Pakistan on Thursday rejected the “bifurcation” of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) into two union territories, the disputed territory which remains under curfew for nearly three months.
According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, changing of status quo in the disputed territory is in complete violation of the UN Security Council Resolutions and Bilateral Agreements between Islamabad and New Delhi, especially the Simla Agreement.
Shops and offices were shut on Thursday and the streets largely deserted as the Modi administration formally revoked the Himalayan valley’s constitutional autonomy and split it into two federal territories.
Just after midnight on Wednesday, the Indian government’s orders went into effect, dividing up the old state of occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories – one Jammu and Kashmir, and the other the Buddhist-dominated high altitude region of Ladakh.
Kashmiri political leaders, civil society members and common people – including women and young children – remain under illegal detention since New Delhi stripped the disputed territory of the special autonomy it had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order on August 5.
The statement added that India should “immediately withdraw its military forces from the region, remove draconian laws, restore basic human rights of the people, free all detainees, lift all restrictions on the free movement and communications, allow unimpeded and full access to the UN and other international human rights observers, including independent foreign media.