Soon after the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced the move to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir and read down Article 370, the ministry of external affairs swiftly swung into action to tackle its international ramifications. Top MEA officials told envoys of “several countries”, including the five permanent members (P-5) of the United Nations Security Council — the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China — that the move was “internal to India” and “aimed at providing good governance, promoting social justice and ensuring economic development in J&K”.
Apparently, several countries had wanted to know about the government’s move in this regard. New Delhi expects that Pakistan will go all out to internationalise the issue at the UN General Assembly session next month. It has already announced that it is downgrading diplomatic ties with India and asked New Delhi to withdraw its high commissioner, Ajay Bisaria. Islamabad on Wednesday evening announced a slew of measures that included “suspension of bilateral trade with India, review of bilateral arrangements” and approaching the UN Security Council against India’s J&K move.
Apart from an expected defence of its move at the UN next month, India is waiting and watching reactions. The United States has so far been guarded, “closely” observing the events in Jammu and Kashmir. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, is following “with concern the tense situation in the India-Pakistan region” while urging all parties to exercise restraint.
It’s also expected that New Delhi would be in active touch with envoys of prominent Islamic countries. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been critical of India on the Kashmir issue. But the reaction of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is being viewed with much optimism. UAE ambassador to India Dr Ahmad Al Banna on Tuesday was quoted as saying, “We expect that the changes would improve social justice and security and confidence of the people in the local governance and will encourage further stability and peace.” Also, Maldives has also openly backed India. It supported the Indian position that it is an “internal matter” of India. But nevertheless, other OIC members like Pakistan’s friend Malaysia, seemed hostile.
China, too, become the second country after Pakistan to object - especially with regard to the creation of a separate Union Territory for Ladakh — with the Chinese government saying India had “continued to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law”, that Beijing was “opposed” to inclusion of the Chinese territory in Indian “administrative jurisdiction”. The reference was obviously to the fact that India’s geographical boundary for Ladakh extends to Aksai Chin, currently under Chinese occupation....