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Pakistan leaders reject Indian revocation of Kashmir’s special status

Islamabad’s foreign minister said the move violates a UN resolution.

An indefinite security lockdown is in place in the Indian-controlled portion of divided Kashmir (AP)
An indefinite security lockdown is in place in the Indian-controlled portion of divided Kashmir (AP)

Pakistan’s foreign minister has rejected India’s revocation of the disputed Kashmir region’s special constitutional status, saying the move violates a UN resolution.

Foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters that Pakistan would step up diplomatic efforts to prevent the revocation made by presidential order from coming into effect.

The order scraps an Indian constitutional provision that forbids Indians from outside the region from buying land in the Muslim-majority territory.

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Indian home minister Amit Shah (AP)

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim the region in its entirety.

Two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since their independence from British rule were over Kashmir.

The president of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, also rejected India’s presidential order and said that India “can go to war” with Pakistan in such a situation.

India’s government initiated the revocation of Kashmir’s special status amid uproar in parliament and a huge troop deployment in the area.

Home minister Amit Shah told members of India’s upper house that the government has decided to repeal a law that gives special status to the Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir by presidential order.

Mr Shah said that the government has 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.

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Tensions have soared along the volatile, highly militarised frontier between India and Pakistan in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir (AP)

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

An indefinite security lockdown is in place in the Indian-controlled portion, with thousands of newly deployed soldiers camping in police stations and government buildings around the increasingly tense region.

The deployment in recent days added at least 10,000 troops in Kashmir, already one of the world’s most militarised regions.

India has also ordered thousands of tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave the region.

PA

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