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‘Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir’: Pak foreign minister at UN body meet

   Pakistan, in a first, called Jammu and Kashmir an “Indian state”. This is a departure from Islamabad’s stated position, where it refers to Jammu and Kashmir as “India Administered Kashmir”. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who is leading his country’s delegation at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)session in Geneva, questioned why New Delhi was not allowing international media into the “Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.” “India has given an impression to the world that life has returned to normalcy (in Jammu and Kashmir). If the life has returned to normalcy, then I say why don’t they allow you, international media, why don’t they allow international organizations, the NGOs, civil society organizations to go into the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and see for themselves what the reality is,” he said. Qureshi was addressing media persons after add ressing the UNHRC where he described the situation in Jammu and Kashmir as a “looming catastrophe”. The minister outlined Pakistan’s position while speaking at the UNHRC session against the backdrop of tensions with India over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. India has described the changes in Kashmir as an internal matter and said Pakistan has no locus standi in the matter. Qureshi said he had brought the “plea and petition” of the Kashmiri people, “whose inalienable rights are being trampled by India”, to the UNHRC and claimed they were “caged by an illegal military occupation”. He also claimed India had deployed a million troops in the region. India has sent a delegation headed by a secretary from the external affairs ministry that is expected to make a statement on behalf of the country and also exercise the “right of reply” to respond to Qureshi’s remarks.