India's troops in J&K send jitters to Pakistan

India's troop mobilization in J&K triggers rumour, send jitters to Pakistan

Pakistan asked India to refrain from any 'further steps that could imperil regional peace and security'

The Indian Army and the Pakistan Army on February 25 agreed to stop firing at each other across LoC. Credit: PTI Photo

Islamabad on Monday asked New Delhi to “halt and reverse” its “unlawful and destabilizing actions” in Kashmir, as large scale movement of soldiers in the Union Territory of India fuelled speculation about another move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government as a sequel to its August 2019 decision.

Pakistan asked India to refrain from any “further steps that could imperil regional peace and security”. With such mobilisation, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government in Islamabad also called upon the international community to take note of the situation.

“We have noted with serious concern reports indicating that India might be plotting further division, bifurcation & (and)n demographic changes in #IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir) to perpetuate its illegal occupation. No new instrument of occupation shall have any legal effect,” Zahid Hafeez Chaudhry, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Pakistan Government, posted on Twitter.

Read | Rumours fly thick and fast in Kashmir due to large troops movement

Ever since the Modi Government in August 2019 moved to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and reorganise the state into two union territories, Pakistan renewed its campaign against India and repeatedly raised the issue in the United Nations General Assembly. China and Turkey are among the few nations that supported Pakistan. India, however, strongly countered Pakistan’s campaign on the issue.

New Delhi also resisted all attempts by Islamabad to bring the issue back on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

The recent troop movements, however, once again brought back the memory of tight security arrangements that were put in place ahead of New Delhi’s August 2019 move. It sent the rumour mills into overdrive with speculation rife over a new move by the Modi Government to give Kashmiri Pandits a separate homeland or to split it again, giving statehood to Jammu and a new Union Territory tag to Kashmir.

The officials in New Delhi, however, did not confirm the possibility of any fresh move.

The rumours, however, sent the Khan Government in Islamabad jitters. “India’s unilateral & (and) illegal actions are violative of int’l (international) law & (and) @UN (United Nations) Security Council Resolutions,” tweeted the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Government. He reiterated Pakistan’s position that J&K was under illegal occupation of India and it was “an internationally recognized disputed territory”. Pakistan also vowed that it would continue to resolutely oppose attempts by India to “change its demographic structure & (and) final status” of the territory.

The Indian Army and the Pakistan Army on February 25 agreed to stop firing at each other across the Line of Control (LoC) and strictly adhere to the 2003 ceasefire agreement — fuelling speculation about the resumption of the bilateral dialogue, which remained suspended since 2013.

Pakistan Prime Minister however ruled out any possibility of talks between the two neighbouring nations unless the August 5, 2019 decision on J&K was rolled back by India.