Indian PM Narendra Modi hailed his “path-breaking” move to revoke Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir in a thumping speech marking the Indian Independence Day.
PM Modi, in a speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi, said on Thursday that the decision was one of several “path-breaking” moves by his newly re-elected administration. He said “fresh thinking” was needed after seven decades of failure to ensure harmony in the region.
“We do not believe in creating problems or prolonging them. In less than 70 days of the new government, Article 370 has become history. And in both houses of parliament, two-thirds of the members supported this step,” said Modi.
“Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh will become a big inspiration for India’s growth journey, comfort, progress and peace,” he said. Ladakh is the newly carved-out union territory. “The old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption and nepotism, as well as injustice when it came to rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal communities,” he said. “Their dreams get new wings,” he said.
Pakistan meanwhile has launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at reversing the order and formally asked the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency session to address India’s illegal actions. The session will be held on 16th August 2019.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan, who has compared Modi’s government to Nazi Germany, said Wednesday that time had come to teach Delhi a lesson and promised to “fight until the end” against any Indian aggression.
“The Pakistani army has solid information that they (India) are planning to do something in Kashmir, and they are ready and will give a solid response,” Imran said in his maiden speech at the AJK legislative assembly.
Fearing protests and unrest over India’s latest move, tens of thousands of extra Indian troops have been deployed to occupied Kashmir — joining 500,000 already there — turning parts of the main city of Srinagar into a fortress of roadblocks and barbed wire.