On Pandit townships, Pak ups the ante
Islamabad: Pakistan condemned on Thursday new Hindu settlements built in Indian Kashmir.
Kashmir is a disputed territory and this issue has to be resolved according to the aspirations of the Kashmiri people through a plebiscite, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said, during her at her weekly press briefing in Islamabad.
Aslam said Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory and the United Nations Security Council in its resolutions has clearly pronounced the status of the territory. She said any effort to establish special towns or zones to change the demographic make up of the territory will be in violation of UN resolutions. She said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are also resisting the Indian resettlement plans.
Pertinently, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament that chief minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has promised him 400 kanals of land for the apparent purpose of three to four composite townships for KPs in Valley.
Shifting her focus to changes in Saudi Arabias leadership, Aslam said, Pakistan does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
Saudi Arabias King Salman on Wednesday named his powerful Interior Minister as heir to the throne and a son as second in line, under a shakeup that also saw the worlds longest-serving foreign minister replaced.
Further, she said Pakistan is in contact with OIC on the Yemen issue.
Pakistan is one of those first countries who sent relief goods to Nepal for earthquake affected people, she added.
New Delhi: India today reacted sharply to Pakistan's comment that resettling Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir valley will alter the demography of the state and will violate UN resolutions.
"Kashmiri Pandits, Muslims and Sikhs are all an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir's demography," said Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley. "It is natural that when people are sent back... whoever was uprooted is going to go back... (the number of) Kashmiri Pandits will be more."
There have been strong protests in the Valley over the Narendra Modi government's plan to resettle the Pandits, who left the state following the outbreak of militancy in the early 1990s.
The protests strated after Home Minister Rajnath Singh had asked Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to identify land for "composite townships" for the Pandits.
The proposal raised questions on whether these townships will exclusively house Pandits, with separatist leaders drawing parallels with the Israeli settlements in Palestine.
Sayeed, who is running the government in coalition with the BJP, said he disapproved the idea of separate settlements. "If it happens, everyone will stay together. It is a symbol of our diversity," he had said in the state assembly.
Singh, however, had indicated that there will be no rollback of the plan. "Whatever decision was taken by the central government remains the same," he said
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