India Revokes Article 370, Raising Fear of Unrest in the Region
The Indian government unilaterally revokes article 370, raising fear of unrest in the region. The government said on Monday that it was revoking the article 370 of the constitution. Since 1947, Kashmir had a special status and it is considered as a disputed territory. The government’s move has been viewed as a blow to the special status to the Kashmir. India’s governing party roots in Hindu nationalism and this was one of the promises it make during the election campaigns, but as India revokes article 370, raising fear of unrest in the region. India has evacuated the valley from the tourists, closed the schools and cut off the internet services. Moreover, India flooded the valley with thousands of additional troops.
What was Article 370
Article 370 of the Indian constitution gives the special status to the J&K. The article also puts limits on the powers of the Indian government. In addition to the limitations on Indian power, the article allows the state of Kashmir to have its own constitution, its own flag and to take decisions on its own except defense and foreign Affairs. Article 370 was included in the Indian constitution in 1949.
Meanwhile, article 35 was added into the Indian constitution in 1954. The clause gives special rights to the residents in government jobs, in getting scholarships and when buying the property in the valley of Indian occupied Kashmir. However, India revokes article 370, raising fear of unrest in the region.
Situation in Kashmir
It raised the tensions and unrest in the Kashmir. A sense of panic and stress is visible in the streets of Indian occupied Kashmir. Indian government cut off the telephone, internet, and mobile services from the area. Many of the leaders are in house arrest, even Mehboba Mufti and Umer Abdullah, who were pro Indian leaders. In addition to all these measures, the Indian government is using military means as well and there is a curfew in the valley and the Muslims of the valley are on the verge of death. The freedom fighter’s leader Syed Ali Gillani gave an SOS call to the whole international community and specifically to the Muslim community to save the Kashmiris against the Indian forces.
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Response From Pakistan
Pakistani government condemns the Indian decision. As Pakistani foreign ministry said that it is a clear violation of the UN resolution and it added, “Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.” All the political parties urged the government to come up with a strong and calculated diplomatic response. As the tensions were already looming over the region. PM, Imran Khan said, while referring to the LOC, “This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis.” To take all the stakeholders on board, the government of Pakistan called a joint session of the Parliament. In the session, the situation of Kashmir and the region would be discussed.
Response from India
India’s ruling party got criticism from India as well. “Today the B.J.P. has murdered the Constitution of India,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress, an opposition party. The minorities in India are uncertain about their future as they fear that India would no longer remain a secular state under the BJP party. However, there are two opinions in India about article 370, some consider that India could revoke it while others consider that it is not so clear and the issue would most probably end up before Indian supreme court.