Indian government revokes Kashmir’s special status

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Security personnel question motorists on a street in Jammu on August 5, 2019. - Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir placed large parts of the disputed region under lockdown early August 5, while India sent in tens of thousands of additional troops and traded accusations of clashes with Pakistan at their de facto border. (Photo by Rakesh BAKSHI / AFP) (Photo credit should read RAKESH BAKSHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian government has revoked the special status of country’s administered Kashmir in its constitution, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly seven decades.

A presidential decree issued on Monday revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defense, communications and foreign affairs.

In the lead-up to the move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposing a crippling curfew, shutting down telecommunications and internet, and arresting political leaders.

The move has worsened the already-heightened tensions with neighboring Pakistan, which said it will downgrade its diplomatic relations with India.

Both India and Pakistan leader claim Kashmir in full but rule it in part. The nuclear-armed neighbors have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory. 

The United Nations has urged the two countries to exercise restraint.

 

Zainab Sa’id