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Pakistan rejects Indian PM’s claims about ‘democracy’ in IoK

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs have issued a statement: Source: MOFA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has rejected the Indian prime minister’s “preposterous and fallacious claims about democracy” in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir following the so-called election of District Development Council.

In a statement on Saturday, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said the RSS-BJP brand of democracy only means the “muzzling of the Kashmiri voice and will under the bayonets of Indian army guns”.

He said the new chapter by the RSS-BJP regime is been written in occupied Kashmir marked by brutal military siege since 5 August 2019, and egregious violations of human rights in the occupied territory, and untold sufferings for the Kashmiri people.

The spokesperson said false Indian narratives can neither deceive the Kashmiri people nor mislead the international community. He said they cannot divert attention from the core issue of the inalienable right to self-determination by the people of Kashmir.

The spokesperson said rather than resorting to diversions and obfuscations, India should end its illegal occupation and meet its obligation of holding a plebiscite allowing the Kashmiris to exercise their right of self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

A coalition of Kashmiri parties opposed to India’s annexation last year by the state has swept the local body polls against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD won 112 of a total of 280 seats in the local elections, which were held in a staggered eight-phase process from November 28 through December 19. The BJP managed to win 74 seats with just three of those in the restive Kashmir Valley.

Indian authorities have kept a tight grip on Kashmir since revoking its autonomy in August 2019 and have arrested at least 75 Kashmiri political leaders and activists who in the past have called election boycott.

Former chief minister of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) Omar Abdullah and head of the National Conference said the alliance’s victory shows that Kashmiris have not accepted Modi’s decision to end Kashmir’s special status.

The District Development Council elections were the first local polls since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the special status of the region last year.

Many of the alliance’s founders such as Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and others, were arrested as part of the ongoing security crackdown. Abdullah was released in March while in October, Mehbooba Mufti was freed after more than a year.