ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi said in a television interview aired on Sunday that India was following in Israel’s footsteps in oppressing the people of Indian-administered Kashmir just as Israel had disenfranchised Palestinians.
The Indian government in August revoked the constitutional autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state, splitting it into two federal territories in a bid to integrate it fully with India.
Kashmir is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan. The two countries have gone to war twice over it, and both rule parts of it. India’s portion has been plagued by separatist violence since the late 1980s.
The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians and much of the world view settlements that Israel has built in captured territory as illegal, which Israel disputes.
“If we see Israel’s oppression against Palestinians, it [Israel] has become their [India’s] coach as far as Kashmir is concerned,” Alvi said in an interview to Pakistani channel Geo News.
“The way Israel is occupying the West Bank and in all these things… and in terms of the population, the way it is disenfranchising [Palestinians] … India made a law and started doing the same in Kashmir.”
Referring to recent viral photos from Kashmir of a three-year-old boy sitting on the corpse of his dead grandfather killed by Indian security forces, Alvi said: “It’s so painful … A three year old child, sitting on his grandfather’s stomach. These images are the kind that will shake the world.”
Last month, the Pakistani foreign office reiterated its official stance of supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as envisaged by the United Nations.
“Pakistan continues to support a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian issue, through dialogue and negotiations, that leads to the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including the right of self-determination,” the foreign office spokeswoman had said.