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Pakistan to take Kashmir issue to ICJ

Last updated on: August 21, 2019 00:10 IST

Pakistan on Tuesday said it will approach the International Court of Justice over the Kashmir issue, weeks after India revoked the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

IMAGE: Security personnel patrol a road leading to Downtown Srinagar during restrictions. Photograph: PTI Photo

Pakistan's decision comes days after a rare closed-door consultations on Kashmir by the United Nations Security Council which ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ, dealing a huge snub to Islamabad and its all-weather ally China to internationalise the issue.

An overwhelming majority in the UN Security Council stressed Kashmir is a bilateral matter between New Delhi and Islamabad.

"An in-principle decision has been taken to take the issue of Kashmir to the International Court of Justice," Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told ARY News TV.

"The decision was taken after considering all legal aspects," he added.

He said the law ministry would soon issue more details.

 

Separately, the special assistant to the prime minister on information, Firdous Ashiq Awan, told reporters that the Cabinet in-principle granted approval of the decision to take the Kashmir issue to the ICJ.

The case will be filed on the basis of alleged violation of human rights in Kashmir, she said, adding that the government has also decided to hire services of lawyers of international repute to file and pursue the case.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Imran Khan told a rare joint sitting of Pakistan's Parliament that he will raise the Kashmir issue at every forum including the UN Security Council and also take the matter to the ICJ.

Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after India abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories, evoking strong reactions from Pakistan.

India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.

Officials said Pakistan was encourage to seek the ICJ's intervention after India took the issue of Kubhushan Jadhav to the world court.

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of "espionage and terrorism" in April 2017 following which India had moved the ICJ, seeking a stay on his death sentence and further remedies.

In July, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to undertake an "effective review and reconsideration" of the conviction and sentence of Jadhav and also to grant consular access to India without further delay.

Sajjad Hussain
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