ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has decided to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over widespread human rights abuses by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi confirmed the decision. “An in-principle decision has been taken to take the issue of disputed Kashmir to the International Court of Justice,” the foreign minister said on Tuesday.
All legal aspects were considered before taking the decision, and that the matter would be taken to the ICJ as soon as possible, said FM Qureshi. The law ministry would soon issue further details in this regard, he said.
The decision comes after Pakistan’s recent diplomatic victory at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which met for the first time in over 50 years last week to discuss the grave situation in Indian occupied Kashmir.
During the meeting, UNSC members urged parties to the Kashmir dispute to refrain from taking any unilateral action, effectively rejecting India’s stance that Kashmir was an internal issue and not an internationally recognised dispute.
The four of the five permanent members – China, the United States, Great Britain, and Russia – openly backed Pakistan’s stance at the UNSC meeting last week, told sources.
During the meeting, Britain called for an investigation into reports of torture and human rights violations in Indian occupied Kashmir, added sources.
Only France opposed Pakistan’s position at the UNSC meeting, sources further added.
FM Qureshi will soon start a diplomatic campaign over the Kashmir issue.
On August 5, the Indian government rushed through a presidential decree to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution which grants special status to Indian occupied Kashmir, as tensions mounted in the disputed valley with unprecedented numbers of Indian troops deployed in the region. A strict curfew and communications blackout is still in place in the region while international news agencies have been reporting protests held by residents.