Hindu Settlements In Kashmir Violate U.N. Resolutions, Says Pakistan

01/05/2015 8:43 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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A Kashmiri Muslim woman walks past a closed market are during a strike in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Saturday, April 11, 2015. Kashmiris closed shops and businesses in the disputed Himalayan region Saturday to protest India’s plan to build townships for Hindus who fled a rebellion in Muslim-majority areas. Many of the Hindus, known as Pandits, had fled to Hindu-dominated areas in Jammu region or elsewhere in India in 1990. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin)

An Indian plan to resettle tens of thousands of Hindus in new townships in the disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, a Pakistani government spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The divided Himalayan region is claimed by both Hindu-majority India and Islamic Pakistan and the nuclear-armed neighbours have gone to war two times over the territory since independence in 1947.

Pakistan has long pressed for the implementation of decades-old U.N. resolutions calling for a ballot for the region to decide its future. India says the United Nations has no role in Kashmir.

India's nationalist government said in early April it planned to resettle tens of thousands of Hindus in three new townships in its part of Kashmir. Pakistan's foreign ministry spokeswoman said that was unacceptable.

"Any effort to create special dedicated townships or zones, or any other step to alter the demographic make-up of Jammu and Kashmir, is in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions," the spokeswoman, Tasneem Aslam, told a regular briefing.

"We have already seen how the people of Jammu and Kashmir are resisting it," she said.

She did not elaborate, but was apparently referring to recent protests in Indian Kashmir.

Between 200,000 and 300,000 Hindus are estimated to have fled Kashmir after an armed revolt against New Delhi's rule erupted in 1989. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party has long vowed to return them to their homes.

Kashmiri separatists say the plan for townships for Hindus is an Israel-style policy of creating settlements in occupied territory.

About 100,000 people have been killed in the separatist revolt in Indian Kashmir that India says is financed and aided by Pakistan.

Pakistan denies the accusation, saying it only gives moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people facing rights abuses at the hands of the Indian army.

After years of anti-insurgency operations by Indian forces violence has ebbed in Kashmir over recent years.

The nuclear-armed neighbours occasionally hold rounds of talks aimed at improving relations but there has been no sign of any compromise on Kashmir.

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