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Kashmir Fallout: India’s undemocratic face exposed!

Kashmir Fallout: India’s undemocratic face exposed!N. P. Upadhyaya, Let’s begin the story from our own South Asian region and that too from the troubled Kashmir and its people who have all been put together including the Children under a manmade cage since August 5-the day PM Modi “alienated” Kashmir from the rest of India.Says a Nepali International Law expert, Sunil Kumar Pokhrel that it was the Article 370 with special rights to them which had brought temporarily closer the Kashmiri people with the Indian Union, however, with the article scrapped the said “temporary ties” automatically has disappeared.

Mr. Pokhrel was talking to Mr. Prakash Giri-one of the anchor of the Sagarmatha TV just the other day. This should mean that the Kashmiris are now free to go their preferred way. This was a boon in disguise?

Says Kavita Krishnan of the Indian communist party the CPI (ML) that “The situation is absolutely grim. Kashmir is under military siege. There are paramilitary forces on every street, outside homes, outside localities. The situation is really quite alarming. There is no scope for anyone to speak, no scope for peaceful protests, so writes Betwa Sharma for the Huffpost dated 14 August, 2019 quoting Kavita.

The team that had visited troubled Kashmir valley were Kavita Krishnan from the CPI (ML), senior economist Jean Dreze and Maimoona, Mollah of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) who spent five days in Kashmir after the government nullified Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the state.

On the day of Eid, August 12, claims the Communist leader Kavita that there was desolation. No one except tiny children were in festive clothing. They were not allowed to go to the mosque to do their prayers in rural areas. The azaan was not permitted so they just had to do their namaz at home. People feel a complete sense of anger and betrayal. There is helplessness, frustration.
In the Kashmir Valley, we did not meet a single soul who was happy with the decision” said Kavita.

Describing the situation as grim, Krishnan said, “Frankly, it looked like occupied Iraq or occupied Palestine”, writes Betwa Sharma quoting Kavita.

In the meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is meeting this Friday to discuss the Kashmir issue after the Indian Prime Minister, August 5, hit the Kashmiri people very hard.
The UNSC is meeting on the formal request of Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s who wrote in a letter to the Security Council on Tuesday that “If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defense, with all its capabilities”.

Whatever the UNSC may decide, the Kashmir issue no longer remains a bilateral issue but the subject has already been “internationalized”.

And this is what Pakistan perhaps had preferred. Now Kashmir is a matter of Global Concern with the entrance of the issue in the Security Council.

“Modi has committed a strategic blunder,” said the Pakistan PM Khan during his visit to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir the other day.

“He has played his last card. They have internationalized the Kashmir issue”, PM Khan reiterated.

Mystic-river2020 in his Twitter account has to say this, (sic) “I guess Modi regime is making it really easy for Pakistan. Sooner or later, the world will realize the plight of Kashmiri people and other minorities suffering in India. Extremism Jinnie is out of the bottle now…It’s not easy to curtail”.

The Jinnie has in effect appears to have come out of the bottle.

A well-known bureaucrat-turned-politician from Indian-administered Kashmir has been arrested in Delhi and sent back to the region, media reports say.

Shah Faesal, a former IAS officer, was detained at Delhi airport on Wednesday as he tried to board a flight reportedly to Istanbul.

He now joins the hundreds of Kashmiri leaders who have been detained (better say trapped) across the region.

Indian authorities say the crackdown is necessary to prevent disorder in the disputed region.

Nepal is the current Chair of the SAARC and thus Nepal’s voice must be registered. Unfortunately, Nepal fears making any comments on Kashmir fearing yet another Indian Economic Blockade. But Nepal must speak. If Nepal PM speaks then he will definitely side with the Indian establishment. Nepal PM Oli is helpless. If PM Oli takes the side of the regional bully then that would be really unfortunate in that some sixty thousand Nepal’s Gorkha soldier shall be sent to the battle front if and when the two rival countries go to war.
Attention Nepali brothers serving the regional bully. Keep in mind the mother which gave you all the birth.

To recall, Pakistan PM Imran Khan sought international help in solving the Kashmir issue. He said a few days back that the global community should intervene Modi government’s use of great military force against Kashmiris.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan has compared Modi’s move on Kashmir with those of Hitler’s Nazi ideology. He tweeted just the other day that, “The curfew, crackdown & impending genocide of Kashmiris in IOK is unfolding exactly according to the RSS ideology (which is) inspired by Nazi ideology.

In a just-natural development, the most popular French News Paper ‘Le Monde’ has made its headline 12 August quoting to what Imran Khan has rightly said of India.

The headline is titled “Le Pakistan compare la situation du cachemire indien a la montee du nazisme”.

PM Khan further says, “Attempts are being made to change the demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. (And thus) question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?”

PM Khan Khan accused the Indian leader of “ethnic cleansing of Muslims” in the Western State of Gujrat in 2002, and he warned of the potential for “another Srebrenica-type massacre” — referring to the killing of thousands of Bosnian Muslims in 1995 — on the Indian side of Kashmir.

UN chief Antonio Guterres on August 9 invoked the Shimla pact which said that Kashmir is a bilateral issue and that both the countries should refrain from taking any more steps in the matter.
It is a disputed territory recognized by the UN body itself.

Some Nepali observers say that the UN system is not that much effective in this case as it is the UN which has been dilly-dallying every time Pakistan approached the world body for redressal of their grievances. Is the UN body under pressure for conducting a promised plebiscite? If then from which country? Isn’t it India?

But this time the Security Council has taken up the Kashmir issue.

Interestingly, a senior Indian journalist Ms. Suhasini Haidar asks whether the UNSC closed door discussion Friday on India-Pakistan and Kashmir mean Russia has ditched the “Soviet Veto” for India?

In the meanwhile, many Labor party leaders in Britain have spoken out against the communication blackout in Kashmir.
Here is a flash: Thousands of people, many waving Pakistani and Kashmiri flags, protested outside the Indian High Commission in London on Thursday (August 15) in support of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

India’s decision to revoke special status for its portion of Kashmir, along with a communications blackout and curbs on movement, caused fury in Pakistan, which cut trade and transport links and expelled India’s envoy in retaliation.

In London, protesters carried banners saying “Kashmir is Burning”, “Free Kashmir” and “Modi: Make Tea Not War”, according to a Reuters reporter.

Britain, it should be noted, had always maintained that Kashmir is a bilateral issue to be solved by both India and Pakistan. As per the UN Security Council Resolution 47 adopted on April 21, 1948, both India and Pakistan were asked to resolve the crisis through a multi-step process. Accordingly, Pakistan was to withdraw all its nationals from the territory under its control and India was to reduce forces in its part of Kashmir which was to be followed by a plebiscite.

Remarkably, the leader of Opposition in the UK Parliament, Jeremy Corbyn, on Sunday, August 11, 2019, has expressed concern over the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. Claiming that the situation in the conflicted region has turned “deeply disturbing”, Corbyn said the resolutions issued by the United Nations should be implemented, inform some international media agencies.

“The situation in Kashmir is deeply disturbing. Human rights abuses taking place are unacceptable. The rights of the Kashmiri people must be respected and UN resolutions implemented,” Jeremy Corbyn said on social media outlets.

As the public debate in India remains divided over the Central government’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status as well as bifurcate the state into two Union territories, a Pakistani defense expert and a former media man has said there are many sympathizers of Pakistan’s cause in India.

Mr. Mushahid Hussain, a Pakistani politician, journalist and a top class geo-strategist was appearing in a debate on Pakistani news channel Geo TV recently when he remarked that people like Indian writer Arundhati Roy, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and political parties like the Congress where “sympathizers” of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

India is a huge country.

And many people from India are sympathizers with you also like Arundhati Roy, Mamata Banerjee, Congress party, Communist party, Dalit parties. All of India is not with Modi,” Hussain said talking to the Geo TV.

In a fresh development, the Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi has asked, August 12, 2019, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make Kashmir a major focus of the Trump administration.
In a letter dated August 9, Congressman Suozzi alleged that the action by the Indian government “risks provoking mass social unrest”.

“These new restrictions on the autonomy of the state and the rights of Kashmiris could also embolden extremists and terrorists to act,” he wrote in the letter. (This man reportedly has backed from his already made statement. But his views have already become global now).

Immediately after Pak FM’s visit to Beijing, the Indian foreign minister’s China visit followed.
After talks between Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Beijing announced that it will “uphold justice for Pakistan on the international arena.”

And China kept the promise made to Pakistan. The UN Security Council taking up the Kashmir issue is an example.

Islamabad also had said Saturday, August 10, that it will take the Kashmir issue to the United Nations Security Council with Beijing’s support.

Maliha Lodhi too has become suddenly active at the UN. She has begun talking to some US TV Channels (Sky TV/VOA Urdu service for example and convincing the US people of the ground reality in Kashmir after Indian aggression.

She says in an official statement dated August 12 that “Pakistan calls upon the international community including the UN Human Rights machinery and other relevant bodies, to hold India to account for these deliberate crimes against religion, violations of international law and lack of respect for human decency”.

Thinking that Pakistan may have already influenced China in its favor, a jealous Indian foreign minister, (economic blockade specialist for Nepal) too rushed to Beijing to lure Wang Yi. However, the Chinese foreign ministry said it showed a “principled” stand on “unilateral” actions taken by India in a meeting between the two countries’ top diplomats, Mr. Shankar and Wang Yi, on Monday.
Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said he hoped India would play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, reiterates a foreign ministry version.
Minister Wang is hoping against hope. He has yet to read India better.

Wang Yi pointed out that India’s recent measures also challenged China’s sovereign rights and interests, contrary to the agreement between the two sides on safeguarding the border areas of the two countries.

“China is seriously concerned about this,” he said, adding that Indian measures will not change the fact that China exercises sovereignty over the relevant territory.
The Chinese foreign minister expressed his hope that New Delhi will take measures to promote mutual trust, peace and tranquility.

A trembling Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar told Wang that India was willing to exercise restraint and improve its relationship with Pakistan, the Chinese foreign ministry added, writes Reuters/Dawn from Beijing August 12/13, 2019.

In the meanwhile, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed his government’s recent constitutional reform that stripped Kashmir of its statehood in a speech Thursday to mark India’s Independence Day.

He said the change will bring prosperity and equality to the area.

But as India’s leader spoke, Jammu and Kashmir’s 7 million people were in their 11th day of a communication blockade, with phone, Internet and cable TV services cut which explains what sort of prosperity PM Modi will bring for the traumatized Kashmiri population.

In a good for nothing feeble statement from the OIC, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has raised serious concerns over reports that India has blocked Muslims in Indian-occupied Kashmir from exercising their religious freedoms, a policy the pan-Islamic group said is an affront to Muslims around the world.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the 57-member organization said it had become aware of reports of a “curtailment of religious freedoms of Kashmiri Muslims in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.

Meanwhile, P. Chidambaram is in the eye of the controversy for his comment on Article 370. Former Union minister on Sunday lambasted the BJP for the abrogation of Article 370, saying the saffron party would not have “snatched away” the special status had Jammu and Kashmir been a Hindu-dominated state.

And now Dr. Man Mohan Singh says, August 12 the government’s decision to scrap the provisions of Article 370 is not to the liking of many people in the country and voices of Jammu and Kashmir residents must be heard for the idea of India to prevail.

The former proxy Prime Minister of India who damaged Nepal summarily also said that India is passing through a “deep crisis” and it needs the cooperation of like-minded people.

The CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday too has alleged that the people of Kashmir have been kept “imprisoned” in their own homes and warned the government that the impact of changing Jammu and Kashmir’s status would be felt in other states with special status.

While greeting people on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, Mr Yechury, who along with CPI general secretary had been denied entry into Srinagar on Friday, said he still didn’t know the condition of his party colleagues in Kashmir.

Last but not the least, this latest attack August 5 on the dignity of a long-suffering people will mark the beginning of an era of unprecedented resistance and struggle towards freedom for the Kashmiris, so claims Tamoghna Haldar who is an Indian student pursuing his PhD in Economics from University of California, Davis.

“Kashmir’s struggle did not start in 1947 and will not end today”, says economist Haldar August 15, 2019.

Similarly, a promising young Pakistani scholar Ms. Zoon Ahmed Khan currently in Beijing while talking to CGTN TV August 13, 2019, made detailed comments on why India revoked the special status of J&K? And why her country had to react and what were the implications of the Indian actions on Kashmir for South Asian regional peace and stability and the Kashmiri people their right to self-determination.

She was joined in the CGTN Dialogue panel discussion by Rong Ying, the VP and senior Research fellow and Atul Janeja who represented the Hindu newspaper.
The TV anchor was Mr. RUI. The discussion went well.

Professor Rong Ying had, let me recall, and made some comments on DOKLAM issue when China and India were almost face to face.

All in all, India is being criticized worldwide and chances remain high that recent actions of India on Kashmir may backfire. However, Bhutan and the new protectorate Nepal shall remain in the Indian side for multiple known reasons. That’s all.

@telegraphnepal

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