In wake of coming 15th August, Day of Independence for India, 10000 troops were moved to OIK followed with another deployment of 25000. There is news that Modi, in the speech of Independence Day may abolish Article 35A.
Article 35A is to be read with Article 370. The former allows J&K legislature the decision making powers on number of subjects dealing with the fundamental rights of the people of the state including the right to define permanent residence and acquisition of immovable property within the regional boundaries. ‘According to the provisions in the Article 35A, the citizens are defined “permanent” as someone who was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident of the state for 10 years and has lawfully acquired immovable property. The article also outlaws from owning property or having any gainful employment in the region. This greatly hinders private sector investments and ‘development’ in the region.’ (Eurasian Times)
This abrogation will take away the exclusive citizen rights to the citizens and allow influx of Indians and takeover of properties legally and/or by coercion violating Article 370 as well as unbalance the proportion of ‘citizens’ making the original inhabitants a minority in their home state.
It is important to grasp what Article 370 is and its implications. Maharaja Hari Singh when acceded to India on 26 October 1947 “did not commit himself to accept any future constitution of India. However, he reserved the right to enter into agreements with the government of India under any future constitution of India. The instrument of accession did not affect the continuance of the sovereignty of the ruler in and over the state or the validity of any law in force in the state, save as provided by or under the instrument of accession”, (KASHMIR ARTICLE 370 by Mohan Krishen Teng). The said piece of legislation can only be revoked by the constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir so recommends.
The reason for maintaining the sub-nationality for Jammu and Kashmir was self-evident; the fear of being ruled by Hindu majority India whereas Jammu and Kashmir was and is pre-dominantly Muslim.
The constitutional provisions envisaged by Article 370 of the constitution of India and the subsequent constitution (application to Jammu and Kashmir) orders, promulgated by the president of India, provide for a partial application of the constitution of India to the Jammu and Kashmir state. In their application to Jammu and Kashmir, the provisions of the constitution of India fall into three categories:
- Provisions which are not applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir State;
- Provisions which are applicable to the Jammu and Kashmir State; and
- Provisions which are applicable to the State with exceptions and reservations,
- (KASHMIR ARTICLE 370 by Mohan Krishen Teng)
Those who support Modi’s move to repeal Article 370 ask questions like if it’s not really intact does it really make a difference if it’s legally changed? Yes, it does make a difference. Changing the basic structure of the state changes the legal standing of its subjects. Make no mistake about it. According to Amitabh Mattoo, “…at the opposition conclave in Srinagar in 1982, leaders of virtually all national parties, including past and present allies of the BJP, declared that the “special constitutional status of J&K under Article 370 should be preserved and protected in letter and spirit”, (Published ‘The Hindu December 6, 2013).
Why is OIK status important to Pakistan
Pakistan is dependent for water from a single source: the Indus River basin. “The article III of the Indus Water treaty, binds the Government of India not to hinder the flow of the western rivers, i.e. Indus, Jhelum and Chenab, to Pakistan, and India cannot store any water or construct any storage works, on the above cited rivers, having been given total rights since march 1973,of Ravi, Beas and Sutlej, we get flood surplus of these rivers which is released in case of excessive rains, which helps in recharging our ground waters levels, but that too will cease after the second Ravi-Beas Link is made.
Today while we slumber, India has started works on, the following projects; Pakal Dul 1000MW, Kiru 600MW,Karwar 520 MW, Baglihar (eventual 900MW),Sawalkot 1200MW (two 600mw units), Salal 390 MW, Sewa-II 120 MW, and finally the Bursur project on the Marusudar river, which, is a major tributary of Chenab river, here the Foxland intends to build a massive water storage dam, which will control and regulate the flow to maintain levels of Pakal dul, Dul Hasti, Rattle, Baglihar, Sawalkot and Salal Hydro-projects, on the Chenab.” (Naveed Tajammal, March 6, 2012)
The flow of surplus water in summers cause floods causing damage to our crops and as a result thereof to the economy. Ending July 2019, India water level at River Chenab has increased causing flood in nearby areas after India released millions cusecs water without prior information. “The reports further said India has not informed Pakistan about water release till now. India is bound to inform Pakistan from July 1 as per the agreement. Meanwhile, dozens of villages submerged in Pasrur after India have released flood water in Nullah Dek.” (Nation, July 31st2019)
End Note: Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry needs to sit up and ensure Modi does not abrogate Article 35A to the detriment of the people of Pakistan & OIK. Crying over spilt milk does not deliver.