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India's bold move on Kashmir

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By Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen and Ankit Malhotra

India revoked the special status granted to the state of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution. The Kashmir issue has been a subject of dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947 when the Indian continent was partitioned.

The bill revoking the special status and a reorganization bill was debated and passed by the Rajya Sabha, India's upper house of parliament, Aug. 5. Subsequently, the Lok Sabha, the lower house of parliament, debated and passed the bill the next day.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind issued an order overriding the 1954 presidential order which effectively nullified the provisions of autonomy granted by the constitution. The reorganization bill effectively divided the region into two union territories ― Jammu and Kashmir with a legislature of its own and Ladakh without a legislature.

The revocation of the special status has become a divisive issue within and outside India. Many in India, especially the Hindu nationalists, celebrated and said the government's action will bring peace and investment to the region. The Buddhist community in Ladakh also welcomed the government's move.

Across the border, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan vehemently attacked the Indian government's move which he described as an attempt to "change the demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing" and a crackdown on the rights of the Kashmiri people.

In protest, Pakistan suspended bilateral trade between the two nations and shuttered transportation services. Pakistan also reportedly sought China's support........

© The Korea Times