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Pakistan’s senate to condemn India over Azad Jammu and Kashmir


Pakistan’s senate to condemn India over Azad Jammu and Kashmir

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Photo: REUTERS/Danish Ismail

Pakistan’s senate will today hold a special session to express its solidarity with Kashmiris and condemn India’s abolition of the region’s special status.

The parliamentary sitting comes on the first anniversary of India’s abrogation of Article 370 of India’s constitution, which withdrew Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated it into two federally controlled territories. The amendment, which also brought changes to land ownership rights and preferential treatment for the people of the state in jobs and education, was emphatically condemned by Pakistan.

Pakistan is expected to mark the anniversary through a widespread media campaign criticising the Indian government; India has imposed a curfew in Srinagar in anticipation of violent protests from separatists. New Delhi claims that although terrorist activities in Kashmir have come down in some instances, the number of infiltrations in the valley has risen in the last year compared with figures from previous years.

While Pakistan’s policy on Kashmir has oscillated between bilateral talks with India and a militaristic approach in the past, the current administration is expected to try and galvanise international opinion on the matter. However, given India’s strategic and economic significance, expect the international response to be fairly muted and limited to key supporters of Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, namely Malaysia, Turkey and China.

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