India defends Kashmir change as Pakistan weighs in

Protests in Srinagar over the EU MPs’ visit on October 29

Protests in Srinagar over the EU MPs’ visit on October 29

Lieutenant governors have been appointed for both Ladakh and Kashmir.

Congressman George Holding has praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking "bold" steps on Jammu and Kashmir by scrapping Article 370 which, he said, was outdated and temporary.

Modi has said the special privileges Kashmir enjoyed for decades, such as property rights and government jobs only for locals, had hindered its development and fuelled separatism. Disaffection in Kashmir and Pakistan sponsored terrorism are related but independent variables. "It is a dispute left over from history and should be resolved properly and peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements".

Earlier, before the State of J&K was bifurcated and downgraded it was the MHA or the Governor that was the designated authority for notifying the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 (21 of 1990).

China called India's formation of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh union territories illegal and void and said some part of the region is under China's control. This has been protested by global human rights monitors.

Government employees of the new union territories will start getting salaries and other benefits according to the recommendations of the seventh Pay Commission. The notification also included the Hindi translation of the name change in Roman script - "Jammu, Kashmir aur Ladakh Vibhag".

Friday's notification also renamed the Department of Jammu and Kashmir in the MHA as the "Department of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs".

India has strongly conveyed to China to stop interfering in its internal affairs, while noting the situation in Aksai Chin. There has of course been no referendum but the reported reaction in Leh demonstrates the complexities involved in the Kashmir question. New Delhi should therefore look to enable visits from more diverse foreign delegations in the future. Pakistan, which considers the whole of Kashmir to be its territory, heavily criticized the move, and vowed to seek support at the UN. There have been words of warning and protest from U.S. senators, the United Nations and rights activists around the world. Shopkeepers continue to resist Indian Army diktats to keep shops open throughout the day.

The Indian government has not made any comments on China's policy in Xinjiang. But for the people in Kashmir, the new status simply makes their lives harder.

He pledged that Pakistan would go to any length to support the cause of Kashmiris - diplomatically and politically.

In so far as the boundary question is concerned, India and China have agreed to seek fair and reasonable and mutually acceptable solutions to the issue through peaceful consultations on the basis of political parameters and guiding principles that were agreed upon in 2005.

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