Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said the country will observe August 5 — when India abrogated Article 370 and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories last year — as the “Day of Exploitation” or “Youm-e-Istehsal”.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Qureshi said that Pakistan will on August 5 protest against the “illegal merger of Kashmir into the Indian territory” and highlight “Indian atrocities” in Kashmir.
“The RSF (extremist) government has divided the State of Jammu and Kashmir into three parts. They did it forcefully but the Kashmiris didn’t accept it. The Hindu pundits disapproved of it, along with Buddhists in Ladakh, Muslims in the valley,” he was quoted as saying by Pakistani media.
The Pakistan government will also be changing the name of its main Kashmir Highway in the capital Islamabad to Srinagar Highway in solidarity with the Kashmiri people.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will be heading to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir and will be addressing the legislative assembly.
Kashmir solidarity rallies will be taken out in major cities of Pakistan and across the Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, a report in IANS said.
In an unprecedented move, the Central government on August 5 last year scrapped Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which gave autonomous status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated it into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had proposed in the Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir amid uproar by opposition members.
On October 31, in pursuant to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Bill, 2019, which the government passed in Parliament on August 5, Jammu and Kashmir ceased to exist as a state and was officially bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Article 370 granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir and limits Parliament’s power to make laws concerning the state. It was incorporated in India’s Constitution in October 1949. It also gives power to the state legislature to define Jammu and Kashmir’s residents and their privileges.
Article 35A was proclaimed by President Rajendra Prasad on 14 May 1954 on the advice of the Jawaharlal Nehru government to empower the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define the permanent residents of the state and their entitlements. It was drawn from the Delhi Agreement of 1952 and from Article 370 that confers special status to the state.
Meanwhile, in view of the first anniversary of the historic event, a two-day curfew was been imposed in the Kashmir valley.
The decision was taken at the security core group meeting held on Monday in Srinagar. The meeting was chaired by Lt general BS Raju, GOC of army’s Srinagar headquartered 15 corps.
The decision was reportedly taken following specific inputs that separatists and Pakistan sponsored groups were planning to observe August 5 as Black Day and hold violent protests which could endanger public order.
“…Protests are not ruled out. There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” the order for Srinagar district said, though the curfew is applicable across Kashmir valley.
Medical emergencies and government staff holding valid identity cards and passes have been exempted from these restrictions imposed under section 144 CrPC.
Tensions between India and Pakistan spiked after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.
In the following reaction, Pakistan, several times attempted to raise the Kashmir issue at the global forum but failed to get international recognition except from China.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter and also advised Pakistan to accept the reality.
Soon after the scrapping of Article 370, Pakistan had written a formal letter to the UNSC president calling for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The UNSC declined to hold a formal session on Kashmir with Pakistan’s participation. Instead, it scheduled a closed-door consultation at the request of China.
However, in a major diplomatic victory for India, the United Nations Security Council acknowledged India’s measures to bring normalcy and development to Kashmir and wanted all countries to follow suit.
Barring China, the world accepted India’s position including the Arab world, formerly sponsors and supporters of Pakistan.
Pakistan has attempted to raise the issue as many as three times at UNSC since August 2019 with help from China.