Senior lawyer Harish Salve, who represented India in the Kulbhushan Jadhav case in the International Court of Justice, on Wednesday said Article 370 was a mistake and backed the Centre’s decision to scrap Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, reported PTI. Salve said Pakistan’s reaction to the move was a sign of “complete bankruptcy”.

“Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is Indian, they [Pakistan] are squatting there,” Salve told reporters at the Indian High Commission in London. “If there is any disputed territory [in the region], it is PoK. The Kashmir Constitution says Kashmir is an integral part of India, not just the Indian Constitution. Kashmir being an integral part of India has never been in doubt, except in certain Pakistani minds.”

India’s decision caused outrage among the Pakistani leadership, which responded by suspending trade relations, downgrading diplomatic ties, and writing letters to the United Nations in an effort to internationalise the matter. India, however, has resisted attempts to discuss Kashmir at global platforms, calling it an internal matter.

Salve also supported the way the Centre implemented its move. Several restrictions, including a communication blockade, have been imposed in the state since August 5, when the Union government announced its move. The government did not discuss the move with the state’s representatives, and several Kashmiri leaders were either detained or put under house arrest before the decision was announced.

“Some time you had to cut the Gordian Knot and the government has done it,” he said. “The only way it could have been done is by one shot. The suggestion that it should have been a discussion is nonsense because even the slightest mention of 370 would evoke very trenchant and militant criticism. India has done the right thing.”

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