Indian top court orders govt to restore normalcy in IoK

Qureshi terms verdict as affirmation of Pakistan’s stance

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Staff Report

Islamabad

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that India stood divided after the Indian Supreme Court ordered New Delhi to restore normalcy in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

The foreign minister, talking to the media on Monday, said that the verdict of the Indian top court was an affirmation of the stance Pakistan had taken on the issue of occupied Kashmir.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of India had decided to take up multiple pleas against the August 5 decision of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke the constitutional autonomy of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

After the hearings, the court ordered New Delhi to restore normalcy in occupied Kashmir and provide the internet and other communications facilities in the area, according to a report in Indian daily India Today.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said, “We are not passing any orders. We are saying restore keeping in mind national security” and added, “We have said all facilities should be restored keeping in mind national security. We are not carving out exceptions for any category.”

CJI Gogoi expressed concerns and also sought a report from IOK High Court chief justice on allegations that people were finding it difficult to approach the high court.

“It is very, very serious if people are unable to approach the high court. I will myself visit Srinagar” to see if the situation in IOK was as dire as people were suggesting.

On August 5, Indian PM Modi had passed a bill which split occupied Kashmir into two Indian Union territories. A military curfew was imposed in the occupied valley after the decision and thousands imprisoned.

Terming the decision of the top court in India a step in the right direction, Qureshi said that the verdict passed by the court actually represented the division of opinion in India over the polarizing policies of premier Modi.

“Restoring normalcy means that the curfew should be lifted and communications to the occupied valley restored,” elaborated the minister, saying the verdict would damage the devious plans of the Modi government with regards to occupied Kashmir.

Earlier on Sunday, Qureshi said that the whole nation of 220 million stood behind the armed forces, who are fully prepared to counter any aggression by India.

Qureshi was addressing a public meeting at Rangeelpur, where local politician Rana Sajjad Hameed and his group joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader.

In an emotional reference to the past, Qureshi said that Islamic history was replete with the successes of Muslims against their enemies, despite being short in numbers or having limited resources.

“Pakistan had an army of 220 million people, including the youth, students, labourers, farmers and others, who are at the back of their forces,” the minister told the public gathering.