Home South Asia India Pakistan Army firmly stands by Kashmiris: COAS

Pakistan Army firmly stands by Kashmiris: COAS

“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,” the ISPR quoted General Bajwa as saying.

Pakistan Army

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Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa made it clear on Tuesday that Pakistan Army stands by the Kashmiris in their just struggle to the very end, adding that the army was prepared and ready to go to any extent to fulfill its obligations in this regard.

The COAS said that the Corps Commanders Conference (CCC) fully supports the government’s rejection of Indian actions regarding Kashmir. The army chief said that Pakistan has never recognized the sham Indian efforts to legalize its occupation of Jammu & Kashmir through article 370 or 35-A decades ago, which have now been revoked by India itself.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)’s Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor shared the statement on Twitter following a meeting of the CCC at the at General Headquarters (GHQ). The meeting had a single point agenda of the situation regarding Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Article 370 formed the basis of Kashmir’s special and autonomous status and the article has governed the accession and relationship of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir with India under the Indian Constitution.

“The forum fully supported the government’s rejection of Indian actions regarding Kashmir. Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of Jammu & Kashmir through article 370 or 35-A decades ago; efforts which have now been revoked by India itself,” the ISPR statement said.

“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,” the ISPR quoted General Bajwa as saying.

The CCC meeting was held a day after the Indian government abolished Article 370 of the constitution which granted special status to Indian-occupied Kashmir.

What Did India Do?

On August 5, India’s government revoked the special status of occupied Kashmir and rushed through a presidential decree in a bid to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country, hours after imposing a major security clampdown in the region.

Indian Home Minister Amit Shah had introduced the presidential order and the bill in Parliament on Monday. Through the order, India has revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution thereby ending the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Read more: India’s new lawfare on Kashmir and Pakistan’s strategic options

Reportedly, the bill further bifurcates the Indian occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories namely; the Union Territory of J&K and the Union Territory of Ladakh. While the Union Territory of J&K will have a legislature, the Union Territory of Ladakh will be without a legislature.

This means that there will be elections in Jammu and Kashmir but the legislature will be under the President of India who will be represented by a Lieutenant Governor. It is also likely that the legislature remains dissolved for an extended period, continuing direct rule by the Lieutenant Governor.

Article 370 

As originally envisaged, Article 370 formed the basis of Kashmir’s special and autonomous status and the article has governed the accession and relationship of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir with India under the Indian Constitution. After it was revoked, the pro-India political leaders Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and others said that revoking Article 370 means a break in the relationship between the state and India.

Hours after India revoked Article 370- of its constitution, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned and rejected the Indian government’s move.

Under the article, the president of India can revoke 370 only on advice from the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. The constituent assembly was dissolved in 1957 and replaced by the legislative assembly of Jammu and Kashmir, which was dismissed last year after the BJP-PDP [Peoples Democratic Party] alliance.

The current presidential order replaces the legislative assembly in Article 370 with the governor of Jammu and Kashmir thereby using the governor’s consent as the consent of the state. This may be challenged in an Indian court in the coming days.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office Condemns Indian Government’s Move

Hours after India revoked Article 370- of its constitution, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned and rejected the Indian government’s move, saying that Indian-occupied Kashmir was an internationally recognized disputed territory.

Read more: Pakistan stands united in the face of India’s forced inclusion in Kashmir

“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 ministry said in a press release.

“As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” it added.

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