Turmoil in Pakistan parliament as Kashmir resolution fails to mention Article 370
Pakistan’s opposition on Tuesday objected to a resolution presented by the government condemning India’s move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status as it did not mention Article 370.
The Speaker of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament, Asad Qaiser, adjourned the session for 20 minutes after the opposition objected to the resolution, saying it did not mention Article 370 of India’s Constitution that accorded special status to the state.
Senator Raza Rabbani of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party said the motion did not mention the basic issue of India’s move to revoke the special status of Kashmir, which should have been highlighted.
In response to heckling by opposition members, human rights minister Shireen Mzazari said the opposition was there to make noise and not discuss the Kashmir issue.
Railways minister Sheikh Rasheed highlighted the need to mention Article 370, which according to him was the most significant matter that needed to be discussed in the session.
On the demand of the speaker, Azam Swati amended the motion and included a reference to Article 370.
The special joint session of Parliament was summoned by President Arif Alvi to discuss an alleged surge in unprovoked firing and shelling on the civilian population and the alleged use of cluster bombs by Indian forces in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. India has already denied these charges.
Indian home minister Amit Shah stunned Parliament on Monday with four proposals to split Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories and to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave the state its own constitution and decision-making rights for all matters except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
In response, Pakistan had asked India to “halt and reverse” its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, contending such a unilateral step cannot change the state’s status as an “internationally recognised disputed territory”.