Pakistani army calls Articles 370, 35-A a sham after India scrapped special status
As Islamabad continues to protest the Indian Parliament’s decision, by a two-thirds majority, to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir into two Union Territories, Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh, and scrap Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution that give the state special status and its permanent residents special priviliges, it emerges that the Pakistan Army publicy termed the two articles as a “sham” which Rawalpindi never recognised.
According to an August 6 statement by the Inter Services Public Relations (the media unit of the Pakistani armed forces), “Pakistan never recognised the sham Indian efforts to legalise its occupation of Jammu & Kashmir through Article 370 or Article 35A decades ago, efforts which have now been revoked by India itself.”
HT has seen a copy of the statement, which was issued after a Corps Commanders Conference at GHQ, Rawalpindi, presided over by General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the chief of the country’s army staff, soon after India’s decisions regarding Jammu & Kashmir.
Watch | Article 370 scrapped: UN chief says Kashmir issue needs to be resolved bilaterally
India’s diplomatic establishment is flummoxed over Pakistan’s unilateral action to suspend relations on various dimensions with India, and talk of escalating the matter to the United Nations if, indeed, as the statement claims, 370 and 35A were never recognised by Islamabad. “If 370 and 35A are sham according to Gen Bajwa, then what is this reaction all about. We see the unilateral action by the Pakistan government as being used to address the domestic audience, which has been weaned on Kashmir myth for decades,” said a senior Indian government official who asked not to be named.
While Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria will wait for Pakistan’s reconsideration of its action downgrading diplomatic ties before returning to India, Islamabad is making deliberate efforts to project that there is tension along the borders.
Interestingly, the Indian military has reported no forward deployment of troops or fighters by Islamabad on both the international border and the Line of Control (LoC), according to government officials.