A day after India scrapped the Article 370 and 35A in Jammu and Kashmir, the US struck a cautionary tone over the issue. In a late-night statement, the US State Department said that, "We call on all parties to maintain peace and stability along the Line of Control." US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus’ statement didn’t name Pakistan. "We are closely following the events in Jammu and Kashmir. We take note of India's announcement revising the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and India's plan to split the state into two union territories," Ortagus added. However, the US has also said that it is concerned over the ‘human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir. "We are concerned about reports of detentions (in J&K) and urge respect for individual rights and discussion with the affected communities," Ortagus further said.
Earlier in the day, Ministry of External Affairs briefed the envoys of the P5 nations -- the US, the UK, China, France and Russia -- about Indian government's decision to scrap Article 370 and bifurcate the state into two union territories. With Article 370 becoming history, Jammu and Kashmir will not have separate state flag. With President Ram Nath Kovind’s nod to scrapping of Article 35A, every Indian will now be able to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir. Instead of the Ranbir Penal Code, the entire region will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Indian Penal Code. With these announcements, the Modi government at the Centre will have right on land and police power in Jammu and Kashmir.
As against the trifurcation buzz, the Modi government announced the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir. Shah also moved a bill proposing bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories -- Jammu and Kashmir division and Ladakh. Shah, who introduced the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation bill, said the union territory in Ladakh will have no legislature like Chandigarh. The other union territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature like Delhi and Puducherry.
The Monday move ends the seven-decade old history of Article 370. Two months after India won independence 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh, the then ruler of Jammu and Kashmir, signed a Treaty of Accession for the state to join the rest of the union, formalised in Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. Article 35A of India's constitution permitted the local legislature in Kashmir to define permanent residents of the region. The article came into being in 1954 by a presidential order under the constitution's Article 370.