“The decision is a historic step. After several decades, a wrong has been corrected,” said Gokhale.
“In terms of security challenges, we can expect some, but the government has taken pre-emptive steps like increasing the military presence in the State,” he added.
Gokhale said that the revocation should not be seen as an attempt to redraw the Line of Control (LoC) that separates Indian and Pakistani forces in Kashmir, or as a move to ensure the complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir.
“No, I don’t see military action of any kind taking place from the Indian side. Pakistan would need to provoke India for something like that to happen. But it will continue to hold the view that Pakistan must vacate those areas of Kashmir as agreed under the UN Resolutions of 1948 and 1949,” Gokhale said.
He added that repealing Article 370 would not result in a diplomatic backlash as essentially it was an internal matter of India.
Gokhale ruled out any reaction from China on Ladakh being made a union territory. “My view is that India is not looking to change the status quo. The government’ aim is to provide better administrative arrangements for the people of Ladakh," he said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has asked UN Secretary-General António Guterres to take note of India’s decision to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status, warning that it will be a threat to regional peace and security.
Qureshi cautioned Guterres to urge India to stall what he described as “state oppression and human rights abuses” by New Delhi in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Kashmir region has been the source of clashes between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Following several armed conflicts, the two countries agreed to a ceasefire in 2003. Since then, however, both parties have repeatedly accused each other of violating the truce, with continued instability in the region leading to the emergence of various extremist groups.
The views and opinions expressed in this article by Nitin Gokhale are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.