Srinagar: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday assailed what he described as the “moral bankruptcy” of Indian and Israeli political leadership, accusing the incumbent parties of harbouring ambitions to “illegally occupy land” in the West Bank and Kashmir in defiance of international laws and “their own constitutions” for votes as both countries head to polls this week.
“When leaders in Israel and India show a moral bankruptcy in their readiness to annex occupied West Bank and IoK [Indian occupied Kashmir] in defiance of international law, United Nations Security Council resolutions, and their own Constitution for votes, don’t their people feel a sense of outrage and wonder how far they [the leaders] will go simply to win an election?” he asked in a tweet.
Israelis began voting in elections on Tuesday that could hand conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a record fifth term or see him dethroned by an ex-general who has pledged clean government and social cohesion. Netanyahu pledged last week to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank if he wins the upcoming general election.
India is also heading to the polls on Thursday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeks a second term in the almost six-week mega-election. About 900 million people are eligible to vote in a staggered process that allows the government to deploy tens of thousands of troops to prevent outbreaks of violence and the capture of voting stations by party activists.
On Monday, the party released its manifesto, which vowed to strip decades-old special rights from the people of Kashmir, making an election promise.
The BJP has consistently advocated an end to Kashmir’s special constitutional status, which prevents outsiders, including Indian citizens, from buying property, arguing that such laws have hindered its ‘integration’ with the rest of India.