Syed Ali Shah Geelani urges Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to respond to India’s “annexation” of disputed Kashmir by dissolving Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements, and “re-designation” of de facto border to “ceasefire line.”
Islamabad must withdraw “from all aspects” of several peace accords with India and re-designate the de facto Kashmir border Line of Control [or LoC] back to ceasefire line, a top resistance leader in the disputed region urged Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a 92-year-old Kashmiri separatist leader incarcerated at home for almost a decade, said, “Since India has unilaterally ended all bilateral agreements, Pakistan should also announce a withdrawal from all aspects of the Tashkent, Shimla and Lahore agreements.”
“Pakistan should also re-designate the LoC as the ceasefire line since India has now taken the situation back to the status as existed in 1947-48,” Geelani said in a rare letter issued by his faction of All Parties Hurriyet (Freedom) Conference.
“India’s announcement on 5th August 2019, to forcibly annex the territory of Jammu and Kashmir [India-administered Kashmir] and break up the state is an attempt to physically change its internationally accepted disputed status. This unilateral action is against the UN resolutions that guarantee the people the right to self-determination,” he said.
The statement comes as India’s lockdown on the disputed Himalayan region completes 100 days when New Delhi stripped the disputed region’s historical semi-autonomous status earlier in August.
New Delhi rushed a decree through parliament on August 5 unilaterally revoking the constitutional status of disputed Kashmir signed under the temporary treaty of accession signed by its ruler in 1947.
That decision was accompanied by a harsh crackdown, with New Delhi deploying tens of thousands of troops in addition to the already 500,000 troops present there, imposing a sweeping curfew, arresting thousands and cutting virtually all communications.
Authorities have since eased some restrictions, lifting roadblocks and partially restoring landlines and cellphone services. They have encouraged students to return to school and businesses to reopen.
But Kashmiris have largely stayed home, in defiance or fear amid threats of violence.
As the crackdown continues, Kashmiris have quietly refused to resume their normal lives, confounding India at their own economic expense.
New Delhi says abrogation of the limited autonomy is meant for the development of the conflict-torn region, but many Kashmiris say India plans to alter the Muslim demographics of the region by settling outside Hindus there.
Relations have been especially tense since then with Pakistan denouncing the “illegal annexation” of the territory and reacting by cutting trade, transport ties and expelling India’s ambassador.