Hours after Indian government revoked Article 370 of the Constitution that accords special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan has condemned the move, saying that it will exercise all possible options to counter the "illegal steps".
"Pakistan strongly condemns and rejects the announcements made today by the Indian Government regarding the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir," Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement.
Pakistan's external affair ministry alleged that "the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is an internationally recognized disputed territory", adding that no unilateral step by Indian government can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
This will never be acceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan, it said.
"As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps," the statement noted.
"Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to the Kashmir cause and its political, diplomatic and moral support to the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir for realization of their inalienable right to self-determination," it added.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that India's decision to abolish Article 35A, has resurrected Kashmir problem. "The move to abolish Article 35A has left India's so-called democratic face open to the world. The Kashmir leadership does not agree with India's decision. India has resurrected the Kashmir problem with its decision," he said.
Earlier today, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution at the Rajya Sabha to revoke Article 370. The minister said that all clauses of Article 370 will not be applicable on Jammu and Kashmir. Shah announced that Article 370 that gives special status to J&K will be revoked.
The Home Minister also said that Jammu and Kashmir will be bifurcated into two Union Territories - the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh. The Ladakh UT will not have a legislature.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar