India plans massive hiring drive for govt workers in Kashmir

NEW DELHI (AP) — India said it plans to hire tens of thousands of government workers in its part of Kashmir after revoking the disputed region’s special constitutional status, under which it had autonomy and outsiders could not buy land or hold private-sector jobs.

Satya Pal Malik, the New Delhi-appointed governor, called it the largest recruitment drive in the region, with officials planning to fill up “50,000 vacancies in various government departments in the next few months”.

At a news conference on Wednesday in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, Malik also announced that the government is willing to commit USD700 million to help apple farmers.

Indian authorities believe the move will expand the region’s economy, to which horticulture, particularly apple orchards, is critical.

Indian officials have characterised their surprise move to strip Kashmir’s special constitutional status as a way to boost its economic potential.