Pak Will Move ICJ Against India’s Move to Scrap Article 370, Says Qureshi

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Pakistan:Pakistan said on Tuesday it would take the Kashmir dispute with India to International Court of Justice, after New Delhi revoked special status for its portion of the region earlier this month, to the fury of Islamabad.

“We have decided to take Kashmir case to the International Court of Justice,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. “The decision was taken after considering all legal aspects,” he added.

The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information, Firdous Ashiq Awan, also 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.

Prime Minister Imran Khan told a rare joint sitting of Pakistan’s Parliament on August 6 that he will raise the Kashmir issue at every forum, including the UN Security Council, and also take the matter to the ICJ.

Pakistan’s latest decision came days after a rare closed-door consultations on Kashmir by the UN Security Council which ended without any outcome or statement from the powerful 15-nation UN organ, dealing a huge snub to Pakistan 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.

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 encouraged 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.

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