Kashmir: Pakistan rejects scrapping of Occupied Kashmir’s special status

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By Muhammad Luqman

Pakistan has rejected the Indian announcement regarding the scrapping of special status of the Occupied Kashmir, terming it violation of international laws and UN resolutions.

“Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today by the Indian Government regarding the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir,”  Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman said in a statement on Monday.

The Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory, he added.

Pakitan categorically stated that no unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan.

As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps, the spokesman said.

“Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination,” the spokesman said.

Earlier, on Monday, Indian government, through a presidential decree, scrapped the special status for the Occupied Kashmir, just hours after clamping  a curfew in the disputed region.

According to media reports, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah told parliament on Monday, that the president had signed a decree abolishing Article 370 of the constitution that gave special autonomy to the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

Article 370 of the constitution forbid Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing education scholarships.

The decree said the measure came into force “at once”.

Pakistan has expressed anguish over the Indian move. A joint session of country’s parliament has been summon on Tuesday to review  the situation in the disputed valley. Mashaal Malik , the wife of Kashmiri leader, Yaseen Malik has termed the decision has worst act on the part of India.

This measure, political analysts say, would lead to change the Occupied Kashmir’s  Muslim-majority demographics by allowing in a flood of new Hindu residents from across India.

Indian Home Minister said the government also decided to split the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be ruled directly by the central government without a legislature of its own.

|”It will have catastrophic consequences for the subcontinent. GOIs intentions are clear. They want the territory of J&K by terrorising it’s people. India has failed Kashmir in keeping its promises,” Mehbooba Mufti, the former Chief Minister of Indian Occupied Kashmir said.

On Sunday, former state Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah chaired a meeting of political leaders from the region, who issued a statement, warning “against any tinkering with the special status of the region” as guaranteed under Article 35A of the Indian constitution.

Article 35A of India’s constitution permitted the local legislature in Kashmir to define permanent residents of the region. The article came into being in 1954 by a presidential order under the constitution’s Article 370.

The statement said the region’s political parties “remain united … in their resolve to protect the autonomy and special status” of Kashmir.

Article 35A had been challenged by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its right-wing allies through a series of petitions in India’s Supreme Court.

Last month, a senior BJP leader hinted that the government was planning to form exclusive Hindu settlements in the region.

Indian media reports said some pro-India leaders from the region, including former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, have been placed under house arrest.

The measures came after the Indian government moved about 10,000 troops to the region last week, followed by an unprecedented order asking tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave the Himalayan valley.

(This is developing story)

 

 

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