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“Quit Kashmir Movement” in Kashmir – is it a mere gimmick and a bit late call?

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By very closely following the colonialist traditions, India also has been making strenuous efforts to make Kashmir an “integral” part of Indian territory Indianite Kashmir with Indian military personnel, police, intelligence, officals, Hindus, and others to outnumber Kashmiri Muslims as quickly as possible.

Land grabbing in Kashmir valley has been going on for years officially. By accelerating Hindu religious operations like Amarnath yatra with help from pro-India elements who rule and promote colonialist operations, New Delhi has been very apt in saffronize Kashmir for pure political advantages.

.In carefully pushing the RSS backed BJP into a post poll alliance (only after the elections with a hung assembly) .with major Kashmir political outfits like national Conference or PDP,   India has achieved full control over Kashmiri Muslims as well. Now literally the BJP and Indian government decides the political course in Kashmir.

Indian Forces damage property worth millions in North & Central Kashmir

Thus far world looks at Kashmir as a dispute between India and Pakistan where Kashmiris do not play an role at all. Thus far, Kashmiris freedom seekers projected their fight with India only to win Kashmir for Pakistan. In other words, world understands that Kashmiris are not fighting for sovereignty and freedom for reestablishing an independent Jammu Kashmir but only to become a part of a destabilized and weak Pakistan. Maybe Kashmiris want the support of Pakistan to obtain sovereignty but Pakistan has made it clear it has been fighting for Kashmir not to enable Kashmiris to build up their own home but in order only to make Kashmir a part of Pakistan. This impression, for whatever reasons, has only complicated the desire of Kashmiris for freedom as India and Pakistan continue to let the world know that Kashmir belongs to them and are only using Kashmiris to to get Kashmir for themselves as per joint strategy.

For the first time since Jammu Kashmir was invaded and made a part of both India and Pakistan in bits, Kashmiri freedom fighting pro-Pakistani leader Syed Geelani has announced a struggle to oust India from Kashmir. One hears slogans like these ever wherein Kashmir: “STOP VIOLENCE, India GO HOME!! INDIAN SOLDIERS, Please GO HOME!!”

Syed Ali Shah Geelani has launched a Quit Kashmir Movement today asking deployed Indian soldiers in disputed Jammu & Kashmir to go home. An email received by Kashmir Watch here today says that the chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani will march tomorrow (27th August) to 15 corp Hqs of Indian Army at Badami Bagh Srinagar at 2:00 pm and handover the following letter to GOC in-charge asking him to vacate Jammu and Kashmir. People in Jammu and Kashmir and all over the world are urged to mail this letter to Indian Army, Indian Armed Forces, Indian Navy, BSF, CRPF, ITBP and CISF stationed in the UN recognized disputed states of Jammu & Kashmir.

Geelani said: “Even though your actions have killed one lakh people, disappeared ten thousand and orphaned more than sixty thousand children to subdue us collectively and to make us surrender our fundamental right of freedom, yet the emotion of love and reverence that martyrdom of Commander Burhan Wani mobilized across and beyond Kashmir, should open your eyes. The more you strike us down, the more we shall rise with renewed determination and vigor. We are in the process of liberating our minds and the days of freedom are in sight. This is the time for you to see the writing on the wall and think upon what you always intended to do and what it has presented you with always.

You thought your violence would kill our dreams for freedom. They have not. You thought our spirit would break; we would turn against each other. We will not. You have succeeded in murder, but not in the death of our dreams. Before more violence, before more sorrow, before more graves, we ask you to stop.

Ours is a rich and resilient culture. We are proud people whose hospitality has defined our history. We welcome guests, invited or uninvited, not invaders. We understand your deception, your psychological warfare. You will be tired of killing us; some day you might be horrified at what you have done to humanity. We will never tire of struggling for our history, for our future, our freedom. We will not forgive. We will not forget.

Since we believe, there must be some humanity left in your persons as sons, brothers, husbands, fathers and as people; we appeal you to lend solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir for our rightful self-determination, and the right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir to be free. We call on your conscience to end the long chapter of deception, tyranny and death. Therefore, we appeal and urge you to leave our land. Save your individual conscience and help your national soul with healing that only comes from acknowledgement and acceptance of truth, i.e. People of Jammu and Kashmir are not with India and will never be…..”

Observation

However, notwithstanding huge loss of Muslim lives in Kashmir, Hurriyet leader Geelani has not clearly mentioned about a soverign Kashmir for Kashmiris. He has not made any effort to link Kashmir freedom struggle with international freedom movements or initiated any steps to coordinate the Kashmiri struggle with other such movements across the globe – that would have got the political mileage it deserves globally.

Geelani should know only “united, they stand” and can force the government in New Delhi to initiate steps for withdrawal from Kashmir. He needs to change his own mind in favor of an independent Kashmir and lead the people to achieve that sacred goal.

In Kashmir military decides everything. A recent report that Kashmiri kids have been thrashed by CRPF in South Kashmir reveals what India has been doing in Kashmir with support from pro-India elements.

While Kashmiris would never forgive Mehbooba led government for atrocities against Muslims in Kashmir, the way India has been preceding with its plan of grabbing lands in Kashmir makes it clear about Indian future agenda in there. As Kashmiri separatists continue to promote Pakistani interests, property worth millions was damaged by Indian forces in Bangdara Kreeri village of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Saturday when they went on a rampage hitting parked vehicles, entering into houses smashing television sets, electronic gadgets, furniture and other goods. Locals told news agency CNS that government forces went on rampage in the village.

Indian government forces hit people with gun butts and sticks, even didn’t spare women and children. Every house was targeted. We are shocked to see the extent of damage caused by these government gunmen. Locals said that a peaceful mild protest was going on in the area when government forces emerged in the village. “They let loose a reign of terror. Every parked vehicle was targeted and windshields were damaged. Motorcycles and scooters were targeted. The TV sets, refrigerators, laptops, and other electronic gadgets were smashed into pieces,” said locals.

When contacted a police official said that he will look into the matter. Similar reports from Wusan Kangan said that government forces created mayhem in the area, thrashed people and damaged property. “The unbridles men in uniform were so rude that they didn’t even spare teenage girls and little children. They beat up all, damaged our houses, vehicles and electronic gadgets. We will never forgive Mehbooba led government for these atrocities,” locals said.

Meanwhile, the family members of three minor kids from South Kashmir’s Kulgam district alleged that ‘unbriddled’ CRPF personnel beat them to pulp while they were on way to their orchards. The minors who have received multiple injuries were identified as Basit Ahmed (12), Muhammad Huzaib (8) and Sahil Ahmed (10) all residents of Gulshan Abad Koimouh. “It were local policemen who saved our kids from CRPF. These kids are unable to walk due to sound thrashing,” the family members told CNS. The family members said that neither any protest nor stone-pelting was going on in the area nor yet their kids were targeted. “The incident speaks volumes about the lawlessness prevailing in the district,” they said.

While pro-India elements serve the cause of India, the pro-freedom or separatists only help Pakistan. Thus they promote colonialism in South Asia.

Leaders of Kashmir should stop and end betrayal of Kashmiris.

They should also stop confusing the world.

They have to erase the impression that they work and speak for India or Pakistan, thereby promoting colonialism and state terrorism.  

Quit Kashmir Movement in Kashmir could remind India of its own “Quit India movement” that eventually won freedom from British government, even though that freedom meant only for the rich and compote lords. Today, both India and Pakistan, backed by both USA and UK, are being looted by the corrupt politicians.

Will Kashmir freedom movement leaders be sincere and honest with people?

That indeed is a trillion dollar question!

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South Asia

Kashmir Issue at the UNGA and the Nuclear Discourse

Haris Bilal Malik

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The Kashmir issue has more significance in view of the nuclearization of South Asia as many security experts around the world consider Kashmir a potential ‘nuclear flashpoint’ between India and Pakistan. The revocation of the special constitutional status of Kashmir by the BJP government on August 5, 2019, also referred to as Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act 2019 and the subsequent lockdown in Kashmir has since considerably increased political and diplomatic tensions between India and Pakistan. India’s recent moves and actions in Kashmir have once again internationalized the Kashmir dispute. This was evident during the UN General Assembly’s 74th Session, where the Kashmir issue remained a crucial agenda item for several countries.

During this year’s session prominent leaders of the world condemned Indian brutalities in Kashmir. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the international community for failing to pay attention to the Kashmir conflict and called for dialogue to end this dispute. Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said that Kashmir “has been invaded and occupied” by India despite the UN resolution on the issue. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also discussed the issue and called for a peaceful resolution of the dispute based on the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions. Based on the grave importance of Kashmir as a potential ‘nuclear flashpoint’ between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the UNGA warned the world community about the dangers of a nuclear war that according to him might break out over Kashmir due to Indian atrocities. The current situation appears to be the most critical time for both the countries and the region as both countries are nuclear-armed.

However, unfortunately, the Indian leaders and media perceived Prime Minister Imran Khan’s warning as a nuclear threat and termed it as ‘brinkmanship’. Contrary to this perspective, it is worth mentioning here that the Indian leadership itself is involved in negative nuclear signaling and war hysteria against Pakistan in recent months. For instance, the 2019 Indian General Election campaign of Prime Minister Modi was largely based on negative nuclear signaling comprising of several threats referring to the possible use of nuclear weapons against Pakistan. Furthermore, as an apparent shift from India’s ‘No First Use’ (NFU) policy, on August 16, 2019Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while on a visit to the Pokhran nuclear test site paid tribute to the late former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and asserted that India might review its NFU policy. He stated that a change in future circumstances would likely define the status of India’s NFU policy. Since then there is no official denial of this assertion from India which indicates that India might abandon its NFU policy.

Moreover, India’s offensive missile development programs and its growing nuclear arsenal which include; hypersonic missiles, ballistic missile defence systems, enhanced space capabilities for intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance and the induction of nuclear-powered ballistic-missile-capable submarines clearly indicate that India’s nuclear weapons modernization is aimed at continuously enhancing its deterrence framework including its second-strike capabilities vis-à-vis Pakistan. This is also evident from India’s military preparations under its more recent doctrines such as the 2017 Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces (JDIAF) and the 2018 Land Warfare Doctrine (LWD)which are also based upon more proactive offensive strategies and indirect threats of pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan.

As evident from the above-mentioned developments, it seems likely that India aspires to increasingly project itself as a regional hegemon and a potential superpower. The BJP government under Prime Minister Modi inspired by the Hindutva ideology is taking offensive measures under the notions of ‘a more Muscular or Modern India’ based on strong military preparedness. In such circumstances, Pakistan’s threat perception would likely remain increasingly inclined towards its eastern border. Pakistan due to its economic constraints would also likely face considerable difficulties in competing with India toe to toe with respect to its military modernization plans. Pakistan is already punching well above its weight, and nuclear deterrence would be the only way through which Pakistan can maintain a precise balance of power to preserve its security. This could only be carried out by deterring India with the employment of both minimum credible deterrence and full-spectrum deterrence capabilities. This posture clearly asserts that since Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are for defensive purposes in principle, they are aimed at deterring India from any and all kinds of aggression.

Hence, at the present India’s forceful annexation of occupied Kashmir and the resultant nuclear discourse at the UNGA has further intensified Pakistan-India tensions. Under present circumstances, the situation could easily trigger another politico-military escalation between India and Pakistan. Prime Minister Modi has bet his political reputation on his move to annex the region and his political career is on the line. The same way Pakistan’s politico-military establishment is equally unlikely back down from its stance on Kashmir. It would be difficult for both countries to come down from the escalation ladder because politico-military reputations would be at stake at both ends. Consequently, Pakistan might be forced to take action before India’s modernization plans get ahead and might respond even sooner.

The nuclear discourse in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech against the backdrop of the Kashmir crisis at such a high forum like UNGA would likely keep the issue internationalized. The situation demands the UN fulfill its responsibility of ensuring peace and to prevent billions of people from the dangers of a nuclear war. However, Indian blame game, aggressive behavior and offensive nuclear signaling against Pakistan all present a clear warning of nuclear war. It would greatly limit the prospects for international mediation especially by the United Nations whose resolutions on Kashmir clearly provide a right of self-determination to decide Kashmir’s future.  

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1.2 trillion rupees on the move: Modi’s greatest piece of purchase yet

Sisir Devkota

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Last week, the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) was taken aback by more than a surprise. Just when it was dealing with the uncomfortable series of events that led to the transfer of surplus 1.2 trillion rupees into the government of India; social media erupted. It quickly realized that losing the battle regarding the transfer would only add fuel to the hoax of closing down nine commercial banks. RBI enjoys considerable amount of autonomy and independence in the largest democracy, and still, it had to kneel down to Modi’s alleged quick fix.

The RBI would have to vouch for the government in times of need, it is primarily what is expected of the institution; but there was a great deal of discomfort in how the government justified it. A committee set up under the ex-governor, Mr Bimal Jalan, cited how central banks would not need so much of surplus to carry out their affairs. Effectively, it was an order, not a request, which became the underlying discomfort behind RBI’s hesitancy in adhering to the views of capital transfer committee. Not that anyone expected the central lender to protest longer, it did however, request Mr Jalan to reconsider the decision at the face of various consequences. To say the least, it was embarrassing for a premier financial institution to be put under the public eye. The social media hoax was another ridicule of the sickly RBI. In the tales of grand conquests, the victorious army steals the wealth from the losing party. Similarly, the BJP led government in India are redefining all forms of state tools in favour of their interests.

Stolen wealth is most often than not used to correct economic blunders. Just like in the tales of grand conquests, the decision to transfer national wealth from the reserve bank is nothing new. It is nevertheless baffling, that the money transfer is looping in the same direction. While the BJP government in India were imposing a comprehensive GST (Goods and Service Tax) policy, they would not have anticipated complaints from large industries over decreased consumer consumption. For a party that is now known to redefine the legitimacy of governance, falling prey to NBFC’s (Non-bank Financial Companies) incompetence or bankruptcy is a visible defeat. Unlike many other soaring economies, there are large group of subsidiary lenders operating in India. On hindsight, economic policies are barely creating tunnels through which the capital is getting recycled in the same loop. Revenues are not generating further revenues. It is merely closing down on its self-inflicted gap.

The Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) almost played with fire. Uncharacteristically, it proposed a framework to work together with the RBI in order to claim outstanding defaults from high value clients. The RBI was never going to agree with a defaming offer as such but the incident did fuel the argument of capital shuffling. It only makes the bluff look more real. A strategic plan to counter all measures that would have blocked the transfer of trillions. As Mr Jalan sheepishly implied how the importance of central bank and what is does is only limited to the public perception, RBI fought a fix in between larger or rather dangerous political agendas. Consolidating requests from SEBI to only fall into the whims of the government shows the lack lustre personality of the central funding institution. For the time being, Narendra Modi has his way, a theft of national treasure-like his opposition colleague Rajiv Gandhi expressed in the media. However, there will also be a far-fetched evaluation of Modi’s actions. A move of 1.2 trillion rupees in the same pot. Not by any means, a cunning cover up.

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South Asia

Walking the tight rope: India’s Diplomatic Strategy in the Middle East

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India’s diplomatic corps have been resolutely articulating India’s stances and furthering its interests in the international fora where multiple challenges emanating from historical and contemporary contexts are being faced. One important factor which India’s astute foreign policy makers have faced is the complicated and crucial engagement with the Middle East. There are multiple facets to India’s engagement in the contemporary context that add to this complexity. One, India’s old adversary and neighbor Pakistan has upped the ante in its diplomatic blitzkrieg especially within the Muslim world. Second India’s has varied strategic interests in the warring Middle East factions. Third, the economic interdependencies and the crisis in the international trade in the Trump era has further complicated India’s position as an economic actor in the region. While there are various constituent elements of India’s Middle East outreach, the contemporaneous concerns relate more to its relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey.

India and Saudi Arabia have historically engaged in deep and multi-dimensional political, economic, cultural, defence and strategic cooperation. Saudi Arabia has long been an important Indian trade partner; the Kingdom remains a vital source of energy for India, which imports almost a fifth of its crude oil requirement from Saudi Arabia. Enhanced security cooperation has added a new dimension in the bilateral ties between New Delhi and Riyadh. Recently, Indian PM Narendra Modi was conferred with the highest civilian award of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia even as the top leadership continues to send signals of deep comradarie and solidarity.

With the ascent of the crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman, various layers in this important diplomatic relationship have surfaced. This has happened in a particularly peculiar geopolitical and geostrategic context where both countries have faced tough challenges to their internal stability and international position. While Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still emerging from the consequences of the massive attack in its oil fields as well as the widespread criticism of humanitarian crisis in Yemen at the international fora, India is grappling with international criticism and discourse about the situation in Kashmir in context of dilution of its political autonomy as well as prolonged information and communication blackout.KSA has had a mediating role in the Indo-Pak tussle since Pulwama and how this hyphenation has led to competitive photo-ops of diplomatic support. Even as KSA has stood by Indian leadership’s vital interests. However, the Pakistani leadership has been relentless in its attempts to appeal to the leader of the Islamic world for vital economic and diplomatic support, especially in context of the Kashmir situation. Even as Saudi Arabia has managed this delicate equation with deftness, it has given in to Pakistan’s economic demands while making a symbolic gesture of closeness by offering the private jet to Pakistani Prime Minister for his visit to the West.  It doesn’t help that the Indian economy is going through a rough phase. However, the audacious announcement to invest $100 Billion in the fledgling Indian economy is a bold testament of the veritable and vibrant economic partnership between New Delhi and Riyadh. It is pertinent to note that in the contemporaneous challenges that the countries face, Iran as well as Pakistan emerge as key actors that affect the bilateral engagement in a pronounced manner.

Iran is India’s historic ally and third largest supplier of crude oil. However, the India-Iran relationship transcends oil. India, with an investment of $500 million, aims to develop Iran’s Chabahar port as a transit hub for Afghanistan, Central Asia, and the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). Additionally, India is developing two gas fields, namely Farzad-B gas field located in Tehran and the South Pars field located between Iran and Qatar. These projects clearly highlight India’s long-term engagement with Iran. However, India’s muted response to US pressure has been causing slight tension in the bilateral relationship. Even though the top-level bilateral meeting between Indian premier Modi and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani was successful to diffuse tensions to an extent. The crisis in Yemen, oil trade and even India’s action in Kashmir continue to affect the relationship.

In this context, the challenges emanating from Turkey are also a sign of worry. Even as Turkey has remained an old ally of Pakistan and a supporter of the ‘Kashmiri’ cause, its open support for a rather lonely Pakistan should cause some worry in India’s strategic circles. This is because India has fine diplomatic relations with Turkey and has considerable economic and trade interests.

However, oil being an important consumer and agricultural good in India’s economy, it is important to secure its interests to have access to reliable and affordable Iranian crude oil. The trade negotiations and engagements with the US haven’t had any headway even as the threat of sanctions for buying oil from Iran continues. India could emerge as a trouble-solver in this context especially since this KSA-Iran conflict in oil supply context has global implications. PM Modi’s personal chemistry with the US leadership could be useful in this context.

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