India’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state and reorganize it is an internal matter, which does not concern Pakistan, Indian Ambassador to Russia Bala Venkatesh Varma said on Tuesday.
“It is an internal matter and it is also an internal administrative matter. We have not done anything to change the external parameters of the Jammu and Kashmir state. The Line of Control … remains untouched, there is absolutely no change of that … We are not surprised that Pakistan is raising this, but our response will be the same that it is not a matter that concerns Pakistan”, the ambassador told reporters.
The diplomat noted that social media in the region was temporarily disconnected to prevent the spread of rumours and incitement of violence.
“There has been a strong security buildup in the state primarily to avoid terrorist attacks that we have witnessed in the past. These are only precautionary measures, and I am sure that these measures will be reduced soon when the security situation improves”, Varma said.
According to the diplomat, the Russian ambassador to India had been briefed on the situation.
“I was in the Foreign Ministry this morning to brief our colleagues in the Russian Foreign Ministry. Of course, we will keep our close friends fully informed”, Varma added.
The territory of Jammu and Kashmir has held a special status under Article 370 of the Indian constitution since 1947. It had its own constitution and decision-making rights in all areas except for defence, foreign affairs and communications.
On Monday, Article 370 was revoked by a presidential decree. Later the same day, the Indian parliament’s upper house voted 125-61, with one abstention, for the bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian lower house is expected to ratify the bill on splitting the state in two later in the day.
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that Islamabad would use “all possible options” to counter what it considers India’s illegal decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state in the Indian part of Kashmir and put it under the direct control of the federal government.