KARACHI: Pakistan on Wednesday welcomed the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) rejection of a new residency law introduced in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).
In a Twitter post, Aisha Farooqui, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, said: “Pakistan welcomes [the] OIC statement strongly condemning and rejecting [the] Indian government’s illegal actions to redefine domicile rules to alter IOJ&K demographic, and terms it settlement colonialism against OIC, UNSC resolutions, 4th Geneva Convention, [and] international humanitarian laws.”
The controversial law, notified by New Delhi on Monday, prescribes the procedure for issuance of domicile certificate, which is a mandatory requirement for seeking jobs in the region.
However, critics, including Pakistan, say it is a continuation of India’s move to rescind the region’s semi-autonomous status in August last year, and paves the way for outsiders to settle in the disputed territory.
Under the new law, eligible non-locals, along with people who have lived in Occupied Kashmir for 15 years, or studied there for seven years and appeared in class 10th or 12th examinations in a local school, can apply for the certificate.
Earlier, in a statement, the OIC said it had been following with deep concern the “unilateral” scrapping of the disputed valley’s longstanding special status in August last year, and subsequent measures to alter the demographics of and undermine the rights of the people of IOJ&K.
The OIC’s general secretariat, according to the statement, reaffirmed the importance of complying with international law and UNSC resolutions, considering the recent notification of Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020 as “baseless, running counter to international law and UN Security Council resolution 122″.
Recalling the Islamic Summits’ and the Council of Foreign Ministers’ resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, the organisation reaffirmed its solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
It also called on the international community to gear up its efforts to resolve the dispute in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions and as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.