The local administration in India’s Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday announced that it will be restoring more forms of communication in the region soon, more than five months after imposing a communications lockdown.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Principal Secretary Rohit Kansal, addressing media in Jammu, said broadband internet and 2G mobile internet services will be restored in parts of Jammu and Kashmir soon, while voice calling and SMS services will be restored for all pre-paid mobile connections across the federal government-administered union territory.
Jammu & Kashmir Principal Secretary, Rohit Kansal: After a careful review, the competent authority has ordered today that voice & SMS facilities shall be restored on all local prepaid sim cards across J&K. pic.twitter.com/hJ7CaRtg3f— ANI (@ANI) January 18, 2020
Giving details of the latest government order, Kansal said 2G mobile internet services will be restored to access only white-listed (officially approved) websites in ten districts of the Jammu region and two districts of the Kashmir region - Kupwara and Bandipora.
He said the relevant authorities had reviewed the situation on the ground before recommending a further phased withdrawal of the communications clampdown imposed on 4 August 2019. Access to social media, however, would not be allowed for some time, he added.
Some netizens welcomed the announcement, while others said the administration needed to do more to restore people's faith in the system.
Now it's time for J&K to move ahead on the path of growth— Mohil Malhotra🇮🇳मोहिल मल्होत्रा (@TheMohil8) January 18, 2020
A meager restoration of voice calls and sms in parts of kashmir after months of deprive is announced as if Government is announcing JOBS, HEALTHCARE and BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY.— ASHFAQ💐 (@KingAshu) January 18, 2020
Change at center is inevitable to restore peace across INDIA
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated last August after New Delhi announced amendments to Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, which led to revoking the special quasi-autonomous status of the then state of Jammu and Kashmir after more than seven decades.
Pakistan condemned India's decision, while the UN Security Council has informally discussed its implications thrice over the last five months, the latest meeting taking place on 15 January 2020 at China's request. However, there has been no discernible result.
Kashmir has been a bone of contention between the two countries since they gained freedom from British colonial rule in 1947. Both govern it in part but claim it in full. They have also fought three wars over Kashmir.