ISLAMABAD – The Pakistan Army said on Tuesday it would do everything necessary to support people in Kashmir, after India moved to revoke the special status of the Muslim-majority state and bifurcate the part of the contested territory under its control.
“The 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,” said General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff.
General Bajwa presided over the Corps Commanders’ Conference in Rawalpindi over the controversial move by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
The meeting of the army’s top commanders resolved that “Pakistan never recognized the sham Indian efforts to legalize its occupation of Jammu and Kashmir through article 370 or 35-A decades ago,” according to the statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations.
The constitutional provisions accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir, allowed it to make its own laws and empowered the state’s legislatures to define its residents and their rights to property, jobs and voting.
India’s Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah on Monday announced a presidential decree that would remove the special status. The upper house or Rajya Sabha passed the bill on the same day, annulling the state’s semi-autonomous status.
To enter into force, the bill needs to be passed in the lower house of the parliament, which is almost a foregone conclusion, considering the government enjoys comfortable majority in the Lok Sabha.
Pakistan condemned the Indian government’s move to strike down the constitutional status granted to the region and said that it violated United Nations resolutions and added that it would exercise all possible options to counter it.
Kashmir has been a disputed region since 1947 when India and Pakistan won their freedom from British rule. The two countries, which have fought three wars, including two over Kashmir, claim the divided territory in its entirety.
The region has witnessed separatist insurgency since the 1990s.