SRINAGAR, India (AP) — India's government has initiated a revocation of the special constitutional status of disputed Kashmir amid uproar in Parliament and a huge troop deployment in the region.
Home Minister Amit Shah told members of the upper house Monday that the government has decided to repeal a law that gives special status to the Himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir by presidential order. Shah says that the government has also decided to split the state into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature, and Ladakh, which will be ruled directly by the central government without a legislature of its own.
The law, Article 370 of the Constitution, forbids Indians outside the state from permanently settling, buying land, holding local government jobs and securing education scholarships.
Pakistan's foreign minister has rejected India's revocation, saying the move violates a U.N. resolution.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told a Pakistani TV station Monday from Saudi Arabia, where he's on a pilgrimage to Mecca, that Pakistan would step up diplomatic efforts to prevent the revocation made by presidential order from coming into effect.
The president of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, also rejected India's presidential order and said that India "can go to war" with Pakistan in such a situation.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both claim the region in its entirety. Two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since their independence from British rule were over Kashmir.
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