In yet another controversial move, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday announced that 24 seats in the Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) have been reserved from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
This comes as part of two bills introduced in the Lok Sabha: the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill, 2023, and the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
While announcing the legislation, Amit Shah asserted India's claim over AJK and stated, "These 24 seats belong to India."
He further justified the move by highlighting the displacement of Kashmiri Pandits, saying, "This bill is to get them rights, this bill is to give them representation."
The move, however, has sparked significant debate and criticism from various quarters and several human rights organizations and political parties within India have expressed concern over the legislation.
Critics argue that reserving seats from AJK ignores the aspirations of the people living there and undermines their right to self-determination.
They also raised concerns about the potential for further instability in the region.
Meanwhile, the Indian minister said that the legislation was aimed 'to deliver justice to those who have been deprived for the past 70 years'.
Pakistan is yet to respond to the Indian action.