Coming out openly in support of the abrogation of Article 370 of Indian constitution, an influential US lawmaker has said the action has created “equality for all Indians” and can be a “stepping stone to peace” in the Kashmir valley.
Referring to the overwhelming majority with which the move was approved by the parliament, US Congressman Pete Olson said that the abrogation of Article 370 has brought to an end the mechanism that paved way for different rules for citizenship and property ownership in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir.
“Earlier this year, the Indian Parliament confirmed that Article 370’s temporary status should end. It ended. It gave the people of Jammu and Kashmir the same rights as all Indians. It was a landslide: 125 to 61 in the Rajya Sabha and 370 to 70 in the Lok Sabha. This action creates equality for all Indians,” Pete Olson told the US House of Representatives while sharing the update on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir region.
“Hopefully this action can be a stepping stone to peace in Kashmir,” he added.
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Olson further said Article 370 was a temporary provision and “for 70 straight years, this temporary article has forced citizens of Jammu and Kashmir to live under different laws than all other Indians: different rules for citizenship and property ownership”.
Last week in an interview with French daily Le Monde, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while replying to a question on the situation in Kashmir, said, the “reforms” in August, when India revoked Article 370 to withdraw the special status of the region, led to some precautionary measures to avert the danger of violent reactions from radical and separatist elements but that the situation was now returning to normal”.
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“These restrictions have been gradually reduced, and as the situation normalises, telephone and mobile lines have been restored, shops are open and the apple harvest is underway. The situation is back to normal,” he said, adding that foreign journalists would be welcome to the region as soon as things are safe.