Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday constituted a seven-member committee to "recommend legal, political, and diplomatic responses" to developments in Kashmir after Parliament passed a resolution to amend Article 370 that gave special status to J&K.
Karachi-based channel Geo News quoted a government notification: "The Prime Minister has been pleased to constitute, with immediate effect, a seven (07) member team who shall make recommendations to formulate the legal / political / diplomatic response on the latest developments related to Indian occupied Kashmir."
The report stated that the special team would comprise Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Attorney-General of Pakistan, Anwar Mansoor Khan, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, and the PM's special envoy, Ahmed Bilal Sufi, as well as the directors-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Operations, and the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The move came after Khan, while addressing a joint session of the Parliament earlier in the day, called on world leaders to act against BJP government's "bigoted politics". "The BJP does not consider Kashmiris as equals. They will try to crush them, which will lead to Pulwama-like incident." He further said that there would be "ethnic cleansing" in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Chief of Pakistan Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa affirmed their "support to Kashmiris", saying the country was prepared to go to "any extent to fulfill its obligations" in this regard.
"Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfill our obligations in this regard," Geo News quoted Bajwa as saying.
India, however, maintains that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and it includes Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Moving a resolution for abrogating some provisions of Article 370 and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday there has been a long-standing demand for giving Union Territory status to Ladakh which was fulfilled by the Narendra Modi government.
"Kashmir is an integral part of India, there is no doubt over it. When I talk about Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin are included in it," he said. Dismissing opposition's charge that introduction of the bill and the resolution were a violation of the rights of the people, Shah said nobody can stop him from introducing a resolution on Kashmir in Parliament.
The home minister also said the UT of Jammu and Kashmir will have an assembly with a chief minister and MLAs. The government on Monday revoked some provisions of the Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir's special status, and proposed bifurcation of the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, a bold and far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of a protracted militancy movement.
Fulfilling an electoral promise of the BJP less than 90 days after the Modi 2.0 government took power, Shah had announced the decision in the Rajya Sabha, which approved both the resolution and the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill.