Formation of J&K, Ladakh union territories ‘illegal and void’: China

Members of European Union Parliamentary delegation board a shikara ride at Dal Lake in Srinagar on October 29

It was speculated earlier that the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan - a region under Pakistan occupation - would fall under the Jammu and Kashmir Union territory.

"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", Kumar said.

Indian authorities also changed the name of the state-run radio station Radio Kashmir Srinagar to All India Radio Srinagar.

As J&K - which has been part of the Union of India since its accession to it in 1947 - ceased to be a state and formally bifurcated into two UTs, two IAS officers, Girish Chandra Murmu and Radha Krishna Mathur, were on Thursday sworn-in as Lieutenant Governors of J&K and Ladakh, respectively.

This is the first time a State has been downsized into Union Territories, the two new entities taking the total number of Union Territories to nine and bringing down the number of States in India to 28. It borders the Xinjiang Province of China to the north, the northern areas of Pakistan-administered Kashmir to the south and west, and the Siachen Glacier region to the east. Home minister Amit Shah in his address said that the reorganisation was necessitated by the constant threats of cross-border terrorism in J&K and the demand of the people of Ladakh.

"China deplores and firmly opposes that (move)".

Friday's notification also renamed the Department of Jammu and Kashmir in the MHA as the "Department of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Affairs".

The newly released map doesn't take account of Aksai Chin and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

India's Muslim-majority region of Kashmir was formally divided on Thursday (Oct 31), nearly three months after losing its autonomy in a move that triggered violence and stoked tensions with arch-rival Pakistan.

The Indian-ruled part of disputed Kashmir was split into two parts, with its long-lasting self-governing status officially extinguished.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Kashmir was a historical dispute which should be peacefully resolved.

Government employees of the new union territories will start getting salaries and other benefits according to the recommendations of the seventh Pay Commission. Pakistan, meanwhile, believes India's decision violates global law and will even result in "ethnic cleansing".

"In this context, it is extremely important to keep Members of Congress briefed on the relationship and to not allow issues that could divert us from the larger objective of this relationship", he said.

It blames Pakistan for maintaining the revolt alive, allegations the nuclear-armed neighbor denies. We had been taught since childhood that India has twenty eight states.

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