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The Conclusion of the Future of India-US Strategic Romance

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After the general elections of 2019 in India, Narinder Modi has again embellished the crown of Prime minister of India on his head. All the dreams, including the dream to make India greater and brawny power of the world, are concerned with the first prime minister of India Mr. Nehru. From the very first day the Indian premier leadership including Nehru is trying to make the foundation of the country strong. No doubt, the political parties of both Nehru & Modi are different as Nehru had a hefty CONGRESS while Modi has BJP (Bharti Janata Party).

But the dreams, desires, aspirations are analogous to make their beloved country “Greater India” in the entire context e.g. political, economic, social, education, and defense & security. With the inauguration of Modi administration in 2014, India commences its voyage towards exceeding progress and decided augmentation. Under the headship of Narindra Modi, India tries to make itself economically, socially and politically more strong and get sure internal sovereignty. Furthermore, due to sophisticated Indian premier, India gets eminent position on international level. Now, India is ranked in the influential as well as dominant player of world affairs in general and energetic runner in Asian political marathon race with nuclear power.

Under Modi, the contemporary India is quite different as compared to India during the days of Nehru. The eras are reasonably diverse. The immense population growth, unstructured education system, peace & stability in the region, demolish terrorism from the region, publish the soft image of India in the world newspapers and play the movie cassette titled “Soft India” on TV channels are the some intentions carried by current Indian premier. Besides internal troubles, the exterior threats including terrorism and the rising China give also red signal to fresh leading management of New Delhi. According to the political pundits of India, think tanks and analysts, the rising China is the biggest external threat to Indian security. The Chinese policies and strategies e.g. Periphery strategy, Strings of Pearls, OBOR (One Belt One Road initiative) and CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) are the ubiquitous threats for India and her acquaintance and now a days, the USA is the foremost top ranked pal of India.

In modern era, every state wants more power and besides this acquisition of power, the main national interests of states are to make more affirm their existing power. The same story is associated with the world sole superpower USA. In Asian continent, the main theme of US policies and strategies are to make American power and unilateralism insistent. After the end of Cold war and disintegration of USSR (Union of Socialist Republic), the US won the Crown of world solitary superpower and introduced “MADE IN AMERICA” Liberal world Order. After this incredible victory of the US, the popularity of the American power strokes the sky. The victory in the independence war in 16th century, W.W.I, W.W.II and in Cold War were proved that the US is exceptional power. The US wants its exceptionalism. As a specific term “American Exceptionalism” was first referenced by author Alexis de Toqueville in Democracy in America, a book published in the 1830s. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century, when America began to build its empire, the idea that the US was special and blessed by God reigned supreme. In addition, America’s victories over Japan and Germany revitalized the belief that the US is unique and a new expression for American exceptionalism was born.

On January 9, 1961, John F. Kennedy said, “Today, the eyes of the world of all people are truly upon us__ and our government, in every branch, at every level, national, state and local, must be as a city upon a hill.” Kennedy was promoting the idea that not only is the US economically and socially unique, but its political system is an example of a model government. After the Cold War, the American model became the new norm; American exceptionalism became a much more popular concept. In 1996, Bill Clinton said that “America remains the indispensable nation” and that “there are times when America and only America, can make a difference between war and peace, between freedom and repression.” This American exceptionalism term further materialized one more idea of “American Paternalism”. American paternalism refers to America’s belief that other states in the international system need the US and the American desire to interfere in the affairs of other states for the good of that state, the international system, or both. In many ways, American paternalism is derived from American pride and linked to American exceptionalism.

As the hegemonic power, the US has a tendency to treat its relations with other countries as parent-Child relationships, which is one of the reasons the US feels comfortable violating state sovereignty and interfering in the affairs of other states for moral reasons such as human rights violations, civil war, etc. The United States relationship with present international system is different from the relationships that other states have with the current system. In the aftermath of W.W.II, the world was in shambles and the US set out to construct a new international system and a new world order, one which it hoped would bring peace, development and prosperity. The US was challenged by the USSR, and because the both were interested in building inconsistent kinds of worlds. After the collapse of USSR and the end of Cold war in 1991, American vision for the world became a reality. With the establishment of the new American-led liberal world order came the emergence of American paternalism as it is now. American paternalism is also directly connected to the American desire to preserve its leadership in Asia.

The US believes that not only is American leadership in Asia in the best interests of the US, but it is also in the best interests of Asia and according to American leadership, the US sees itself as a parent for the international system and Asian region. American hegemonism is the byproduct of American exceptionalism and paternalism. According to the political specialists, the US is indeed a global hegemon. American hegemonism is the desire to promote and preserve this hegemonic status as well as protect its power at all costs, makes the US a threat to revisionist challengers including Russia, North Korea and rising China.

With the beginning of 21st century, the world structure has reshaped from uni-polar to multipolar and with the passage of time the friendships, relationships, rivalries and national interests of the states have been re-examined. The living example of above sentence is the romance between India and the US with the turn of 21st century. After the 50 years of estrange relations, the two democracies India and the US decide to renovate their relations in potent strategic nexus. Now, India is the top listed country in the documents of Washington as steadfast, strong and committed ally. On the contrary, Pakistan who was the active member of the US made security alliance blocs like SEATO, CENTO and fought proxy war against USSR during Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in late 1970s, is now, very far from the US kindness and considerations.

The rising China, developed Japan, Russian juxtaposition with Asian states, Chinese OBOR & CPEC projects, emergence of SCO, the economic & natural resources supremacy of Asian region, the Indian Ocean significance, natural resources of central Asia and Chinese expansion and sea lanes of communication (SLOC) from straits of Hormuz to Persian Gulf and Chinese active appearance in (SLOC) give red signal to the US hegemonism in Asian region. The US takes China as a revisionist state as like as the USSR after the World War II. The political pundits argue that this is second Cold War as well as emergence of bipolarity between the US and China and the present American leadership will repeat its history by making alliance in Asian continent same like during the Cold war era against USSR and the US will try its best to change the bipolar to unipolar system another time because the US takes rising China as USSR part II in 21th century.  The US is taking alliance making theory and give heavy aid to Asian countries, do agreements, sign nuclear deals like India, build strategic partnership to counter its present competitors and rising revisionists states and try its best to preserve its ideology of exceptionalism, paternalism and hegemony in Asian region.  Therefore the Trump’s slogan during his election campaign was “Make America great again”. From Nixon to Obama and now Trump, the foremost objective of the US is to maintain its hegemony in Asia and protect its national interests. For the acquisition of national interests, once again America is making ally in the region and India is the most favorite state in Asia generally and in South Asia specifically.

Additionally, the permanent seat in United Nations Security Council (UNSC), economically development, brawny defense, advancement in arms, soft image at international level, threat of rising China and the dream of “Greater India” are crucial factors behind the Indian juxtaposition in the arms of the US and both states ready to start polite lovely strategic romance with the identification of “strategic partnership”.

Apart from the Indian non-alignment policy, Nehru slogan of Asia for Asians, India-USSR proximity in Cold War, the paradoxical role of the US during India-Pakistan wars, ideological differences, diverse national goals and estrange relations during the Cold war, Now, after the end of the Cold War and especially with the awake of 21st century the US and India renovate their relations from estrangement to strong partnership. According to the Indian Diaspora and leadership, the rising China expansionism in Asia, Chinese involvement in Indian Ocean and OBOR project, vigorous course of actions in seaports in Asia, CPEC project in Pakistan, Chinese growth towards South East Asia, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia & Latin America regions and the energetic escalation of SCO in Asia are the threats to Indian security in contemporary era.

The beginning of strategic partnership with the US is the foremost & only solution for India to overcome this rising China threat. In addition, India has very inadequate options to counter the rising power of China. First, if India adopt the non-alignment policy, this is not suitable for this modern era.  Today, one state is dependent on another state. Second, if India adopts internal balancing in the context of Balance of power to balance China, India is not internally powerful, stable and has not numerous resources. The last and more suitable option is to do bargain with the US against their common threat (China). There are several reasons behind this Indian bargaining with the US. First, the US is superpower. Second, the US has its own hidden interests in it and takes China as emerging threat to the US hegemony in Asia. Third, India is emerging power of Asia and associated with Indian Ocean and SLOC. Forth, the US is scared that if Asian powers e.g. India, Russia, China Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Pakistan and Australia get united in coming future then American power in Asia will be ended. So, in closing remarks, India and the US have vivid future because both democracies are indispensable for each other in modern geopolitics. Apart from most fifty years estrange relations during Cold War, divergences of ideas, clash of interests, diverse in some values but the rising power of China is the crucial factor behind the foundation of strong strategic nexus between India and the US. The political analysts argue that It is again Cold War which will be between the US and China. And America is trying by leaps and bounds to win this Cold War again by any means because the US doesn’t want to lose its excpetionalism status. On the other side, India also wants to stop the rising power of China to embellish the crown of Asian power on its own head. That’s why, apart from divergences of interests, both of the democratic states and Leaders Modi and Trump have their own interests which are associated with each other and both are hopeful to their bright future trade, economic, defense and strategic relations. 

PhD Student of the School of Politics and International Studies, Central China Normal University 152, Luoyu Road, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China 430079

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South Asia

Did India invade Kashmir?

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Friday prayers in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. © John Isaac

Pakistan has decided to observe 27th October as Black Day. This was the day when, according to India’s version, it invaded the disputed Jammu and Kashmir State.  India says that Pakistan had earlier entered a lashkar (irregular forces) into Kashmir on 22nd October. But, it is eerie that India never approached the International Court of Justice, as pointed out by Josef Korbel  (the author of the Danger in Kashmir), or the  United Nations (under Chapter VII of the UN Charter) to get Pakistan declared an aggressor. It approached the UN under Chapter VI of the UN charter (mediation). India’s invasion of Kashmir is based on myths .

Myths

India claims that ‘Maharaja Hari Singh signed the treaty of accession with the Indian Dominion on October 26, 1947’. As such, India was justified in marching invading Srinagar. . As for the ‘accession instrument’ argument, curious readers may refer to Alastair Lamb’s ‘Incomplete Partition, Kashmir – A disputed legacy 1846-1990’, and ‘Birth of a Tragedy’.

On the question of who the ‘aggressor’ was, the factual position is that India marched its troops into Kashmir without Maharajah’s permission – a blatant act of aggression (Alastair Lamb, ‘Incomplete Partition , Chapter VI: The Accession Crisis. Lamb concludes: ‘According to Wolpert, VP Menon returned to Delhi from Srinagar on the morning of October 26 with no signed Instrument of Accession. Only after the Indian troops had started landing at Srinagar airfield on the morning of October 27 did VP Menon and MC Mahajan set out from Delhi from Jammu. The Instrument of Accession, according to Wolpert, was only signed by Maharaja Sir Hari Singh [if signed at all] after Indian troops had assumed control of the Jammu and Kashmir State’s summer capital, Srinagar.

Lamb regards the so-called Instrument of Accession, ‘signed’ by the maharajah of Kashmir on October 26, 1947, as fraudulent. He argues that the maharajah was travelling by road to Jammu (a distance of over 350 km). How could he sign the instrument while being on the run for the safety of his life? There is no evidence of any contact between him and the Indian emissaries on October 26, 1947. Lamb points out Indian troops had already arrived at and secured Srinagar airfield during the middle of October 1947. On October 26, 1947, a further airlift of thousands of Indian troops to Kashmir took place.

The UN outlawed the ‘accession’; the accession resolution, passed by the occupied Kashmir’s ‘constituent assembly’ is void. Aware of India’s intention to get the ‘Instrument of Accession’ rubber-stamped by the puppet assembly, the Security Council passed two resolutions, Security Council’s Resolution No 9 of March 30, 1951, and confirmatory Resolution No 122 of March 24, 1957, to forestall the ‘foreseeable accession’. It is eerie to note that the ‘Instrument of Accession’ is not registered with the United Nations. India took the Kashmir issue to the UN in 1948 under article 35 of Chapter VI which outlines the means for a peaceful settlement of disputes on Jammu and Kashmir State, not under Chapter VII dubbing Pakistan as ‘aggressor’. India knew at heart that she herself was an aggressor.

In his books, based on Nehru’s declassified papers, speeches and correspondence, Avtar Singh Bhasin debunked Nehru’s perfidious failure to hold a plebiscite. In Chapter 5 titled Kashmir, India’s Constitution and Nehru’s Vacillation (pages 51-64) of his book India and Pakistan: Neighbours at Odd he makes a startling revelation. Nehru discarded Maharajah’s and Kashmir assembly’s ‘accession’; in a letter dated October 31, 1947, addressed to the disputed state’s prime minister, he shrugged off ‘accession’. He said in the letter, ‘after consideration of the problem, we are inclined to think that it [plebiscite] should be held under United Nations’ auspices’ (p. 28 ibid..). He reiterated in New Delhi on November 3, 1951, that ‘we have made it perfectly clear before the Security Council that the Kashmir Constituent Assembly does not [insofar] as we are concerned come in the way of a decision by the Security Council, or the United Nations’(SWJ: Volume 4: page 292, Bhasin p.228). Again, at a press conference on June 11, 1951, he was asked if the proposed the constituent assembly of Kashmir ‘decides in favourof acceding to Pakistan, what will be the position?’ he reiterated, ‘We have made it perfectly clear that the Constituent Assembly of Kashmir was not meant to decide finally any such question, and it is not in the way of any decision which may ultimately flow from the Security Council proceedings’. He re-emphasised his view once again at a press conference in New Delhi on November 3, 1951. He said ‘we have made it perfectly clear before the Security Council that the Kashmir Constituent Assembly does not [insofar as] we are concerned come in the way of a decision by the Security Council or the United Nations’. Bhasin points out, ‘at a press conference on July 24, 1952, when asked what the necessity of plebiscite was now that he had got [accession by] the Constituent Assembly, he replied “Maybe theoretically you may be right. But we have given them assurance and we stand by it. Bhasin points out Nehru made a ‘tactical error’, one ‘of committing himself to the UN’.Accession documents are un-registered with the UN.

Concluding remarks

India’s prime minister Modi cartographically annexed the disputed state, spurning the UN resolutions and the Simla Accord. Let India know that a state that flouts international treaties is a rogue state: pacta sunt servanda, treaties are to be observed and are binding on parties. Mushtaqur Rehman elaborated why Kashmir is the most dangerous place in the world (Divided Kashmir: Old Problems, New Opportunities for India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri People, 1996, pp. 162-163).No talks, no mediation. That is an open invitation to war, perhaps a nuclear Armageddon.

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Bangladesh violence exposes veneer of Indo-Bangladesh bonhomie

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image source: Focus Bangla /dhakatribune.com

Protests in Chittagong, Comilla and elsewhere left 10 dead, besides loss of property. The protests were sparked over an allegation of desecration of the Holy Quran in a temple. The Holy  Quran was found resting on the thigh of a Hanuman statue in a Durga Puja pandal near a pond in Comilla called Nanua Dighi. A raft of issues from water disputes to religious tension mask mistrust in the relationship. Let us look at some of them. Broken promises indicate that India looks to its own interest.

CAA/NRC

India’s Citizenship Act and the national Register of Citizenship  does not confer citizenship on the Bengali immigrants at par with non-muslim refugees. In one of his speeches, India’s minister Amit Shah even called Bangladesh immigrants “termites”. The BJP leaders quote from Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s book to say that Mujib, as an East Pakistani national, wanted to annex Assam into East Pakistan (Bangladesh). Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Telangana T. Raja Singh Lodh demanded `Illegal Bangladeshi settlers and Rohingya should be shot if they do not return to their countries like gentlemen’. He made the statement in the context of the Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam. A legislator from Goshamahal in Hyderabad, in similar vein, roared in a video message on a social networking site: “If these people, illegal Bangladeshis and Rohingya, don’t go back with ‘sharafat’ (like gentlemen) then there is a need to talk to them in their own language. They should be shot. Only then India will be safe. Such illegal settlers were “shot and driven out” from some other countries.

YS Chowdary of the Telugu Desam Party Said illegal immigrants from Bangladesh had settled in Assam as part of a “conspiracy to destroy India”. It is the responsibility of the government to send them back to Bangladesh, he added.

 “Shoot on sight”

Indian Border Security force has orders to “shoot on sight” if any Bangladeshi citizen living near the  4,096 kilometer (2,545 mile)alluvial/shifting border,   happens to cross over. Regarding border killings, Brad Adams, Executive Director of the Asia Department of Human Right Watch state that, “Routinely shooting poor, unarmed villagers is not how the world’s largest democracy should behave” (Adams, Brad  “India’s shoot-to-kill policy on the Bangladesh border” The Guardian. London). According to a report published by Human rights organisations, around 1,000 Bangladeshi civilians have been killed by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) in a period of 10 years (from 2001 to 2010). The report also states that Indian paramilitary forces routinely threaten, abuse arbitrarily detain and torture local Bangladeshi civilians living along the border and Bangladeshi border guards usually don’t help the Bangladeshi civilians. Odhikar, a Bangladesh-based human right organization, allege that acts of rape and looting have also been perpetrated by BSF at the border areas.

Bangladesh Border Guards hate the BSF so much that a soldier, accompanying his commander for a flag meeting with DG was shot dead.

Onion export banned

India suddenly stopped exporting onions to Bangladesh. While addressing India-Bangladesh Business Forum, in Delhi, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina expressed grief on the onion crisis in her country. She taunted that she asked her cook not to use onions in her food. Hasina said, ‘We are facing crisis on the onion issue. I don’t know why you have banned onion export. Maine cook ko bol diya ab se khana mein pyaaz bandh kardo.” Indian Government had banned export of Onions on September 29 (Times of India ).

India is the biggest supplier of onions to Bangladesh, which buys a yearly average of more than 350,000 tons. India abruptly slapped a ban on onion exports to Bangladesh. Following the export ban, onion prices in Bangladesh jumped by more than 50 per cent, prompting the government to procure supplies from elsewhere.

Vaccine export contract cancelled

India backed out of its agreement (December) with Bangladesh to supply 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, developed by Oxford University in cooperation with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India. The Institute announced that India had barred Serum from selling doses on the private market until everyone in India had received the vaccine.

Later, Salman F. Rahman, a Cabinet minister and co-founder of the Beximco Group, a Bangladeshi conglomerate, took over the responsibility to distribute three million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Bangladesh.

Concluding remarks

The ruling Awami League itself is mired in charges of corruption and nepotism. Its army chief also is being besmeared. It cracked down hard on its opponents  with the army chief’s help. The persecution of Muslims in India and laws like the citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizenship turned Bangladesh into a simmering cauldron of resentment.Demand for expelling all Bangladeshis from various Indian states is gaining momentum. The onslaught against Bangladeshi Muslims in India is part of Hindutva (perverted Hindu nationalism) frenzy to harass Muslim community.

Bangladesh is tight-rope balancing China and India. Many cabinet ministers think that Bangladesh’s future lies with stronger rapport with China. During her visit to China, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister discussed a broad spectrum of issues and signed several memorandum of understanding. They cover the power sector, riverine matters including Brahmaputra River, commercial loans and formation of various working groups. Bangladesh has also accepted the Belt and Road Initiative.

Bangladesh has contracted Chinese in a proposed $300 million project downstream of Teesta River.  Turkey also is improving relations with BD.

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Changing complexion of “militancy” in the occupied Kashmir

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Women walking past Indian security forces in Srinagar, summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Nimisha Jaiswal/IRIN

Two teachers, Supinder Kaur and Deepak Chand, were shot dead in Srinagar on October7, 2021.The Resistance front owned the killing. The name implies that this organisation like the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front does not have religious moorings. The front explained that “they were killed because they harassed and warned the parents with dire consequences if the students did not attend the school function on August 15 (India’s Independence Day).

In a tweet, the Inspector general of Kashmir police disclosed that 28 civilians had been killed din the valley during 2021”. Five persons belonged to local Hindu and Sikh communities. . Two persons were non-Hindu labourers (pic.twitter.com/j5R2MVWrT3).

Each killing follows massive crackdowns, cordons and searches, and rounding up of innocent people as suspects mostly members of Jammat-e-Islami now banned, and Hurriyat members.

Who the Resistance Front is?

Very little is known about the Front. The Resistance Front publicly emerged in the aftermath of August 5, 2019, when the Central government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of autonomy under Article 370 and split the state into two Union Territories.  The Article 15-A also was abrogated. This article guaranteed special protections to Kashmiri people defined as “permanent residents” of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Front came into limelight when it owned a grenade attack in October 2019. Eight civilians on Srinagar’s busy Hari Singh High Street were injured in the attack. The Front is shy of social posts. But, it did announce its debut on the chat platform, Telegram.

India attributes the April intense gunfight between with security forces in the Keran sector (Kupwara district) to this Front.  It left five personnel of the army’s elite Special Forces dead.

Another encounter has continued for five days until October 19 in Mendhar sector.  India admits having lost several soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer, in the fight The Indian forces dared not enter into the forest. They were content to use heavy guns from the outside. The Indian forces’ initial impression was that the front uses only pistols and improvised explosives. That has been proved wrong.

 To disguise their ignorance about the Front, the forces say, ‘These acts are committed by newly recruited terrorists or those who are about to join terrorist ranks’.  

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar says, ‘A total of 28 civilians have been killed by terrorists in 2021. Out of 28, five persons belong to local Hindu and Sikh communities and two persons are non-local Hindu labourers.’

India shaken

The non local Kashmiri migrants have no faith in police protection. They are returning to their home towns. The remaining persons are being shifted to army camps.

India’s home minister has planned a visit to Srinagar to familiarize himself with the situation. Indian prime minister Modi is being blamed at home and abroad for emergence of the Resistance Front. The critics point out that Kashmiriat had been the crucible of several civilizations. But India’s reign of terror compelled the native Kashmiri to become xenophobic.  

Modi ventilated his ire at rights criticism in his speech before the National Human rights Commission.

He stressed that welfare measures like providing electric connection, alleviating poverty were more important than human rights.

The NHRC is a statutory body that was constituted on October 12, 1993, under the Protection of Human Rights Act. It takes cognisance of human rights violations, conducts enquiries and recommends compensation to victims from public authorities besides other remedial and legal measures against the erring public servants. However its present chairman is believed to be BJP stooge.

Kashmir, a Guantanamo Bay

Even Mehbooba Mufti, a former BJP ally, has been compelled to call Kashmir a Guantanamo Bay prison. She called for lifting ban on Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, Jama’at-e-Islami, withdrawal of `sedition’ or `terrorism’ cases against Kashmiri leaders or ordinary folk. Her voice proved to be a voice in the wilderness.  What else could Mehbooba call Kashmir _ `Kashmiris feel that they are literally imprisoned in a cage from which almost all exit routes are barred save one, to India, which is also not without peril. Kashmiris are distrusted and treated poorly in many parts of India, whether as students or as traders’ (A.G. Noorani, Kashmir, a prison, Dawn January 12, 2019). Trade across the Line of Control has been stopped and `terrorism’ charges slapped on some traders. Even the tyrannical Dogras and their British overlords facilitated Kashmir trade with Central Asian and other states. Kashmiri markets used to be flooded with foreign traders and their merchandise _books, shawls, gold tillas, Russian textiles, Kokandi silk, Bukharan rumals (handkerchiefs) and coral.  Trade from British India would flow through Kulu via the Chang Chenmo route to Yarkand, bypassing the maharaja’s customs officials in Leh. In 1870, Maharaja Ranbir Singh signed a special treaty in Sialkot with Viceroy Lord Mayo to accept this route as a ‘free highway’, later known as Treaty Route.  Central Asians intending to perform hajj used to travel through this route to Karachi or Bombay sea-ports to board ships.  To facilitate pilgrims, highway provided rest houses, and supply depots jointly supervised by British and Kashmir officials. Now, even the Kashmir Highway stands closed to civilian traffic during military-convoy movement.. A minor, violating road closure, was brutally crushed by an Indian army vehicle.”

Mehbooba revealed her government was dismissed for expressing ennui at central-government atrocities, not returning dead bodies of `encounter’ victims and burning them, not allowing funeral prayers, demanding talks with Pakistan, registering an FIR against an army officer, resisting change in Kashmir’s special status, and so on (Indian Express dated April 18. 2019). A cursory look at Kashmir press is horrifying _ Sedition cases were slapped on three Aligarh- university Kashmiri students for trying to hold prayers for Hizb militant Wani, Kashmiri students and traders at Wagah border are forced to chant anti-Pakistan slogans and post them to face book. Kashmir students and traders were attacked or looted throughout India. About 700 students, including girls, fled to Valley. Even holders of PM Modi’s merit-based competitive scholarships had to rush back to Valley for safety. Kashmiri journalists in Indian states were roughed up, mercilessly beaten, and told to go back Meghalaya governor officially directed to boycott everything Kashmiri. Some Kashmiris petitioned Supreme Court to intervene. In its order, the Supreme Court directed 10 states and various institutions to take remedial steps, but in vain.

Fake encounters

People have lost trust In India’s claims of success in “encounters”, mostly fake. In July last year, security forces in Kashmir claimed to have killed three “unidentified hardcore terrorists” in a gunfight in Amshipora village of Kashmir’s Shopian district. They had last made phone calls to their families on July 17, 2020, a day before the purported gunfight had taken place.

An army inquiry and a police probe into the encounter established that the three suspected militants killed in Amshipora were shot dead in a fake encounter.

Indian army stages such encounters to earn reward of Rs. 20 lac per encounter. A year has gone by but the captain accused of masterminding and executing the fake Amshipora encounter is still unpunished.  He abducted three labourers from their homes and shot them dead as “terrorists”. Those killed in Shopian in July 2020 were Mohammed Ibrar of Tarkasi village, Imtiyaz Ahmad of Dharsakri village, and Ibrar Ahmad.

Concluding remark

It is obvious that it is not all hunky dory in Kashmir as India claims. The changed dimension of “militancy” is an incurable headache for the Modi’s government.

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