India reduces Article 370 of its constitution to an empty shell, Masood Khan

MUZAFFAERABAD: Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has said Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which separates Kashmir from rest of India, has been reduced to an empty shell by India through the scores of presidential orders.  

He made these remarks during an interview with the Global Village Space magazine. He said that most of the distinct rights given to the state (IOK) under Article 370 have either been eroded or taken back by various governments in New Delhi.   

“The provision of the constitution that gives so called autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir has never been implemented in letter and spirit, and now it has been almost reduced to an empty shell because of the scores of presidential orders to extend India’s jurisdiction over the state,” President Masood said.

“With the connivance and acquiescence of the governments in Srinagar installed by Delhi, most of the distinct rights given to the state under Article 370 have either been eroded or taken back. The value of Article 370 is now symbolic and not substantive,” he maintained.

Saying that Article 35-A of the Indian constitution is different to that of Article 370, President Sardar Masood made it clear that former recognizes Kashmiris’ right to permanent residence (and denies it to non-Kashmiris) and confers on their rights and privileges in regard to state employment, acquisition of property, settlement, scholarships, and educational assistance.

“By revoking this article (35-A), India can swamp the occupied territory with non-Kashmiris Hindus from India to change the demographic composition of the state in its favor.

 Responding to another question about India’s threats of the so-called surgical strikes, AJK President said Indian false claim of surgical strike was initially based on a story that Indian weaved to win over their constituents to show that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is muscular.

By its very definition, a surgical strike is launched to engage and destroy a military target while avoiding collateral damage to civilian structures or personnel. India’s claims of the so-called surgical strikes in September 2016 were widely mocked not only worldwide but also within India by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. By all accounts, it was a false and botched operation, the president elaborated.

The Indian government, he said, had claimed that their armed forces had destroyed ‘launching pad’ in Leepa in Azad Kashmir, a launching pad that never even existed. Now once again Indian warmongers are imagining that 250 (exactly 250, no less, no more) terrorists from 27 different locations are waiting to cross over to the Indian Occupied Kashmir from Azad Kashmir. Come on, they know that the biggest threat to India in IOK are millions of peaceful, unarmed Kashmiris who have rejected India’s illegitimate rule in Kashmir.

Sardar Masood Khan said India’s own security officials claim that the number of indigenous ‘militants’ is not more than 250, who are ill-equipped and poorly trained and nobody from across the Line of Control is allowed to infiltrate because of the strong fencing of the greater length of the LOC, fortified by landmines, thermal imaging, remote sensing, and 24/7 electronic surveillance.

“There is no infiltration from Azad Kashmir; the problem is inside the IOK where the Kashmiri people have thrown away the yoke of Indian repression. They are no more afraid of Indian terror, and that is what scares Indian imperial forces, President Khan pointed out.

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