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Pakistani government makes rare admission by calling PoK a foreign territory in court
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

Pakistani government makes rare admission by calling PoK a foreign territory in court

| @indiablooms | 03 Jun 2024, 12:18 am

Despite India's claims for decades, it took the missing case of a poet named Ahmed Farhad Shah for Pakistan to admit in the court that Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is a foreign territory and Islamabad does not have jurisdiction over the region.

Historically, PoK was once part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

It was illegally occupied by Pakistan in 1947, the year when two nations (India and Pakistan) were formed following independence from British rule.

Now, following decades of disputes and multiple claims by Indian authorities, which Islamabad has so far denied, a startling admission was made before the Islamabad High Court by the Pakistani government, perhaps for the first time in the history of diplomatic tension between the two neighbours.

The rare revelation was reportedly made by Pakistan's Additional Attorney General on May 31 while the case related to the poet was raised in the court.

Shah was allegedly abducted from his home in Rawalpindi by Pakistan's intelligence agencies on May 15.

Pakistan's Additional Attorney General made the admission as he argued before Justice Kayani that Farhad Shah was currently in police custody in Kashmir (Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir) and could not be produced before the Islamabad High Court.

When the judge asked to present him in his court, the Additional Attorney General argued that Kashmir is a foreign territory with its own constitution and courts, reported Pakistan Today.

And, judgments of Pakistani courts in PoK appear as judgments of foreign courts, he added.

The issue of PoK was raised by Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last month when he said it is always an integral part of India.

"It (POK) has always been with India and it will always be India," Jaishankar was quoted as saying by the media.

The region witnessed violent protests in May when people demonstrated against rising costs of food, fuel, and utilities.

Multiple videos from the region went viral during that time which showed people clashing with local police and forces and even some raising 'Azadi' (freedom) slogans against Pakistan, the country illegally occupying the region.

The PoK issue even resonated during the high-voltage campaigning for the Indian parliamentary polls.

The importance of PoK became evident in the Indian political scenario when the country's Home Minister Amit Shah while campaigning for his Bharatiya Janata Party in Punjab for the just concluded national polls, said India would take back the region.

“Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was ours, is ours and will remain ours… and we will take it… no one can stop us,” Union Home Minister Amit Shah was quoted as saying in a rally in Ludhiana last month by The Indian Express.

Away from India, a prominent Pakistani journalist even criticised the Additional Attorney General over the development in IHC and posted on X: " State of Pakistan projecting AJK in a very negative perspective. They kidnapped a poet from Islamabad. They don’t have the moral courage to admit the kidnapping and now they showed his arrest in AJK and told IHC that AJK is foreign territory. Means they have the authority of an occupying force in AJK but Pakistani courts have no jurisdiction."

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