PICSS Roundtable “Legal and Strategic Implications of Kashmir Issue”

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Pakistan Institute of Conflict and Security Studies organized a roundtable on “Legal and Strategic Implications of Kashmir Issue”, on 5th September 2019. 

Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, former Law Minister was the keynote speaker of the roundtable.  Ambassador (Retd) Abdul Basit, President PICSS and General (Retd) Saad Khattak, Chairman PICSS facilitated the discussion by their expertise. It was a close gathering of security experts, parliamentarians, academia, media representatives, international relations experts and scholars of international law.

Chairman PICSS, General Saad Khattak explained that after the incident of August 5th, 2019, There stands lack of clarity on what should have been the action and reaction of Pakistan on the move of the Indian government in the Indian Occupied Kashmir. He suggested that the different heads of the states, as well as heads of the governments, social media and all types of sources, must be engaged to create pressure on the Indian Government to come on the table. Pakistan must include other physical dimensions as well that may not have to be the necessarily military dimension rather including the Kashmiri diaspora from all around the world could create the desired impact.

Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Former Law Minister explained the legal and political dimensions regarding Kashmir’s past and present situation. He said that in the case of Kashmir the legal aspect is very significant because the case of Kashmir is so well crafted into legal documents’ because the world understands the legal lens better.

 He further added after 5th of August 2019, there was a quiet for several days in world capitals and we were hoping that there should be a kind of instant reaction that was missing.Mr. Ahmer Bilal said that in his opinion a group of 20-25 lawyers has been working on it for the past six months to a year to re-engineered the legal document lawyers were tasked to find a legal offshoot in a totally Modi style of work as he was set out to do what he wanted to do.

Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi said that he was also alerted in 2015 when his team identified a judicial effort to sidestepped 370 in the Jammu and Kashmir high court. On 27th February this year when the military intrusion was made on that very day the Supreme Court of India was set to start the hearing of this petition for the 3 days which was canceled due to the military intrusion petition delayed due to emergency in India and it didn’t come out even today. He stressed that this is what he has been writing and saying before 5th August that we must treat this as an occupying framework, it’s a fourth Geneva Convention framework and now it’s proven to be more correct and more accurate.

It is very important that we must not get down and play the game by the rules of the enemy. It is contrary to the spirit of UNSC Resolution of 1957 that has basically made a declaratory judgment once and for all that any disposition of the status of Jammu and Kashmir except other than the UNSC framework will not be legitimate at all.

He suggested behind the political posture there should be a legal supporting note or legal opinion in letters issued by Pakistan Foreign Minister, the content should not only have political posture. He stressed the need to establish a strong legal document before Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks in the UN General Assembly. He added important question is to be decided by the political leadership of Pakistan as what do we want as Pakistan? The accession of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan, Independent Kashmir or LOC to be an independent border? The political leadership must sit and decide about and then adopt the political posture according to it.

In the question answered answer session, Mr Ahmer Bial Soofi the questions related to the legal and strategic aspects of Kashmir Issue including the similarities and dissimilarities of the rule of bifurcation of Pakistan and India and the options available before 5th August and after it. Different settings under international law and the possible options available for Jammu and Kashmir were also discussed. The panel agreed that when the case is legally strong, one must try to keep the emotions calm as it could have a negative impression of a strong legal case.

Ambassador (Retd) Abdul Basit, President PICSS gave a vote of thanks to the keynote speaker and the audience. Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi really appreciated the efforts by PICSS to organize this roundtable and said that he feels such enriched by the active participation of each and everyone present and it helped him addressing more legal aspects raised by them in his legal opinion building for the legal division of Pakistan.

Mr. Ahmer Bilal Soofi really appreciated the efforts by PICSS to organize this roundtable and said that he feels such enriched by the active participation of each and everyone present and it helped him addressing more legal aspects raised by them in his legal opinion building for the legal division of Pakistan.

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