Article 370 abrogation: Pakistan willing to do anything to help Kashmiris

By Matthias Samuel

Today all Pakistanis are united and committed to help their Kashmiri brethren as the conflict of decades-old Kashmir has once again been really hyped up with the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, under which the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir had been enjoying special rights. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had long opposed Article 370 and even included its abrogation as one of their promises in the party’s 2019 Election Manifesto. Finally on August 5, 2019 the Indian government through a Presidential Order revoked the Article 370, which deprived Jammu and Kashmir of Special Status, it had been guaranteed in 1954.

What changed on the ground?

India drastically changed Kashmir’s relationship with New Delhi, which means Kashmir will no longer have a separate Constitution but it will have to abide by the Indian Constitution just like any other Indian State. This also allowed non-Kashmiris to buy land there and increase the population of Hindus in the region, so that the Muslim majority be shrunk into a minority. The government of India further said that it would divide the State of Kashmir in two parts i.e Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.

The question is that, is India doing the right thing? According to the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the region of Jammu and Kashmir as the special territory was entitled to have a State Constitution, flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the State. Though the New Delhi government required to take the Jammu and Kashmir government on board to modify the Article 370 but unfortunately no State government exists in Jammu and Kashmir, and which is being governed under governor rule since June 2018.

The reaction from Pakistan

As anticipated, Pakistan reacted vigorously and pledged to go to any extent to foil the nefarious Indian design of changing Kashmir’s demography. Pakistan approached the United Nations and various friendly Countries, and apprised them of latest situation in the Indian Occupied Kashmir.

In addition to that, a two-day Joint Session of the Parliament was convened on August 6-7, wherein while addressing, Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed not to leave any stone unturned to help Kashmiris and also said that they would move all international forums against the Indian illegal steps.

The Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif also offered full support to the incumbent government, and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to take a firm stand and show unflinching support to Kashmiris for their basic right to self-determination.

Separately, Corps Commanders Conference also met in Rawalpindi on August 6 with single point agenda of Kashmir, and in which the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa reaffirmed that “Pakistan Army firmly stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end. We are prepared and shall go to any extent to fulfill our obligations in this regard.”

 

 

Matthias Samuel is a student of history in Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad, and occasionally writes blogs and articles.