New Delhi: Pakistan on Monday slammed India’s move of revoking Article 370 of its constitution, saying that New Delhi’s unilateral move could not change the nature of the Kashmir dispute.
In a statement, the Pakistan foreign ministry said Islamabad will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps, being a party to the international dispute.
The Pakistani response followed Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday stating in parliament that the government was revoking the article that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Article 370, enacted in 1954, lays down that except for matters related to defence, foreign affairs, communications and issues specified in the Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir, parliament needs the state government's ratification for all other laws. So far, residents of the state lived under a separate set of laws, including those related to citizenship, ownership of property and fundamental rights.
On Monday, Shah also announced that the government was bifurcating the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be without a legislature.
In its statement, Pakistan said it “strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today by the Indian Government regarding the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir." The part of the state in Indian control “is an internationally recognized disputed territory," it said.
“No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this 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," the statement said.
“As a party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps."
“Pakistan reaffirms 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," it added.
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Analysts have said India will have to look at Pakistan raising the Kashmir issue at all possible fora, including at the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in September. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is to travel to the US for the UN General Assembly session and address the session on 28 September.