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India scraps special status for Kashmir in step Pakistan calls illegal

As part of its effort to integrate the predominantly Muslim region of Kashmir with the rest of India, the Indian government on Monday stripped the region of its autonomous status and revoked a ban on property purchases by non-residents. The decision is bound to escalate tensions with neighboring Pakistan over the disputed region that is divided between the two countries but fully claimed by both.

Pakistan slammed the move as illegal, with its foreign ministry stating that “as the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”

In February of this year, India and Pakistan exchanged airstrikes as the result of a crisis over Kashmir that started after a suicide attack by Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 42 members of India’s Central Reserve Police Force in the region. India and Pakistan are both nuclear powers.

Read more: India scraps special status for Kashmir in step Pakistan calls illegal

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