New Delhi, August 6 (WION/Geo News): Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has hailed government of India’s decision to declare Ladakh as an independent Union Territory to be governed by the Centre.
“With 70% of Ladakh’s population being Buddhist it will be the first Indian state with a Buddhist majority. Creation of Ladakh and consequential restructuring is India’s internal matter, it is a beautiful region well worth a visit,” Wickremesinghe said on Twitter.
Ladakh will become an Indian State. With 70% of Ladakh’s population being Buddhist it will be the first Indian state with a Buddhist majority. Creation of Ladakh and consequential restructuring is India’s internal matter, it is a beautiful region well worth a visit.
— Ranil Wickremesinghe (@RW_UNP) August 6, 2019
The Indian government on Monday announced the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. While Jammu and Kashmir will be a Union Territory with a legislature, Ladakh has been converted into a separate Union Territory but without a legislature. The Union Territory of Ladakh will be administered by Delhi.
Addressing the Upper House (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament, Home Minister Amit Shah announced the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution of India which gave special status to the state and its residents and tabled a bill for the same. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in evening.
Shah presented the bill to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on Tuesday and reiterated his government’s tough stance on Jammu and Kashmir.
“Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of Union of India. Kashmir ki seema mein PoK bhi aata hai (PoK also comes under Kashmir border),” he said in Lok Sabha.
“Jaan de denge iske liye! (We will give our lives for it),” the Home Minister added.
The revoking of Article 370 was supported by several parties in the Rajya Sabha on Monday including Chandrababu Naidu-Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Mayawati’s BSP, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP, AIADMK, AGP, Akali Dal and RPI.
However, the Congress, CPM, CPI, DMK, SP, IUML and KC(M) voted against the resolution as the JD(U), TMC and NCP walked out the Rajya Sabha.
Pakistan PM Calls India’s Action “Racist”
Meanwhile, Geo News reported from Islamabad that Prime Minister Imran Khan told a joint session of Parliament on Tuesday, that the international community should act against the “racist politics” of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
“They (BJP) have a racist ideology. In Kashmir, they have acted according to their ideology, against their constitution, Supreme Court verdict and United Nations resolutions.”
The prime minister informed Parliament that revoking Article 370 was part of BJP’s election manifesto, saying their forefathers were from the RSS. The prime minister stressed that the Kashmir struggle would intensify after India’s move of abolishing Article 370.
“They (BJP) do not consider Kashmiris as their equals. They will try to crush them which will lead to a reaction which can be a Pulwama like incident. They will blame us [Pakistan] for this.”
The prime minister feared that there would be ethnic cleansing in Kashmir.
“I kept on telling them [BJP] after Pulwama that two nuclear-armed neighbours cannot take such risks and we should resolve our problems through dialogue.”
Prime Minister Khan warned of a conventional war between Pakistan and India in light of another Pulwama like situation which could arise if the situation in Kashmir kept on deteriorating.
“This will be a war that no one will win and the implications will be global.”
The prime minister said this was not nuclear blackmail but he was appealing to common sense. “Is the world prepared for this? We appeal to the world that a country which is violating laws, there will be serious consequences if the world does not intervene.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan compared the BJP to the Nazi party in Germany. “Theirs is the ideology which killed Mahatma Gandhi. If the world does not act and does not uphold its own laws then we will not be responsible.”
“I want to make it clear that we will fight this at every forum,” Khan said.
Khan added his party would travel to the West and inform them of the violations taking place in Indian occupied Kashmir. “It is our job to raise this issue in the world.
Speaking briefly on his meeting with US President Trump, Prime Minister Khan said had asked the US President to intervene in the Kashmir issue on good faith.
Kashmir Issue Has Direct Link To Pakistan: Shehbaz
PML-N President and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said the session was called on an emerging issue which had a direct link to the foundation of Pakistan.
“Pakistan is of Kashmiris and Kashmiris are of Pakistan,” he said.
Shehbaz Sharif said that even after the passage of 24 hours the government had not presented its policy and strategy to counter the assault by Modi.
“There is every chance of genocide over there [occupied Kashmir]. What are we planning on doing?”
Shehbaz added that the Modi government had not only snatched the rights of the Kashmiris but also challenged the honour of Pakistan and slapped the United Nations Security Council.
Speaking on Prime Minister Khan’s meeting with US President Trump, Shehbaz Sharif said India twice negated the offer of Trump to mediate on the Kashmir issue.
“Modi quietly prepared for what happened in Kashmir,” he added.
Shehbaz said it was Modi who was the hurdle in establishing peace in Afghanistan.
“Was this President Trump’s trump card of trap card,” Shehbaz asked.
“We accepted the offer of Trump [to mediate]. Was our government not prepared for Modi’s intentions? Our government had no clue and were happy about Trump’s offer.”
Terming this a major failure, Shehbaz said the country was at a crossroads. “Either we stand firm or bow down, Bowing down is out of the question. We have to stand firm for Kashmir. I believe Narendra Modi has gone to the last extent to coax Pakistan. We have to decide that this is not just about Kashmir but about Pakistan’s independence.”
Shehbaz asked why China, Saudi Arabia and UAE had not said anything on Kashmir, terming it isolation.
Sharif said the 220 million people of Pakistan were with the people of Kashmir.
“I think we should approach the tap UNSC, OIC and our bilateral relations to give a firm response to Modi. If we take a firm stand against Modi and make preparations to counter his move we will be fully supportive.”
The opposition leader said together there should be a promise made that Modi’s actions would be foiled and would continue to fight for the independence of Kashmiris.