COAS chairing Corps Commanders Conference

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa is chairing a Corps Commanders Conference to discuss the situation along the Line of Control (LOC).

The conference comes a day after the Indian government abolished Article 370 of the constitution which granted special status to Indian-occupied Kashmir. 

India rushed through a presidential decree to abolish Article 370, which revoked the special status granted to occupied Kashmir and made the state a Union Territory with the legislature. The announcement sparked chaotic scenes in the Indian parliament, with opposition politicians shouting protests, and the Congress describing the decision as a “catastrophic step”.

The unprecedented move followed days of uncertainty in the region that began on Friday when New Delhi ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave “immediately”.

Article 370 of the Indian constitution gave special status to occupied Kashmir. It limited the power of the Indian parliament to impose laws in the state, apart from matters of defence, foreign affairs and communications.

A joint session of Parliament summoned by President Dr Arif Alvi will also meet at Parliament House in Islamabad today to discuss the situation in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned and rejected the Indian government’s move. In a press release, the ministry stated that Indian-occupied Kashmir was an internationally recognised disputed territory.

“No unilateral step by the Government of India can change this disputed status, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. Nor will this ever be acceptable to the people of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan,” said the press release.

“As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” it added.