US leader applauds Modi for 'bold' steps in J-K
November 01, 2019  07:51
An influential American Congressman applauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking the "bold steps" on Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating an "outdated and temporary" provision of the Constitution.
"The steps that Prime Minister Modi and the Parliament have taken are needed, they're good for the long-term stability of the region, and they should be applauded, Congressman George Holding said on the House floor.
The Republican lawmaker said the Indian Parliament passed the legislation changing the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and modified provisions that were an "obstacle to economic development and promoted a sense of separatism."
"Up until recently, Kashmir had been governed by Article 370, which was an outdated provision of law that the Indian constitution recognized as temporary. Article 370 might have worked well for those with political connections, but it denied economic opportunities for the people, he said.

The temporary provision of the Indian Constitution, he said, also created a "polarizing environment" that was exploited politically and during the past decades, thousands of people lost their lives due to terrorist attacks.
Several groups based in Pakistan were able to conduct cross-border terrorism that wreaked havoc on individuals and families, and led to a morbid economy, he said.
Hence, Modi government had to make a decision on whether to continue with the old policy or to pursue progress by changing the region's legal status, Holding asserted.
-- PTI
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