UK govt to put pressure on India to stop illegal revocation of Kashmir's special status

UK govt to put pressure on India to stop illegal revocation of Kashmir's special status

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Iftikhar Ahmed started this petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Currently, the state of Jammu and Kashmir comprises three regions: Hindu-majority Jammu, Muslim-majority Kashmir and Buddhist-majority Ladakh.

Indian government had decided to split the state into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature; and Ladakh, which will be ruled directly by the central government without a legislature of its own.

Kashmir is claimed by India and Pakistan in full and ruled in part by both. An insurgency on the Indian-administered side has been going on for three decades, during which tens of thousands of people have been killed.

Article 370 of the Indian constitution carves out a special status to the state of J&K. It also limits the Indian parliament’s power to make laws for the state. In effect, the special status, which is described as “temporary” allows the state of Jammu & Kashmir to have its own constitution, its own flag and take decisions except for any matter that is related to defense and foreign affairs. The temporary provision was included in the constitution on 17 October, 1949.

This special status dates back to the end of British rule in India in 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh of the then colonized state of Jammu & Kashmir signed a Treaty of Accession for the state of J&K to join the Indian side.

Meanwhile, Article 35a, which was added to the constitution in 1954 under Article 370 gives the state of Jammu & Kashmir the right to decide who its permanent residents are. The clause further gives special rights to residents in government jobs, when buying property in the state and for educational scholarships among others.

The state defines its permanent residents as those that are “born or settled within the state before 1911 or after having lawfully acquired immovable property and resident in the state for not less than 10 years before that date.”

The law bans non-permanent residents from settling in the state, buying land, and taking government jobs or scholarships. With this revocation move India is trying to turn Kashmir into another Palestine.

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