India on Saturday said China should “respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” as recent developments in Jammu and Kashmir were “entirely a matter internal” to Indians.
“The Chinese side is well aware of India’s position that Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh are an integral part of India, and that the recent developments are entirely a matter internal to us,” said Raveesh Kumar, India’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, in a statement.
The statement came a day after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s said at the UN General Assembly in New York that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan should be resolved as per UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
“No actions that would unilaterally change the status quo should be taken,” Wang Yi added.
Kumar called on Beijing to respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. However, he did not mention the ongoing lockdown and worsening humanitarian situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
“We expect that other countries will respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and desist from efforts to change the status quo through the illegal so-called China Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan occupied Kashmir,” he added.
Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete lockdown since the Indian government’s move on Aug. 5 to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since then, the Indian government has blocked communication access and imposed restrictions on movement to thwart any protests in the region.
Several rights groups including the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly called on India to lift restrictions and release political detainees.
India said that 93% of the restrictions have been eased in the conflict-ridden region, a claim that Anadolu Agency could not independently verify.
A disputed region
From 1954 until Aug. 5, 2019, Jammu and Kashmir had special provisions under which it enacted its own laws. The provisions also protected the region’s citizenship law, which barred outsiders from settling in and owning land in the territory.
India and Pakistan both hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights groups, thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.
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