Washington DC: A day after Pakistan attempted to meddle into India’s affairs by condemning the Narendra Modi government’s decision to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir, prominent Mohajir leader Nadeem Nusrat said that Pakistan had “no moral right to speak on behalf of Kashmiris.”
Nusrat, who is the chairperson of a US-based advocacy group called Voice of Karachi (VOK), stated that Pakistan must first provide the same rights to all ethnic minorities in its own territory before speaking on behalf of Kashmiris.
The US-based group, which represents expatriate Mohajirs, also raised their demand for an autonomous “Greater Karachi” within Pakistan. The group advocated for complete autonomy to all ethnic communities and regions within Pakistan.
Voice of Karachi’s demand for an autonomous “Greater Karachi” came shortly after the Rajya Sabha on Monday adopted the resolution to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution, thus ending the special status granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Upper House of the Indian Parliament also passed the Jammu and Kashmir (Reorganisation) Bill, 2019, with which the state would now be bifurcated into Union Territories – Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry condemned the announcement on the scrapping of the special status of J&K, claiming that the move was a violation of United Nations resolutions. In a statement, Pakistan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, “Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”
However, Nusrat, who is in self-imposed exile in the US, asserted that Pakistan had no moral right to advocate for the Kashmiris at any regional or international forum if it had failed to provide fundamental human rights to its own citizens.
The Mohajir leader said, “While Pakistan demands right to a referendum in Kashmir, is it willing to grant the same right to its own disgruntled ethnic minorities?”
Nusrat added, “For decades, Pakistani ministers have been publicly conducting meetings with Kashmiri separatist leaders overseas. How would Pakistan react to Indian minister’s meetings with exiled Mohajir, Baloch and representatives of other persecuted ethnic or religious minorities of Pakistan?”
The Voice of Karachi chairman announced that a global campaign will also be launched to escalate its demand for the restructuring of Pakistan.
“Until Pakistan affords the same rights it is demanding for Kashmiris to its own Mohajir, Baloch, Pashtuns and Hazarah citizens, it has no moral right to speak on behalf of Kashmiris,” Nusrat told a news agency.