Kashmir ‘special status’ in jeopardy

Source:Xinhua-AFP Published: 2019/8/5 21:28:41

Thousands of Indian troops deployed in territory

Indian Home Minister (Internal Security) Amit Shah on Monday proposed in the parliament's upper house to revoke the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which guarantees a "special status" to Indian-controlled Kashmir.

As soon as the proposal was made, there was a pandemonium in the house.

As per the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the Indian-controlled Kashmir is accorded a special status which means that all provisions laid down in the Indian Constitution are not applicable there.

Presently, according to the Article 370, except for areas such as defense, foreign affairs, finance and communications, the Indian Parliament needs the Indian-controlled Kashmir government's concurrence for applying all other laws.

Political parties opposed to main ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Indian-controlled Kashmir have opposed the attempt to scrap the Article 370. 

Ahead of the announcements, tens of thousands of extra Indian troops were deployed in the territory, and a security lockdown was imposed overnight Sunday with all telecommunications there cut.

Pakistan on Monday condemned India's move to abolish Kashmir's special status as "illegal," insisting it was an internationally recognized disputed territory.

"No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status... As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added that the move, which Islamabad "strongly rejects and condemns," will not "ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan."

"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 statement said.

India's decision to strip Kashmir of the special autonomy it has enjoyed for seven decades has also prompted condemnation on Pakistani Twitter, where at one point the top six trending hashtags all related to the move.

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