Nusrat Sidiq, Anadolu Agency, November 4, 2020
A group of mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday rejected India’s controversial legal changes allowing outsiders to buy non-agricultural land in the disputed region.
The seven-party alliance, jointly called People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), dubbed the Oct. 26 order of the Indian Interior Ministry allowing Indian nationals who are not residents of Jammu and Kashmir to buy non-agricultural land in the region as bizarre attempt to distort facts, weave lies and mislead people.
The statement said that the real object of the repeal of the basic land laws and the massive amendments to the other laws is to push in and implement the agenda of effecting “demographic change and disempowering” the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The laws now introduced through amendments by Indian Government are not only against people of Jammu and Kashmir but undemocratic, unconstitutional and backward looking with only aim to disempower people and change the demography,” it read.
Until Aug. 5 last year, when India stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomous status and divided it into two centrally ruled territories, outsiders could not buy property or apply for government jobs. Since then, the Indian government introduced laws that made it easier for outsiders to become residents of the region and eligible for government jobs.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.