Dozens of Turkish representatives Saturday held an event marking India's annexation of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir 72 years ago today.
Speaking at the event organized by the Anadolu Youth Association in the capital Ankara, Pakistani Ambassador to Ankara Syrus Sajjad Qazi said India forcibly occupied the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, ignoring the will of its residents.
Ever since, Kashmiris have marked Oct. 27 as “Black Day,” with millions of Kashmiris in the region and around the globe observing the occasion as a day of protest.
Qazi called India’s move illegal aggression that led to protracted dispute in the region as well as many human rights violations.
He added that India “blatantly violates” UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, and its unilateral step this August revoking the region’s special status under the Indian Constitution conflicts with the Security Council and so should be condemned.
He argued that rising right-wing Hindu extremism and Islamophobia in India are a source of “deep concern” for Pakistan along with the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region.
The Pakistani diplomat urged the international community to take action and “fulfill its moral responsibility” against unilateral Indian action in the disputed region and allow Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination.
Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since New Delhi’s move on Aug. 5 scrapping the region’s special status.
Several rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.
India said that 93% of the restrictions have been eased in the conflict-ridden region, a claim that Anadolu Agency could not independently verify.
From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed special status under the Indian Constitution which allowed it to enact its own laws.
The provisions also protected the region's citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.
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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