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SOURCE: PTI

India on Thursday firmly told Pakistan that the entire Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh were and will always be its integral and inalienable part and said that after the constitutional changes in 2019, the people of the region are now able to realise their full potential as in other parts of the country.

Speaking at the 41st Session of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Working Group which is being held from November 7-18 at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) here, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta also slammed Pakistan for raking up the Kashmir issue at the forum.

“The entire Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh were and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India,” Mehta said at the UNHRC, where the Universal Periodic Review of India’s human rights record is currently underway.

Mehta said that after the constitutional changes and reorganisation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, the people of the region are now able to realize their full potential as in other parts of the country.

His response came after the Pakistan delegate raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir during his remarks at the review process.

The Pakistani delegate made six recommendations, including reversal of steps taken since August 2019 and access to independent observers to the region.

“Despite the continued threat of cross border terrorism, the security situation has improved significantly in Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019,” said Mehta, who is leading the Indian delegation for the UPR.

India abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution, revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating the state into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.

Mehta said that the government of India has taken several steps for all round development of Jammu and Kashmir including restoration of democracy at the grassroot levels, good governance, unprecedented development of infrastructure, tourism and trade. He noted that this year, Jammu and Kashmir has already received over 16 million tourists, “the highest ever so far.”

He added that extension of over 800 people-friendly and progressive Central laws to the region has ensured better opportunities for all the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“These Central laws include affirmative action for the vulnerable sections, the right to free and compulsory education, non-discriminatory inheritance laws, protection against domestic violence and empowerment of women, decriminalisation of same sex relations and conferment of rights to transgender persons,” he said.