New Delhi: In a stern message to China, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories is an internal matter of India and Beijing should not comment on it since it still continues to illegally occupy large parts of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Slamming China for calling India’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir “unlawful and void”, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that other countries, including China, should refrain from commenting on India's internal matter.
“China is well aware of India’s consistent and clear position on this issue. The matter of reorganization of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh is entirely an internal affair of India. We do not expect other countries, including China, to comment on the matters which are internal to India, just as India refrains from commenting on internal issues of other countries,” the MEA spokesperson said.
“China continues to be in occupation of a large tract of area in the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. It has also illegally acquired Indian territories from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the so-called China-Pakistan Boundary Agreement of 1963,” he added.
China objected to the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir and said that New Delhi's move to "include" some of “China's territory” into its administrative jurisdiction "challenged" the sovereignty of Beijing.
It is to be noted that Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated on October 31 (Thursday) into two union territories - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh - as per Centre's announcement on August 5 abrogating Article 350, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier also China had registered his objections against Centre's decision to abrogate Article 370 and the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory, saying that some parts of Ladakh fall under China.
"The Indian government officially announced the establishment of so-called Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh Union Territories which included some of China's territory into its administrative jurisdiction," China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
"China deplores and firmly opposes that. India unilaterally changed its domestic laws and administrative division challenging China's sovereignty," he said replying to a question. "This is unlawful and void and this is not effective in any way and will not change the fact that the area is under Chinese actual control," he added.