Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has gone back to the United Nations Security Council over Jammu and Kashmir, this time over the new set of domicile rules notified by the home ministry last month. In a letter to the UNSC, Pakistan foreign minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi accused India of taking advantage of global focus on coronavirus to change Kashmir’s demographics.
Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s letter was sent on Sunday, barely three months after its last attempt to rake up the Kashmir issue with the backing of its all-weather ally Beijing was rejected. India’s foreign ministry hasn’t responded to Pakistan’s effort yet.
One Indian official said New Delhi will respond to Pakistan’s “three-page rant” at an appropriate time. He, however, underlined that the letter to UNSC was sent on the same day Prime Minister Imran Khan sent out a video SOS to the international community for help to deal with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his letter to Jose Singer, the Special Envoy of the Dominican Republic who holds the UNSC President’s post this month, Pakistan alleged that the government’s new domicile rules for Jammu and Kashmir were designed to change the “demographic structure” of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union home ministry had last month issued rules that reserve all government jobs in J&K for domiciled residents of the union territory. In this set of rules, the government had accepted demands from people who spent a lifetime in J&K that they should also be counted as residents. Accordingly, people who have lived in the UT for 15 years are being treated as domiciled residents.
Pakistan said this “action and its possible consequences” had triggered fear among Kashmiris. “They are now threatened by “demographic flooding” by outsiders,” Qureshi said.
“The timing of the Indian action, at this moment of global health crisis, is particularly reprehensible as it seeks to take advantage of the international community’s focus on the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and further advance the ruling BJP’s sinister, “Hindutva” agenda,” Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in his letter to the UNSC President.
Qureshi also accused India of ceasefire violations along the border of the two countries.
There has been a spike in firing along the Line of Control, the de facto border this year; both countries blame each other for starting it off.
Qureshi said there had been 700 ceasefire violations by India since December 2019.
India, on the other hand, has counted nearly 1,200 ceasefire violations between January and March; 411 of them last month when Covid-19 cases started to peak globally. The Indian Army sees a link between a spike in ceasefire violations by Pakistan and continuing efforts to push terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir. Intelligence agencies have reported that there were more than 200 Pakistan-trained terrorists waiting to cross over into India.__Hindustan Times