Hours after the Indian government revoked the special status provided to the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan termed the move as “illegal”, saying it will “further deteriorate” relations between the two nuclear-capable nations.
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The prime minister made the remarks while speaking with his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad on the situation in Kashmir, Geo News quoted a statement issued by the Foreign Office on Monday. “India’s move will further deteriorate relations between nuclear-capable neighbours,” Khan was quoted as telling the Malaysian prime minister.
Earlier, in a statement, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said, “No unilateral step by the Government of India can change the 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.”
Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while responding to the criticism by opposition parties in Rajya Sabha, accused Pakistan of exploiting Article 370 to misguide youth to take up arms and fuel terrorism in the valley. Shah said that Article 370 led to anger among youth due to fewer opportunities, poverty and underdevelopment. More than 40000 people have been killed so far in terror-related incidents in J&K.
A Bill to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories has been passed in Rajy Sabha. While the Union Territory of Ladakh will be without a legislature, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have one. Late on Sunday night, mainstream party leaders – National Conference leaders Omar and Farooq Abdullah, and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, among others – were placed under house arrest and mobile, broadband internet and cable TV services were entirely shut down.