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Media Briefing on developments in Jammu and Kashmir by Ambassador

Posted on: August 12, 2019 | Back | Print

Kashmir India's internal issue: envoy

Indian ambassador to Turkey says revoking special status of Kashmir to reap socio-economic progress

Anadolu Agency

ZehraNurDuz   |08.08.2019



Indian Ambassador to Ankara Sanjay Bhattacharyya speaks to the media on India withdrawing the special status and bifurcating Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir in Ankara, Turkey on August 08, 2019. ( EsraHac?o?lu - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA

India's ambassador to Turkey on Thursday reiterated that Kashmir is its internal issue as crisis brews in the troubled region.

“Article 370 was intended to be a temporary one,” Sanjay Bhattacharyya told reporters in Ankara, referring to a provision in the Indian Constitution which granted the disputed Jammu and Kashmir state a special status.

“The measures are aimed at enhancing governance, strengthening development and bringing Jammu and Kashmir and Leh in line with national progress and prosperity,” he added.

The special provision, based on which the Muslim-majority state had agreed to join the Indian union in 1947, allowed it to enact its own laws and prevented outsiders from settling and buying land in the region.

India on Monday revoked this special status raising fears that the move will change demography of the region.

Kashmir, since then, has been placed under a communication blockade and its leaders have been arrested by the Indian government.

“The action does not in any manner changes the boundaries or Line of Control,” Bhattacharyya underlined, referring to the de-facto border which divides the region between India and Pakistan. 

Gradual application

The nature of governance and the progress of the economy and society required the gradual application of constitutional provisions to Jammu and Kashmir over time, he said.

Since 1950, when the constitution of India came into effect, 54 Presidential Orders were issued under Article 370 with a view to apply legislation and regulations to that state, he added.

“These orders reflected a gradual integration process by which the governance of Jammu and Kashmir was gradually synchronized with the rest of the country,” Bhattacharyya explained.

Bhattacharyya also said that the integration process was slowed by vested interests and separatist sentiments, resulting in non-accessibility of benefits of development and socio-economic progress to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, that was available to the rest of the country. 

Rising tensions

Longtime rival Pakistan has reacted to what it calls India's unilateral move in the region.

Pakistan, which controls parts of Jammu and Kashmir but claims it fully, has suspended bilateral trade with India, downgraded its diplomatic ties, and expelled the Indian high commissioner.

Since India and Pakistan were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989. 



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