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Jammu & Kashmir Roundup: from Losing Self-Governing (Autonomy) Rights to More Political Strife

by Abdul Hussain

Jammu & Kashmir: an Indian Subcontinent territory that has been plagued by political tensions, has recently lost its rights to have basic self-governing privileges that operate in a de-facto independent state fashion as per the modification of Article 370 of the constitution of India, thanks to India’s president, Ram Nath Kovind, with the territories being relegated into Union Territories, and the political and governing rights shifting towards India as a result of this move.

During the events that led to the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s administrative autonomy, India has clamped down on internet and media as part of a security lockdown, in which reactions to this have been negative (not to mention earlier reports of India doing this) and has called the move “a new system [that] we all will able to free Jammu and Kashmir of terrorism and separatism”, and its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, branding the abrogation of Article 370 as “the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, BR Ambedkar, Syama Prasad Mookerjee and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajapyee” being “fulfilled”, while in response to India, Pakistan suspends trade with India and downgrade overall ties with India, to the point whereby Bollywood/Indian entertainment content is going to be banned as a result and sporting relationships with the two countries has been affected, as Pakistan and India’s Davis Cup tennis tie remains uncertain due to the Kashmir situation. In addition to downgrading diplomatic ties with India, Pakistan will consider non-military routes towards dealing with the current crisis, with Pakistan’s cricketer-turned-prime minister, Imran Khan, threatening to challenge India’s geographical actions in the UN Security Council and to the International Criminal Court, while accusing its neighbouring arch-nemesis, India, of encouraging “state-sponsored terrorism” earlier in July 2019.

From the Kashmiri reactions, to Sino-Pakistani disgust (the former has a part of Kashmir under its control and is allied with Pakistan as per the Chinese-Pakistani Economic Corridor), the reaction has been largely negative, though the US has urged the affected parties to maintain peace while stopping short of criticising India, and the US president, Donald Trump has offered to mediate in the crisis, but India has rejected the offer, even though Pakistan’s foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi told UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to “immediately take note of the serious situation and urge India to stall state oppression and stop human rights abuses, refrain from unprovoked firing across the Line of Control (LoC) and halt any actions that could bring about a material change in the situation on ground, in violation of Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir”, a claim in which Imran Khan has basically echoed, in which the concerns being brought up by Pakistan has since been unfortunately realised.

For additional information surrounding the events that sparked Indo-Pak-Kashmiri geopolitical tensions, India Today has posted a live blog surrounding the abrogation of Article 370, which as of the time of writing (8th August 2019), has since stopped being updated, and the BBC has the basic rundown of the India-Pakistan relations over Kashmir, and how it began, though considering the disagreements and the duration of said disagreements over how the beleaguered territory should be controlled, we may not see a peaceful outcome for an indefinite period of time.

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