Ending J&K’s special status will ‘exacerbate human rights situation’, says United Nations agency

Friday, 09 Aug, 2019

Stung by the nullification of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan has reacted sharply and expelled India's ambassador to Islamabad.

The spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters that over the past few days the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan "has observed and reported an increase in military activity" along the highly militarized Line of Control (LoC).

Pakistan on Wednesday announced that it will downgrade the diplomatic relations and suspend bilateral trade with India, after the Narendra Modi government scrapped Article 370, Article 35A and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories (UTs).

The principal of Srinagar's Government Medical College, which runs Kashmir's largest hospital network had to personally visit district officials to coordinate services or seek approvals, a hospital official said. "Even if you change the meaning and say it is tantamount to the legislative assembly of the state, even then the state assembly does not exist", political analyst Yogendra Yadav said.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the two countries to refrain from any steps that could affect the special status of the disputed regions of Kashmir and Jammu.

The sources said that though the local commanders were not informed about the specific decision but were given an idea about a big development likely to take place in relation to the Valley.

"I don't want to get into warmongering but believe me, if there is war between India and Pakistan, this is not going to be a usual war or the war that will be limited to one country". "India has also been informed that Pakistan will not be sending its high commissioner designate to India", he said.

The foreign minister said Pakistan condemns India's decision to end the special status of Kashmir.

People draw and write messages on a road during a protest in Delhi against the abrogation of the special constitutional status for Kashmir.

The disputed territory of Kashmir has always been a flashpoint in relations between India and Pakistan.

Kashmir has caused a great deal of tension between India and Pakistan over the years.

The United Arab Emirates, an important voice in the Arab world, has come out in support of India's changes, saying it is an "internal matter of India", as did neighbouring Sri Lanka.

He said Pakistan had never shut doors for talks with India in the past but India never positively responded to such offers from Islamabad.

On Wednesday, workers crowded the railroad station at Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state, as they waited for trains bound for Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand.

Every year, tens of thousands of people travel to Kashmir from various Indian states looking for work, mainly masonry, carpentry and agriculture. India blamed the militants for a deadly attack on its police convoy.