Geopolitics

After constitutional integration, integrate the population of Kashmir with India
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Issue Courtesy: South Asia Monitor | Date : 08 Aug , 2019

Home Minister Amit Shah announced in Parliament on Monday August 5 that the major part of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution had been revoked and Article 35A, relating to Kashmir, scrapped. He also introduced the Reorganisation of Jammu & Kashmir Bill 2019, by which the state of J&K would be bifurcated into two union territories. 

The Ladakh region would become a Union Territory (UT) without a legislature while Jammu and Kashmir regions would become another UT, with a legislature. Shah also introduced a Bill in the Rajya Sabha (House of States or the Upper House of Parliament) that would permit persons from economically weaker sections of J&K to get the benefit of reservation in government jobs and in educational institutions. Both bills were passed by the Rajya Sabha at the end of an historic day for the Indian Union. 

Shah said Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which pertains to the special status of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, could be and had been revoked through a presidential order. The Ministry of Law and Justice also released details of the recommended amendments in the article. Any amendment to article 370 needs concurrence of the J&K state legislature but, since the state has been under President’s (or direct Central) rule, the amendment was possible by passing it through the national Parliament. 

Pakistan considers all of J&K as disputed territory and has launched a low-intensity war against India. Its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is assisting some terrorist outfits in the valley and infiltrating terrorists in the state. The Indian army on August 3 killed five to seven Pakistani Special Services Group (SSG) personnel who wanted to abduct and kill Indian security personnel. 

All the mainstream political parties of J&K have criticised the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A. Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti of the People’s Democratic Party tweeted that the Union government’s unilateral decision was “illegal and unconstitutional”. Omar Abdullah, vice-president of the National Conference and former chief minister, also said New Delhi’s action was “unilateral and shocking” and “betrayal of the trust” of the people of J&K. 

Both Mufti and Abdullah and former BJP ally Sajjad Lone were arrested and placed in detention. Curfew was imposed in several districts while Section 144 (not allowing assembly of more than five people) was imposed elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley and internet services were suspended. Educational institutions have been closed and movement of the public has been restricted. Riot control vehicles have been deployed in areas where disturbances was anticipated. 

The security forces took full precautions before the government acted to revoke these Articles. Several battalions of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) were deployed in the state, especially in the troubled districts. The National Security Advisor and intelligence agency chiefs visited the state to assess the situation. The head of the external intelligence service R&AW assessed the assistance Pakistan could have provided to the terrorist outfits and alerted the security personnel. 

In the run-up to Monday’s announcement, all tourists and outstation students in the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar were told to go home. For the first time in history, the Amarnath Yatra was suspended, as were the Machail Yatra, Budha Amarnath Yatra and Kousar Nag Yatra, all annual religious pilgrimages of great significance. Besides J&K, the central government has also issued a high alert in some states like Uttar Pradesh where communal riots were possible.   

Pakistan strongly condemned India’s decision and claimed it was illegal and threatened to take all “possible actions” to counter it. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi criticised the decision saying, “India is playing a dangerous game” which would have serious repercussions on “regional peace and stability”. 

Pakistan, which was emboldened by the offer of mediation by US President Donald Trump will take the issue of revocation of Articles 370 and 35A to various international forums like the United Nations. Qureshi said Pakistan will raise the issue in OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation). China, which has also occupied some portion of Kashmir and considers India as its potential adversary, will certainly instigate and promise help to Pakistan. Not only this, President Donald Trump wants to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan because of domestic compulsions. The US representative is negotiating with the Afghan Taliban and Pakistan, which has sway over the Taliban, is assisting them, hence Trump wants to help Pakistan. 

Internally, the separatists as well as collaborators of ISI would like to disturb peace and tranquility in the valley. The leaders of mainstream political parties of the valley will also oppose revocation of these articles. However, security forces are competent to deal with the situation and there will be no major untoward incident in the near future. The prime minister or home minister should hoist the national flag at Srinagar on August 15 to enthuse the nationalist forces. 

The central and state governments should take long-term steps to integrate the population of J&K with India. Firstly, the Sufi culture should be reinstated and imams of mosques who preach extremism must be imprisoned. More employment should be generated through enhancing tourism, putting more industries and making agriculture and horticulture more profitable.

Courtesy: https://southasiamonitor.org/news/after-constitutional-integration-integrate-the-population-of-kashmir-with-india/sl/30309

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Jai Kumar Verma

is a Pakistan watcher and has written extensively on the nefarious designs of the ISI, smuggling of fake Indian currency notes, etc. He is a strategic analyst and delivers lectures in training academies of paramilitary and intelligence organisations.

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2 thoughts on “After constitutional integration, integrate the population of Kashmir with India

  1. Agree fully with Jai Kumar Verma’s conclusions. The revocation of article 370 is a Teutonic shift which very few thought would happen in our lifetime. It will take years to fully absorb the impact. Here are three most important takeaways among many:

    1. Since 1947 the basis of contentions between Pakistan and India was Kashmir. Three wars were fought without conclusive outcome. This basis is gone now with the scrapping of Article 370 even though Pakistan will continue to deny reality for sometime, primarily for public relation.

    2. The Islamization of Pakistani politics was wrapped up in the Kashmir war on Kefirs, the Hindus. The genesis of Islamic terrorism and the rise of Talibans, refuge to Bin Laden including US 9/11 is rooted in the desperate Pakistan’s quest to create a third front for an imaginary war with India. Note Jinnah started Pakistan as a secular country and never expected the radicalization . Pakistan will have to do soul searching finally to get on with the ground reality. Whether India choose to do anything about POK remains to be seen. In most likelihood, the urgency to rebuild the Indian region of Kashmir into an exemplary land-of-promise will overshadow Indian interest in POK.

    3. If Pakistan hopes to develop into a modern society, their armed forces are staring into a severe downsizing step, having no visible enemies or a cause, namely, Islam Khatrey mai hai, a dead issue. How big does Sri Lanka and Nepal armed forces have to be? India unfortunately has no option facing the biggest mortal enemy, namely China which continue to threaten the Indian sovereignty. Therefore the Indian armed forces and capabilities have to grow exponentially to stay at par with China.

  2. Wish the Author had given the following a thought too .

    Do we gain in Revenue by this Presidential Order,if so how much?

    Do we gain in Security?Internal and External?Will troops on L C and in Internal security reduce ?If so, by When and by how much ?

    Do we gain in Foreign affairs? How and with whom?
    Will Pak interference reduce, if so, how and by when?
    How do we gain economically? How much in what time frame? Will Budget for Upkeep of Kashmir reduce ?

    Will this enable Kashmiri s to get more educated and thereby India will gain more productive Human Resources ?

    What new industries can be developed in Kashmir or hills of Jammu but for Pharma? How, by when with what job opportunities created?

    How many mainland Indians will like to buy property in J&K , even if Pandits do distress sale to them?

    Pandits properties are still mainly untouched because of them being brothers of the same soil for centuries.But , will an outsiders property be safe or his family?
    How will the best deveoped Tourism Industry of the country gain further?Tunnel to Srinagar is choked during Tourist season as it is in Kalka – Simla , Sevak rd- Gangtok, Metupallayam- Ooty .

    Will this make the Kashmiri more acceptable in mainland India? Will it integrate them better.

    Will it bring about a genuine political revolution and NC and PDP will be forgotten?

    With UT assembly under thumbs of LG, how will Kashmir enjoy friluits of Democracy?
    Please evaluate .

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