The Union Ministry of Home Affairs on Saturday issued a notification detailing the boundaries of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and also issued a new political map of India.
In areas under Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan region is shown in Ladakh in the new map, and the remaining part in Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory.
India had on August 5 rescinded the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution, paving the way for the creation of the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. These came into existence on October 31.
The gazette notification said that the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have all the districts that were under the former state except for Kargil and Leh, which are both parts of Ladakh Union Territory. India now has 28 states and nine Union Territories.
On October 31, Indian Administrative Service officer Girish Chandra Murmu took oath as the first lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir, while former defence secretary Radha Krishna Mathur took charge of Ladakh. While Jammu and Kashmir will have a legislature, Ladakh will be ruled directly from the Centre.
The Centre also imposed curfew-like restrictions in August. The restrictions have gradually been eased in Kashmir, with mobile phone connectivity restored and schools and colleges reopened. However, an internet ban continues, and senior leaders of local political parties remain in detention. There have also been reports of clashes between security personnel and protestors.
Though countries such as Pakistan, China and Malaysia, as well as the United Nations have raised concerns regarding India’s decisions, New Delhi maintains that the whole of Kashmir, including Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is an integral part of India, and its internal matter.
Most recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the current situation in Kashmir is “not sustainable” and needs to change. “The situation for the people there is currently not sustainable and must improve,” she had said on Friday, adding that though she was aware of India’s position, she wanted to hear from Modi about his plans to restore calm in the region.
Last month, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights had asked India to “fully restore” the rights and liberties denied to Kashmiris on account of the curfew imposed in the Union Territory.