India says it plans to hire tens of thousands of government workers in occupied Kashmir after New Delhi stripped the cashmere of constitutional rights they had for seven decades through a hasty presidential order.
Satya Pal Malik, the governor appointed by New Delhi, called it the largest recruitment campaign in the disputed region, with officials planning to fill "50,000 vacancies in various government departments in the coming months."
At a press conference Wednesday in Srinagar, Malik also announced that the government is willing to commit $ 700 million to help apple growers. Indian authorities believe that the measure will expand the region's economy, for which horticulture, particularly apple orchards, is critical.
Malik assured the people of peace and said that "normality" will soon return to occupied Kashmir. He said mobile phone services in 10 occupied Jammu and Kashmir districts will be restored and mobile phone services will also be back in police districts in northern Kupwara and Handwara in the Kashmir valley.
The Press Trust of India The news agency reported that Malik acknowledged in his press conference that Indian paramilitary forces used pellet guns during protests in occupied Kashmir.
Malik spoke hours after the Indian high court took on challenges to end the special status of occupied Kashmir and asked the government to explain its position.
Read: The Supreme Court of India issues a notice to the government about petitions related to the revocation of Article 370
The government of India, led by the Hindu nationalist party Bharatiya Janata, decided on August 5 to repeal article 370 of the Indian constitution, which granted Kashmir the special status occupied. The government instituted a security blockade and a communications blackout to prevent violence. As the repression enters its 25th day, authorities say they have eased some of the restrictions.
Indian officials have characterized their surprising movement to strip the special constitutional status of occupied Kashmir as a way to increase their economic potential. They are also planning an international investment summit in the disputed region as India has seen a slowdown in its economy.
Many people in Kashmir believe that the loss of a special status has nothing to do with the region's economy and they see it as a form of aggression by the Indian government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his first speech to the nation after revoking the special status of occupied Kashmir, said the region now has "the potential to become the world's largest tourist destination." Indian Interior Minister Amit Shah also said earlier this month that revoking the state "will launch" the development.
Read: Modi uses Indian Independence Day to defend changes in occupied Kashmir
However, state data shows that the gross domestic product of occupied Kashmir, the value of all goods and services in the state, has increased from $ 16.7 billion in 2012 to an estimated $ 21.9 billion last year.
In contrast, India is dealing with economic growth that has slowed to a minimum of five years of 5.8 percent in the quarter from January to March. The decline in industrial production and car sales have further increased fears of a deeper slowdown in the country.