LETTER FROM CANADA

Published:  12:08 AM, 16 August 2019

A forced integration could boomerang on India

A forced integration could boomerang on India

Under article 370 and 35A, the people of Kashmir enjoyed full autonomy instead of full independence. The Hindu nationalists have a strong aversion to the special status. Now, Kashmiris have enough reason to feel betrayed by the scrapping of the status.

The ruling BJP took no initiatives to talk to the leaders of Kashmir to amend the article 370 and 35A, though Farook Abdullah, the former CM, promised to bring an end to the discrimination and yet, no dialogue took place among the BJP leaders and Farook Abdullah.

It is conspicuous that there was overwhelming support from the Hindu nationalists for the abrogation of article 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The key leaders Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were put under house arrest but remain powerful symbols in the region of Jammu and Kashmir.

All the connections including telephone and internet have been severed with the outside world. They can't even watch the news to know what is going on in the region. Imposing a total curfew and putting the leaders in house-arrest can't bring peace and prosperity in the region as the PM Modi and Amit Shah are hoping for. This can't be called an integration but isolation.

Civil and political rights have been suspended in the region unilaterally which is brazenly undemocratic in the world's largest democracy. This is a mockery of democracy. The BJP arbitrarily forces its pre-election promises on the others instead of going through a democratic process.

It is obvious that the opponents of the BJP will be challenging the abrogation of article 370 and 35A in the Supreme Court. According to the media, Farook Abdullah says his people will fight as well go to the court over the special status.

Many ethnic minorities have been protected by special status in many parts of the world. The ruling party leaders say that Kashmir will be seeing huge economic growth and development previously not seen in the Kashmir valley but critics say that they are a little bit skeptical about how much unique identity they can retain with the abrogation the region's special status or they might become a minority in their own homeland.

The BJP leader and Haryana CM says now they can bring Kashmiri girls for marriage. He could not hide his true intentions and greed. So, it seems the greedy people like him will leave no stone unturned to carry out their plans of grabbing Kashmiri girls and properties.

It is perceived that foreign mercenaries will be pouring into Kashmir from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other Muslim countries to square off the Indian army in a proxy war for the Kashmiris.

Having a strategic partnership between the two countries, Pakistan gave a portion of Kashmir to China, China will provide lip service but it will not intervene in the Kashmir dispute. It is against China's economic interests.

According to the Sino-Pakistan Agreement, what Pakistan got from China, Pakistan gave more lands to China in Northern Kashmir and Ladakh. Apart from that, China and Pakistan have had a historical relationship and yet China will only be paying lip service when it comes to Kashmir dispute instead of intervening.

I am afraid that the folks who believe China will intervene in the matter of Kashmir dispute still living in a fool's paradise because China has a colossal trade surplus, $63 billion, in its favour with India. Two years ago Chinese and Indian armies stood eyeball to eyeball at the Doklam border but China agreed to back off because it now cares more about trade than a war or an internal matter of others.

We know China has been brutalizing its own ethnic minority Uighur Muslims in many ways. According to Amnesty International, up to one million Uighur Muslims have detained in China's mass "re-education" camps.

But as a democratic country, India can't follow the path of China to put Kashmiris in re-education or internment camps to make them more patriotic Indians or if India follows the path of China to make the Kashmiri more patriotic Indians by force, then India can't avoid further bloodshed.

Pakistan is isolated internationally and it has no economic power to challenge India. So, it is obvious Pakistan will be trying to sponsor militant groups Instead of threating India with a war.

India needs to win the hearts and minds of Kashmiris to make them more patriotic Indians than Kashmiris themselves or violence, bloodlettings, and hate crimes will be continuing in the state.

Due to unfavourable economic conditions, Pakistan is not in a position to put up further pressure on India concerning to the Kashmir dispute. As like before, Pakistan will continue to sponsor Kashmir uprising and stir it up in every possible way.

Some jihadists will voluntarily join the Kashmiri militants with or without the support of Pakistan. So, it seems Kashmir issue might ignite the situation and inspire more Jihadists pouring into the region. The USA and Taliban have been negotiating in Doha, Qatar as part of a bid to find a peaceful solution in Afghanistan. If everything goes well, the rest of the USA army will be going back home.

The Taliban who are now engaged in fighting against the US army will be pouring into Indian administered Kashmir, so the already troubled region will be a hotbed of ethnic violence and confrontation.

If Jammu and Kashmir was a Hindu majority region, Muslim countries would not have bothered to react at all. The same Muslims countries which are now vocal over the issue of Kashmir are tight-lipped when Saudi bombs pounding on Houthi Yemeni schools, Hospitals, and warehouse for food.

Like Kashmir, Baluchistan had been under British rule consisted of four princely states. We notice Pakistan brutalizes its own people in Baluchistan but Muslims countries keep mum as if nothing happened over there.If peace and tranquility prevail, the Kashmiri Hindu Pundits who were forced to flee Kashmir valley in '89 and '90 can hope to go back their ancestral home.


The writer, a Bangladeshi freethinker, is based in Toronto, Canada

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