ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday rejected a unanimous ruling by the Indian Supreme Court to uphold a 2019 decision by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the special status of Indian-administered Kashmir, calling it a “travesty of justice.”
A five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court, responding to more than a dozen petitions against the 2019 revocation, ruled on Monday that the region’s special status had been a “temporary provision” and removing it in 2019 was constitutionally valid.
Indian-administered Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority region, has been at the heart of more than 75 years of hostility with neighboring Pakistan since the birth of the two nations in 1947, when British colonial rule ended. Both countries rule Kashmir in part but claim it in full.
The UN Security Council adopted several resolutions in 1948 and in the 1950s on the dispute, including one which says a plebiscite should be held to determine the future of the region.
“Pakistan categorically rejects the judgment announced by the Supreme Court of India,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said at a press conference called to address the Indian court’s ruling on the status of Kashmir, saying it was an internationally recognized disputed territory that had remained on the agenda of the UNSC for over seven decades.
“India has no right to make unilateral decisions on the status of this disputed territory against the will of the Kashmiri people and Pakistan … India cannot abdicate its international obligations on the pretext of domestic legislation and judicial verdict.”
Jilani said the judicial endorsement of India’s “unilateral and illegal” action of August 2019 to revoke Kashmir’s special status was a “travesty of justice based on distorted historical and legal arguments.”
He said Pakistan would convene a meeting of all stakeholders and political leaders to decide its future course of action.
“We will write to the United Nations Secretary-General, OIC Secretary-General, and the European Union Parliament to appraise them of the futility of this decision,” Jilani said. “We are in the process of interacting with all the stakeholders and we will consider all options after consulting with the relevant stakeholders.”
The dispute over the former princely state of Kashmir sparked the first two of three wars between India and Pakistan after independence in 1947. They fought a second in 1965, and a third, largely over what became Bangladesh, in 1971.