threatens peace in S.Asia'

Alaturka Politika Haberleri

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan's prime minister on Tuesday said the granting of domicile certificates to thousands of Indian nationals in the Jammu and Kashmir region has imperiled "peace and security" in South Asia.

"First, India's attempt at illegal annexation of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and now its attempts to alter IOJK's [Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir] demographic structure incl[uding] by issuance of domicile certificates to 25,000 Indian nationals are all illegal, in violation of UNSC resolutions, and international law, including [the] 4th Geneva Convention," Imran Khan said in a series of tweets.

He was referring to New Delhi's scrapping of the disputed region's decades-long special status in August last year, and the controversial Kashmir citizenship law.

As many as 25,000 people have been granted domicile certificates in the territory since May.

Eligible non-locals, along with those who have lived in Indian-administered Kashmir for 15 years, or studied for seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examinations in a local school, can apply for the certificate under the new law.

"I have approached UN Secretary General and am reaching out to other world leaders. India must be stopped from this unacceptable path that further usurps the legal, and internationally guaranteed rights of the Kashmiri people, and seriously imperils peace and security in South Asia," the premier added.

The move has also been criticized by many regional parties in India, including Kashmir's former chief minister Farooq Abdullah’s National Conference.

– Disputed territory

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965, and 1971. Two of them have been over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against the Indian rule for independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict since 1989.

On Aug. 5, 2019 the Indian government revoked Article 370 and other related provisions from its Constitution, scrapping the country’s only Muslim-majority state with its autonomy. It was also split into two federally administered territories.

Simultaneously, it locked the region down allegedly, detaining thousands of people, imposing movement restrictions and enforcing a communications blackout.

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