Jammu, Kashmir Globally Recognized Disputed Territory: Pakistan

At the Emergency Session of the UN General Assembly on Ukraine, Pakistan has said Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory and not an integral part of India.

Exercising Right of Reply during the General Assembly Session First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN Jawad Ajmal said India continues to perpetrate a factually incorrect position on this forum year after year.

Jawad Ajmal said the right of self-determination of Kashmiri people has been recognized and promised to them by the UN Security Council for over seven decades through its resolutions.  India has prevented the Kashmiris, through force and fraud, from exercising the right.

The First Secretary said India has imprisoned the entire Kashmiri leadership, illegally detained thousands of Kashmiri youth including women and children, put down protests violently and burnt down entire neighborhoods and villages.

Political Parties In Jammu And Kashmir Welcome Supreme Court’s Decision To Hear Petitions On Article 370 Daily

National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said he is confident that there is a strong case in favour of the restoration of Article 370. File photo | Photo Credit: ANI

Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on July 11 welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to hear a batch of petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution on a day-to-day basis.

The apex court on July 11 said it will commence day-to-day hearings from August 2 on the petitions challenging the abrogation of Article 370 that bestowed a special status on the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah said he was confident that there is a strong case in favour of the restoration of Article 370.

Also Read | Explained | What are the cases about Article 370 and J&K special status, up for hearing at the Supreme Court

“It took four years for the case to get to the Supreme Court. It shows how strong our case is. Had it been weak, believe me, they [the Centre] would have started the hearing within weeks. It took so long because the Constitution was blown to pieces on August 5, 2019,” the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister told reporters after paying homage to his grandmother Begum Akbar Jahan, the wife of NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.

Mr. Abdullah said the abrogation of Article 370 may be linked to tourism and G20 events, but the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was wrong. “You may package it as you may wish. Link it to tourism or G20 as much as you like, but legally and constitutionally, whatever happened with Jammu and Kashmir was wrong,” he added.

The former Union Minister also claimed that the government’s case was weak. “The government did not even try to get it listed. There are ways. If the government was interested, it could have requested the Supreme Court for an early hearing. Had its case been strong, it would have requested the chief justice for a hearing. It did not.”

Also Read | Abrogation of Article 370 led to unprecedented era of peace, prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir, Centre tells Supreme Court

“Thankfully, the Chief Justice and other Supreme Court judges came here, probably saw the situation and after going back, it was listed. Better late than never,” Mr. Abdullah said.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Mehbooba Mufti said the top court’s decision not to rely on the Centre’s affidavit on the abrogation of Article 370 vindicated her stand that the BJP-led Union government’s move did not have a logical explanation.

Ms. Mufti, however, said there were genuine apprehensions regarding why the apex court had taken up the petitions with such alacrity after remaining silent for four years.

“Hon’ble SC’s decision to not rely on GOI’s affidavit vindicates that it doesn’t have a logical explanation to justify illegal abrogation of Article 370. Having said that there are legitimate apprehensions about why SC has taken up Article 370 with such alacrity after their visit to Kashmir. After remaining silent for four years the decision to hear the case on a daily basis does evoke misgivings. Hope the Constitution of this country by which judiciary swears is not sacrificed at the altar of power to satisfy the collective conscience of people who know little about the matter,” the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister wrote on Twitter.

NC’s chief spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq said the development instils hope among the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “It is a welcome development that the CJI will hear the petitions on a daily basis from August 2. It instils a lot of hope in the minds and hearts of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Sadiq told PTI here.

He said the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been waiting for this day for the last four years. “Now that the CJI has taken an interest in this case, it definitely gives us hope. We would request that the petitions are heard thoroughly and a verdict is given in our favour because we feel our case is very strong,” Mr. Sadiq said.

To a query on the top court’s observation that the Centre’s fresh affidavit will have no bearing on the hearing, the NC leader said the affidavit should not matter much as it is more about the developmental aspect.

Also Read | Centre’s view on life in J&K post-Article 370 has no bearing on constitutional challenge to abrogation: Supreme Court

“The fact that the extra affidavit of the government had more about development and the fact that the court did not agree to it is also a welcome step because you need to understand that in spite of Article 370, there was development here before 1989. In spite of Article 370, you had a record number of tourists coming to Jammu and Kashmir.

“A record number of one crore pilgrims visited Jammu and Kashmir when Omar Abdullah was the Chief Minister. So the affidavit should not matter much, because the CJI has said the matter should be decided on the basis of the Constitution,” Mr. Sadiq said.

Senior Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader M.Y. Tarigami also welcomed the apex court’s decision. “This is a positive intervention. We welcome it. Though it is late as it has taken four years, nevertheless, it has sent a positive message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.

“We expect that justice will be delivered,” he added.

The Centre had abrogated the provisions of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, and bifurcated the erstwhile State into the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

Electioneering Picks Up In Azad Jammu And Kashmir

Festive look in capital Muzaffarabad, as over 3.2m voters are preparing to elect 53 member assembly on July 25MUZAFFARABAD:

Perched in lofty mountains, the scenic city of Muzaffarabad, capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), is festooned with billboards, banners, and pictures of leaders and candidates.

The election fever has taken over the region, which is going to elect regional assembly on July 25.

Over 3.2 million voters will elect a 53-member assembly for a five-year term. Out of 53 seats, 45 are general, while eight are reserved for women, technocrats and religious scholars.

The city located at the confluence of Neelam and Jhelum rivers looks in a celebration mood, with enthusiastic activists of different political parties roaming around with flags and banners to exhibit their prowess.

There is a festive look at the city’s famous Azaadi Chowk (freedom roundabout) – a replica of historic Lal Chowk (Red Square) located 125 kilometres away across the Line of Control (LoC) in Srinagar, the capital of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Life-size billboards, posters, and banners have also overtaken the capital’s main Chattar chowk near the parliament building.

Residents in small villages along the 57km Srinagar road along the banks of Jhelum River leads to the heavily militarised LoC – a de facto border that divides the region between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

Defying Covid-19

Candidates backed by their party leaders both from Pakistan and AJK are holding huge public rallies and corner meetings, simply defying the coronavirus restrictions.

Neither candidates nor participants wear masks, a requirement made mandatory by the Election Commission.

The National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), which devises the guidelines and policy for the control of the coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan had recommended, postponement of polls till September. But the Election Commission after consulting political parties rejected the recommendation but called for strict observation of Covid protocols.

In a last-ditch effort to woo the voters, candidates and their supporters are also going door-to-door with new promises.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency Syed Khubaib Shah, who runs a small printing press said he has got double the orders of printing posters and banners compared to previous 2016 polls.

“It is more fanfare compared to the previous elections,” he said.

Although a staunch supporter of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Nawaz Sharif, three-time premier, his printing press is fast rolling out posters of rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“I will still vote for PML-N. Business is business and politics is politics,” Shah said with a broad smile on his bearded face.

A tough contest is expected between the PTI and the PML-N, the incumbent ruling party in AJK. The PTI, however, seems to have brighter chances to form the government, according to local surveys and political estimates.

Muzzaferabad, which has nine seats out of 45 general seats, is considered a decisive battlefield to form the government.

“We are going to go with change this time,” Umer Sharif, a shopkeeper at Khawaja market said.

PTI smells power

He was referring to PM Imran’s famous slogan “change”, which he introduced in his elections campaign in the 2018 general elections and managed to secure the highest number of seats.

“I think the PTI deserves a chance. We Kashmiris have tested several parties in the past but they disappointed us in terms of development and economy. Let’s give him [Imran Khan] a chance,” he contended.

Bilal Ahmed, who runs a small business, however, foresees the next government led by the center-left Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

With strong roots in Muzaffarabad, the party of slain prime minister Benazir Bhutto has formed the government in this part of the picturesque Himalayan region four times in the past.

“The PPP is in a strong position, mainly in Muzaffarabad. We are confident to clinch five to six seats from here,” he contended rejecting the surveys, which suggest that the party can win only one to two seats in the city.

Raja Zakir, another businessman from Muzzaferabad, supports Jamate-e-Islami, a mainstream religiopolitical party.

“I don’t mind if my candidate wins or loses. I will simply go for the right candidate,” he said.

According to Raja Iftikhar, a Muzaffarabad-based political analyst, the PTI’s entry with “full force” has added the festivity to the electioneering.

“Contrary to the 2016 elections, the PTI is putting resources as it is confident to form the government,” he said.

The PTI could secure only two seats in the 2016 elections.

The region’s politics was earlier dominated by the Muslim Conference – the oldest political party of undivided Jammu and Kashmir. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *