Pakistan’s National Assembly speaker on Friday spoke over the phone with the head of the Turkish parliament and discussed the situation arising out of India’s move to ditch the special status of the disputed Jammu Kashmir region.
During their conversation, Pakistan’s Asad Qaiser told Mustafa Şentop that India’s move has resulted “in a historic fraud, committed against the beleaguered people of the Indian Occupied State of Jammu and Kashmir (IOK),” said a statement by Pakistan’s National Assembly.
This came as tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi further escalated following India’s recent move to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir — which had allowed Kashmiri citizens to enact their own laws and prevented outsiders to settle and own land in the territory.
Kashmiri leaders and citizens fear this step is an attempt by the Indian government to change demography of the Muslim-majority state, where some groups have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
“The entire Occupied Kashmir valley has virtually been put under siege with a dawn-to-dusk curfew, suspension of internet services and a complete blockade of any other means of communication,” the statement quoted the Pakistani speaker as saying.
Qaiser also thanked the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his firm stance on Kashmir.
According to Pakistan’s National Assembly statement, the Şentop assured Qaiser “of his all out support for the right of self-determination” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“He also pledged to raise the situation of held Kashmir in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to pass a joint resolution in this regard,” the statement claimed.
In related developments, Pakistan has also downgraded diplomatic relations with India, suspended trade and expelled the Indian high commissioners.
The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — two of them over Kashmir.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.
Originally published on www.dailysabah.com