Indian PM to mainstreamise Kashmir region’s economy and halt terrorism

By Helene Fung

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a nationally broadcast address that he stripped Kashmir of its statehood and special constitutional status to free the disputed Himalayan region of “terrorism and separatism”.

This follows a security lockdown and arrests of more than 500 people and near total communications blackout at the Muslim-majority region since Sunday night.

Indian Parliament decided to revoke the special status of the state and downgraded it into a territory, which also took away the region’s right to its own constitution.

Mr Modi said the “mainstreaming” of the Kashmir along with the rest of Indian would expedite development and create new jobs, and accused Pakistan of using the past arrangement “as a weapon to incite people of the region against India”.

Kashmir is being claimed by both Indian and Pakistan, with each only controlling only a part of the region. In-fighting in the region has been going on for decades.

Pakistan responded with an announcement to downgradediplomatic ties with New Delhi, expel the Indian ambassador and suspend trade and a key train service with India.

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