Iran expresses concerns over restrictions on Kashmiri citizens

August 14, 2019

TEHRAN - Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi issued a statement on Tuesday expressing Iran’s concerns over reports of tight security measures and religious restrictions against the people of Indian-administered Kashmir.

Mousavi urged Indian officials to take measures to return the people’s lives to normal as soon as possible, and let them enjoy all their natural and recognized rights.

On August 5, India revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the region into two Union Territories - Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

India's parliament approved by a large majority the decision by the federal government. Union Territories have much less autonomy from the federal government than states do, and are essentially subject to Delhi's direct rule.

In reaction to India's move, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with New Delhi by expelling the Indian High Commissioner on Wednesday and suspended trade ties with New Delhi.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan held a phone conversation on Sunday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss the situation in Kashmir.

During the conversation, the Pakistani prime minister highlighted the serious situation in Jammu and Kashmir and stressed that the international community must act urgently to prevent the impending calamity, according to the statement.

"The prime minister underlined that the actions taken by India in a bid to change the internationally recognized disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir were in violation of UN Security Council resolutions," Imran Khan's office said in a statement.

"Any change in the demographic structure of Jammu and Kashmir would constitute a violation of the international law," it said.

Imran Khan apprised the Iranian president of Pakistan's repeated efforts to resolve the Kashmir dispute, urging India to resolve the dispute through peaceful means, in accordance with the longstanding UN Security Council resolutions, his office said.

Rouhani, for his part, while underlining that all possible efforts must be made to keep the regional tensions low, stressed that the Muslims of Kashmir must be able to use their legal rights and interests to be able to live in peace.

Rouhani also expressed his concerns over the killing of people in Jammu and Kashmir.

Both leaders agreed that there is no military solution to the long-standing dispute.

Imran Khan stressed that India should be counselled to immediately resolve the issue under the UN resolutions, the statement said.

NA/PA

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