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What the Constitution Amendment Bill for Gilgit Baltistan might look like

The Indian government has made historic changes in land rights in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh completing a full and final integration of those regions. A constitutional amendment will further strengthen its claim on Gilgit-Baltistan. Here's what such an amendment could look like.

Gilgit-Baltistan, a region now part of Pakistan, which India claims.

The Constitution (Insert Number) Amendment Bill

A Bill to further amend the Constitution

Be it enacted in the (Insert Year) Year of the Republic of India as Follows

1. Short title and commencement- (1) This Act may be called The Constitution (Insert Number) Amendment Act, (Insert year). (2) It shall come into force on the (Insert date) of the (insert Month), (Insert Year).

2. Insertion of New Article 334A - After Article 334 of the Constitution, the following Article shall be inserted, namely -

“Article 334A. Special representation for peoples under illegal foreign occupation.- (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in article 81 the President may, subject to any presently existing illegal foreign occupation of any part of the Territory of India, and if he is of opinion that communities from such illegally occupied territories are not adequately represented in the House of the People, nominate not more than (Insert Number) citizens having domicile of these illegally occupied territories to the House of the People.

Explanation - For the purposes of this clause (1), communities from illegally occupied territories are citizens of India residing in the Territory of India and its parts thereof under an illegal foreign occupying State. An illegal foreign occupation is the forced illegal occupation of the Territory of India and its part(s) thereof by any foreign State or foreign power.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in Part II, or any provision of any law in force in the Union or any State immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, no persons being citizens of India nor their legal descendants having their domicile within presently illegally occupied territories, from the date commencing the illegal foreign occupation of the territories onwards, shall have their citizenship revoked or terminated only on grounds of them seeking identity, welfare, or travel documents from the foreign State or foreign power illegally occupying the corresponding territory.

Explanation- To prevent the loss of citizenship for citizens belonging to illegally occupied communities for engaging with the illegal foreign occupation with the purpose of identification, sustenance, social security, or travel, such actions as described shall not be the only reason for termination of citizenship. Such actions shall not be understood as voluntary, nor being of a collaborative nature with a foreign State or foreign power. It does not prevent termination of citizenship in cases of active collaboration, disloyalty or disaffection to the Constitution of India.

(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the nomination of the same person for two or more illegally occupied territories.

Statement of Reasons and Objects

  1. India has repeatedly faced hostile neighbours which have illegally occupied Indian territories beginning with the Pakistani invasion of the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir. Presently, India has three large territories under foreign occupation- a part of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, commonly known as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, a part of the Union Territory of Ladakh, known as Pakistan Occupied Ladakh, also known as Gilgit- Baltistan, and another part of the Union Territory of Ladakh known as China Occupied Ladakh, also known as Aksai Chin.The precarious circumstances these communities are subjected to by Pakistan calls for invoking constitutional guarantees. The lack of representation compounds the issues faced by citizens belonging to these regions.

  2. To prevent an erosion of belief upon the institutions of India in the minds of the residents of such territories.

  3. To avert disillusionment with the idea of being Indian and the risk of the embrace of the national identity of the illegal occupying force.

  4. Foreign occupiers threaten to dilute India’s claim on not only these communities but also the territories which they inhabit. Offering representation to these communities legitimizes India’s claim to inclusion while forcefully dismantling the monopoly on representation foreign occupiers have illegally forged. Offering representation to these communities would hasten their mainstreaming within the broader national consciousness.

  5. These communities face a unique predicament in the face of foreign occupation, and listening to their voices at the highest deliberative forum of the nation would make the country more responsive to their needs.

  6. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objectives.

(Date, Place) (Name of introducing member)


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