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November 5, 2019

The Kashmir nightmare refuses to die down


November 5, 2019

With the annexation of Article 370, the Kashmiri alienation with India is now more or less entirely complete and things have come to the stage that no Kashmiri politician in the IHK can support the Indian occupation and defy the simmering public alienation by supporting New Delhi.

The Modi Sarkar paved the way for the bifurcation of the state by ending the special status of the held Valley on August 5. It has been the BJP’s long-standing promise to do so in the first 100 days of its second term in power amid claims that both articles 370 and 35A were "constitutionally vulnerable" and discriminatory and inhibited the development of the state.

Since then, the state is under unprecedented siege and hundreds of local politicians including former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti remain under detention.

While saner voices in India do exist but are being silenced by state machinery and Modi Sarkar.

As the world watches, there is creeping realization in the world capitals that India with secular credentials is diminishing quickly and a radical India with Hindutva as its base fast emerging.

Gandhi is no more the revered leader in the country and Godse, the murderer of Gandhi who came from the RSS, has assumed even a higher stature. This reflects a dangerous trend and a sick mindset that shall come sooner or later to haunt India.

At the same time, the Indian government and media continue to build false narratives against the Pakistani government.

For example, it is being fed to the domestic Indian media that Pakistani forces have started recruiting Pashto speaking and Afghan origin terrorists to enter the troubled border state. With New Delhi having a friendly government in Kabul, huge support within the Afghan NDS and strongly fenced Line of Control in IOK with around a million soldiers, the claim, which seeks the US not to proceed for a peace deal with the Taliban by raising unsubstantiated and baseless fears, can be easily dismissed.

Similarly, Pakistan is also being blamed for Indian economic woes. It is being claimed that Islamabad is now circulating fake Indian currency at a large scale and Pakistan embassies have been given this task. Implicating Pakistan for spreading fake Indian currency is a malafide attempt to remove focus from Modi Sarkar’s poor economic policies.

Surely, if the Indian government is performing poorly, Pakistan has no reason to jump in for taking an unnecessary blame.

Meanwhile, it seems that other political parties, especially Congress, are under tremendous pressure of BJP.

Former Indian PM Manmohan Singh has said the Congress had voted in favour of the bill to abrogate Article 370 in J&K and the party had "only raised a problem" with its implementation.

“We believe Article 370 is a temporary measure but if a change has to be brought, it should be with the goodwill of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.” What goodwill he is talking about is not clear.

On the other hand, the Indian armed forces do not know what to do except using whatever force they think is necessary in the Valley to suppress protests, with little fear of prosecution thanks to the legal protection of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), a draconian, retrogressive and repressive law, giving the Indian armed forces with blanket powers and providing them immunity for their state terrorism and violence.

As the Modi Sarkar recently bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir, the number of states in India is now 28 and the number of Union Territories has gone up to nine. The Indian government said that held Jammu and Kashmir will not stay a Union Territory and its statehood will be restored at an "appropriate time" after "normalcy" returns. But normalcy is not returning to occupied Kashmir in a long time and New Delhi is in for a long haul in the Valley, a development the Indian establishment is slowly beginning to realise.