The Cabinet Secretariat on Friday notified rules reasserting the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as the authority that would decide on the imposition of AFSPA in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh. There are now nine union territories and 28 states.
The move is in accordance with the Government's August 5 announcement withdrawing the State's Special Status under Article 370 and bifurcating the State into Union Territories.
However, Mr Modi said the region had a "bright future". Disaffection in Kashmir and Pakistan sponsored terrorism are related but independent variables. "It is imperative that India implements the UN Security Council resolutions on the right of Kashmiris to self-determination, without further prevarication", it added.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution was a "temporary provision" which granted autonomous, special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
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The central government has bestowed on itself the authority to declare any area in the newly-created Union Territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh as "disturbed" under the controversial AFSPA, which gives sweeping powers to state forces to act against any suspect. This has been protested by worldwide human rights monitors.
This is the new Union Territory of Ladakh.
The UT of Jammu and Kashmir will be composed of the remaining districts, which include Anantnag, Bandipora, Baramulla, Budgam, Doda, Ganderbal, Jammu, Kathua, Kishtwar, Kupwara, Kulgam, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Poonch, Pulwama, Rajouri, Rambam, Reasi, Samba, Shopian, Srinagar, and Udhampur.
Pakistan is also enduring an ongoing political dispute with India as the two nations clash over the Kashmir region, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has enforced strict curfews amid escalating protests. Both the countries claim sovereignty over the disputed Aksai Chin region, which Beijing controls. There has of course been no referendum but the reported reaction in Leh demonstrates the complexities involved in the Kashmir question.
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New Delhi remains totally unrepentant over its decision. "Many people, especially women and children, are being continuously abused and tortured by Indian occupation forces", it added. But for the people in Kashmir, the new status simply makes their lives harder.
For Jammu and Kashmir to flourish, there must be peace and stability.
"GOI [Government of India] has left Kashmiris in the lurch & shown disregard for their rights", she said in a Twitter post which is being handled by her daughter. But we will need a louder voice raised from around the world if any change is to be made.
India's Foreign Ministry spokesperson rejected China's comments, and said Kashmir was an integral part of the country and any reorganization of the state was an internal affair.
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