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Pakistan says India can’t unilaterally change disputed status of Kashmir

Islamabad to exercise all options to counter India's illegal steps

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 5, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago
Posted: Aug 5, 2019 | Last Updated: 2 years ago


Pakistan said on Monday that no unilateral step by the Indian government can change the disputed status of Indian-administered Kashmir, as New Delhi moved to revoke special status of the Himalayan territory.

India repealed on Monday articles 35A and 370 of its constitution, which gave special status to Indian-administered Kashmir.

The Indian government has also decided to bifurcate the state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The former will have a legislature while the latter won’t.

Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today by the Indian government regarding the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, its Foreign Office said Monday.

It said the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory.

“No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions,” the Foreign Office said in its statement. “Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and Pakistan.”

It said that as a party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.

Related: Kashmir no longer autonomous state as India revokes special status

Islamabad also reaffirmed its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir for the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.

New Delhi’s move came after Indian forces locked down Indian-administered Kashmir, cut off internet and cell phone services and put senior Hurriyet leaders under house arrest. It also deployed thousands of additional troops to the region.

Article 35A allowed the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly to define who is and isn’t a permanent resident of the state. It also allows the assembly to determine who gets state grants, who has the right to purchase land and property and who can permanently settle in the region. It also granted the assembly the power to restrict the rights of anyone who wasn’t a permanent resident.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution granted special autonomy to the area. It allowed the state’s assembly to make its own Constitution and gave it autonomous state power.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India cannot squash Kashmir’s spirit with this repeal bill.

Speaking to SAMAA TV, the foreign minister said international organizations will have to fulfill their roles and cannot stay silent on this matter. The Kashmir issue has become even more serious after India’s decision, he said.

Qureshi said New Delhi was playing with people’s lives with its decision to repeal Article 370.

“Pakistan has stood with Kashmiris before and will continue to do so,” he vowed. “We will raise this matter on every forum available to us.”

The foreign minister termed India’s repeal bill an attack on peace efforts. He also said that remaining silent on this issue would be a big mistake.

India’s true face has been revealed with this black law, he said, adding that time will show that India made a poor decision.

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Pakistan, India, Kashmir, disputed status, Indian-administered Kashmir, Foreign Office, Indian government

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