World, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan to approach ICJ on India’s Kashmir move

Islamabad says it has decided to approach ICJ after reviewing all legal aspects

Aamir Latif   | 20.08.2019
Pakistan to approach ICJ on India’s Kashmir move Shah Mehmood Qureshi (FILE PHOTO)

KARACHI, Pakistan

Islamabad on Tuesday announced it was going to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on India’s withdrawal of the autonomy of disputed Jammu Kashmir region earlier this month -- a move that has further fueled the already heightened tensions between the two nuclear armed neighbors.

"We have decided in principle to take the issue [revocation of special status] of Indian occupied Kashmir to the ICJ," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in capital Islamabad, and added: "We will soon approach the ICJ after reviewing some technical aspects".

Qureshi said the decision had been taken after reviewing all the legal options.

"Our stand is solid, clear, and principled. We will not retreat from that", he added.

The law ministry, he said, would soon come up with more details with respect to Islamabad’s planned move, which is seen as another bid to further highlight the simmering issue on global front.

The latest development came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump spoke to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Indian Premier, Narendra Modi on the phone in an attempt to ease the spiraling tensions between the two sides.

The UN Security Council last week held a special session to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Himalayan valley on Islamabad’s request.

In a related development, Qureshi telephoned to his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, to discuss the situation arising from a perpetual curfew and communication cut-off, said a statement by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

Urging both sides to show restraint, the French Foreign Minister hinted at discussing the Jammu and Kashmir situation with Modi during his expected visit to France, the statement added.

Jammu and Kashmir (India-administered) region has been facing a clampdown since Aug. 5, when the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution which conferred a special status on it. According to Human Rights Watch, hundreds of people, mostly political leaders, have been detained or arrested by authorities since the Indian Parliament made the move.

Kashmiri leaders and residents fear the move is an attempt by India to change the demography of the state, where some groups have been fighting Indian rule for either independence or unification with neighboring Pakistan.

India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.

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