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Pakistan rejects Kashmir citizenship for Indians

On Saturday, Pakistan rejected the grant of domicile certificates to thousands of Indian nationals in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir, characterizing it as an attempt to change the demographic structure of the disputed region. Navin Kumar Choudhary, a senior IAS officer from Bihar, has become the first bureaucrat to get domicile rights in Indian Held Kashmir. Tehsildar of Bahu area, Jammu, Rohit Sharma issued him the domicile certificate on June 24. Over 30,000 people have till now received domicile certificates online after Indian government changed laws to grant residency to different categories of non-residents in IHK since New Delhi introduced a controversial law in May 2020. Those who have lived in IHK 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.
“The latest action is a vindication of Pakistan’s consistent stance that the major intention behind the Indian Government’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 was to change the demographic structure of IOJ&K and turn Kashmiris into a minority in their own land”, the statement of Foreign Office said. By changing the demographic structure of the region, India intended to undermine the exercise by Kashmiri people of their right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nation as per the relevant UNSC resolutions. The UN and the international community should urge India not to change the disputed valley’s demographic structure, and immediately cancel all the domicile certificates of IOJ&K issued illegally, revoke unlawful rules aimed at further disempowering and disenfranchising the Kashmiris by effecting a demographic change, and comply with its international legal obligations through implementation of the relevant UNSC resolutions.
In May, Pakistan had rejected Indian government’s domicile rules for occupied Kashmir, whereby no outsider could apply for permanent residency or government jobs in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. The Foreign Office spokesperson had then said in a statement that the Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) rules were clear violation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, international laws, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India. Pakistan’s Foreign Office had then stated: “We reiterate that such steps can neither change the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir recognised as such by the United Nations and the international community nor can they prejudice the inalienable right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people”. However, the timing of the illegal Indian action was particularly reprehensible.
Narendra Modi used the world community’s preoccupation with the coronavirus pandemic, which reflected the opportunistic and morally bankrupt mindset of RSS-BJP. The Kashmiri people would never accept the sinister “Hindutva” agenda of dispossessing them of their land, marginalising them politically and economically, and depriving them of their distinct identity. Pakistan had been consistently sensitising the international community about the real Indian designs behind its illegal and unilateral actions of Aug 5, 2019. Through these actions, along with continuing res­trictions, excruciating military crackdown, extr­a­jud­icial killings, arbitrary detentions and incarcerations, and grave human rights violations, India seeks to perpetuate its illegal occupation of held Kashmir. For over seven decades, Kashmiris are suffering from oppression, killings and rapes; and perhaps no other nation has gone through such a long ordeal in history.

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