NEW DELHI: India has eliminated a big reason behind sowing of seeds of terrorism and separatism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Bangkok on Saturday.
Press Trust of India said the claim was made to a crowd of the Indian diaspora and was reference to the abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution.
The clause accorded autonomy to the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan disputes the “Instrument of Accession” that formed the basis of the Article 370, which had enabled India to lay claim to the region also disputed by China.
Mr Modi said his government was working to fulfil aims that seemed impossible. “You are aware that India has decided to eliminate a big reason behind sowing of seeds of terrorism and separatism,” he said.
“When decision is right, its echo is heard across the globe. And I can hear it in Thailand as well,” he said at the ‘Sawasdee PM Modi’ event. Mr Modi also received a standing ovation after he referred to abrogation of Article 370 provisions.
He said the ovation was for India’s Parliament and parliamentarians. However, some of the very parliamentarians he was hailing have been barred from visiting the state, which is under a three-month old lockdown.
Even as Mr Modi held his characteristic monologue with a handpicked audience in Bangkok, the Indian government on Saturday released the maps of the new Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh and the map of India depicting these UTs.
In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the UT of Ladakh consists of two districts of Kargil and Leh while the rest of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir is in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
In 1947, the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir had the following 14 districts — Kathua, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi, Anantnag, Baramulla, Poonch, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Leh and Ladakh, Gilgit, Gilgit Wazarat, Chilhas and Tribal Territory.
Earlier this year the Indian government had reorganised the 14 districts into 28 districts anticipation of the controversial abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy. The names of the new districts were — Kupwara, Bandipur, Ganderbal, Srinagar, Budgam, Pulwama, Shupian, Kulgam, Rajouri, Ramban, Doda, Kishtivar, Samba and Kargil.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday Kashmir was a dispute left from history that should be peacefully resolved.
The Indian government officially announced the establishment of so called Jammu Kashmir territory and Ladakh Union territory which included some of China’s territory into its administrative jurisdiction,” the spokesman said.
“China deplores and firmly opposed that...This is awful and void, and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under China’s actual control.”
Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2019