Kashmir conflict now a global concern
BJP governments have always ditched India on its vital national interests. Its first Prime Minister AB Vajpayee took the fateful decision of India’s overt nuclearisation. Without such a folly, Pakistan’s nuclear weapon programme could not have seen the light of the day. And now BJP’s second Prime Minister NarendraModi has gifted to Pakistan what Islamabad could not achieve through Operations Gibraltar and Kargil. Since August 05, Indian civil society is severely polarized on the issue, all leading newspaper of Western media are carrying articles on Kashmir, after June 1998, the issue is once again back to United Nations Security Council (UNSC). And a Chapter VII resolution is just a matter of time. Modi has many a fiascos to his (dis)credit: revocation of Article 370, Pulwama false flag operation and Doklan humiliation are just the recent ones. India does not need an external enemy if Indian people keep throwing up such erratic leadership.
Pakistan is making a hectic Kashmir focused diplomatic effort. Before the UNSC meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan reached out to four out of five heads of P-5 states of the Security Council. On August 16, the premier held a telephonic conversation with United States President Donald Trump over India’s illegal Kashmir move. Pakistan’s permanent envoy to the UN DrMaleehaLodhi has said the UNSC meeting is testament that Kashmir conflict is not an internal matter of India but an international issue. Briefing the media along with the Chinese envoy to the UN after the UNSC’s closed door meeting, on August 17, she said there was an effort to cancel this meeting and we are grateful to all member states for having it. All the 15 permanent and non-permanent member states attended the consultative session. Meeting was briefed on the latest developments and the dismal human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).
Speaking on the occasion, the Chinese ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said the Kashmir issue has become an internationally recognised dispute, which should be resolved according to the UN charter. He said India’s unilateral step has aggravated the situation in the region. The Chinese ambassador said members of the Security Council generally feel India and Pakistan should both refrain from unilateral action over Kashmir. Zhang told reporters that the situation in Kashmir is “already very tense and very dangerous”. China has decided to fully support Pakistan on Kashmir issue amid New Delhi’s attempts to change the demography of the disputed area and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiris. After his trip to China, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has also reaffirmed China’s ‘complete support’ in motion against India at the UNSC.
Back in India, Kashmiris protested against the Modi government’s highly provocative move after Friday prayers on August 16. Police fired tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to disperse residents who tried to march down the main road in Srinagar. Protesters hurled stones and used shop hoardings and tin sheets as improvised shields, as police shot dozens of rounds into the crowd.
Warning that the Kashmir crisis could get worse, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States AsadMajeed Khan has raised the possibility that Islamabad might redeploy troops from the Afghanistan border to the Kashmir frontier, a shift that could complicate American peace talks with the Taliban, now said to be in the final stages. In an interview with The New York Times editorial board on August 12, Asademphasised that India’s crackdown on occupied Kashmir as it annexed the disputed territory “could not have come at a worse time for us.” Pakistan has it platter full on the Afghan border. If the situation escalates on the eastern border, Pakistan will have to undertake redeployments. As of now Pakistan is not thinking about anything but what is happening on its eastern border.
Meanwhile, an Indian Supreme Court justice said that Indian authorities need more time to restore order in Kashmir [IoK]. The court is hearing an activist’s petition seeking to lift curbs on communications and movement that have disrupted normal life and essential services in the IoK. The petition also seeks the release of detained political leaders in Kashmir, among more than 300 people held to prevent widespread protests. MenakaGuruswamy, a lawyer for the petitioner, said the court should move to restore hospital services and open schools. “That is all I ask,” she told the Supreme Court.
In another development, according to India Today Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) HasnainMasoodi of the National Conference – led by former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah— have filed a petition in Indian Supreme Court, on August 10, challenging the presidential decree revoking occupied Kashmir’s autonomous status. According to the petition, the orders issued by the Indian president, and the legislation approved by the Indian parliament were “unconstitutional”. Petitioners have prayed for the legislation to be declared as “void and inoperative”.
While India is trying to show a rosy picture to the world as if it has done nothing wrong, calling the Kashmir issue its ‘internal matter’, there are reports of acute shortages of foods and lifesaving medicines due prolonged spells of curfew.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned the world that: “The curfew, crackdown and impending genocide of Kashmiris in IOK is unfolding exactly according to RSS ideology inspired by Nazi ideology. Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?”
The voice of Kashmiris is once again being heard in the highest diplomatic forums. Their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, occupation of their land and the consequences of that occupation are now a global concern—courtesy Modi& Co.