Article 370: Most countries back Indian government's move4 min read . Updated: 06 Aug 2019, 08:15 PM IST
- Pakistan condemned India's move to revoke Article 370
- the US, the UAE and Sri Lanka seemed to back India’s move
New Delhi: On a day the Lok Sabha signed off on the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, with the exception of Pakistan and China, major countries in the world backed the Indian move that aims integrate Kashmir more closely with the rest of the country.
While Pakistan on Monday condemned India's move to revoke Article 370 dispensing the special status given to the state under a 1954 presidential proclamation, China on Tuesday said India should avoid “unilateral actions" in Jammu and Kashmir to avoid tension in the region and described New Delhi’s decision to reorganise Ladakh a union territory as “unacceptable." Beijing’s comments were not surprising given its close and strategic partnership with Pakistan. Besides, parts of the disputed Sino-India border in Aksai Chin lie in Ladakh.
In contrast the US, the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka seemed to back India’s move.
The Chinese foreign ministry issued two separate responses on Tuesday.
“China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border. This position is firm, consistent and has never changed," the foreign ministry said in a statement published referring to the area in Ladakh which India claims but Beijing controls.
“In recent days, the Indian side has continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally amending its domestic laws. This practice is unacceptable and will not produce any effect," the statement added.
“We urge India to be cautious in its words and deeds on the border issue, strictly abide by the relevant agreements reached between the two sides, and avoid taking actions that further complicate the border issue," the statement said, referring to the protracted negotiations going on between the two countries for several decades.
In a secpnd response on India abolishing Kashmir’s “special status" and India and Pakistani troops recently exchanging fire, the Chinese foreign ministry said the situation in the region was very tense.
“China is seriously concerned about the current situation in Kashmir. China’s position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. This issue is a legacy of history between India and Pakistan, which is also the consensus of the international community," the foreign ministry said. “The parties concerned should exercise restraint and act with caution, especially to avoid actions that unilaterally change the status quo and exacerbate the tension," it said. “We call on the two sides to peacefully resolve relevant disputes through dialogue and consultation and safeguard regional peace and stability," the ministry added.
India on its part dismissed the Chinese statement as an internal matter. “India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise," the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement. “So far as the India-China Boundary question is concerned, the two sides have agreed to a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question on the basis of the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of India-China Boundary Question. Pending such a settlement, both sides have agreed to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas on the basis of the relevant agreements."
The US overnight in its statement said it had taken “note" of the India’s announcement.
“We are closely following the events in Jammu and Kashmir. We take note of India's announcement revising the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and India's plan to split the state into two union territories," US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in response to a question by PTI news agency.
"We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control," she was quoted as saying by PTI.
The UAE, which has emerged as a key partner of India’s in the Gulf region on Tuesday also took note of India’s move to declare Kashmir a union territory. UAE’s ambassador to India Ahmad Al Banna was quoted as saying by Gulf News: “We also took note of the introduction of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill in the Indian Parliament aimed at replacing Article 370 with the creation of Ladakh region and the state of Jammu and Kashmir as India’s two new Union Territories."
He viewed this latest decision related to the state of Jammu and Kashmir as an internal matter as stipulated by the Indian Constitution, the Gulf News report said. “We expect that the changes would improve social justice and security and confidence of the people in the local governance and will encourage further stability and peace," he added.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe also described India’s action as an “internal" matter. “I understand Ladakh will finally become a Union Territory. With over 70% Buddhist it will be the first Indian state with a Buddhist majority. The creation of Ladakh and the consequential restructuring are India's internal matters. I have visited Ladakh and it is worth a visit," Wickremesinghe was quoted as saying by media reports.