30 August 2019   Leave a comment

Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has written an op-ed for The New York Times, entitled “The World Can’t Ignore Kashmir. We Are All in Danger.” It is an essay in response to India’s decision to eliminate the special status of Kashmir and Jammu and to place the people within those territories under the normal constitutional protections of India proper. The Pakistanis regard the move as an attempt to integrate the territories into Indian sovereignty, jeopardizing the rights of the Muslims who will now be under the control of the Hindu-nationalist government of Narendra Modi. Khan writes:

“On Aug. 5, in its most brazen and egregious move, Mr. Modi’s government altered the status of Indian-occupied Kashmir through the revocation of Article 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution. The move is illegal under the Constitution of India, but more important, it is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan.

“And Mr. Modi’s ‘New India’ chose to do this by imposing a military curfew in Kashmir, imprisoning its population in their homes and cutting off their phone, internet and television connections, rendering them without news of the world or their loved ones. The siege was followed by a purge: Thousands of Kashmiris have been arrested and thrown into prisons across India. A blood bath is feared in Kashmir when the curfew is lifted. Already, Kashmiris coming out in defiance of the curfew are being shot and killed.

“If the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get ever closer to a direct military confrontation. India’s defense minister has issued a not-so-veiled nuclear threat to Pakistan by saying that the future of India’s ‘no first use‘ policy on nuclear weapons will ‘depend on circumstances.’ Similar statements have been made by Indian leaders periodically. Pakistan has long viewed India’s ‘no first use’ claims with skepticism.”

For an hour today, Pakistanis recognized the precarious status of Muslims in Kashmir, indicating strong support to reverse the Indian decision. The Pakistani newspaper, Dawn, has run an op-ed supporting Khan’s position on the matter. The Pakistani Senate has unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Indian action. Despite US President Trump’s offer to mediate the crisis, which was rebuffed by India, the US has not issued any hard statements on the crisis. Apparently, the US seems willing to let events in South Asia take their course without any proposals to avoid a deepening of the crisis.

Posted August 30, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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