Jammu And Kashmir Issue

Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) – Paradise on Earth, the choicest creation of God. Home to India’s first floating post office, home to Srinagar also known as the “City of the Goddess of Wealth”. But none of these are primary ideas that come to one’s mind when J&K is mentioned. Is it due to the violent history that the place was drowned in? Is it due to the unpredictable future that it faces? Or is it all of this combined? This post would analyze the history, the present, and all possible futures for J&K in a simplistic and non- jargoning manner to help any and all people of interest to learn about Jammu and Kashmir Issue.

The History of Jammu and Kashmir

Being a princely state under the British Empire from 1846 to 1947, in fact, the way the state was created has a transactional background to it.

In essence, the East India Company merged multiple territories they had gained as an effect of their victory in the First Anglo-Sikh War and sold it to Raja Gulab Singh for a payment of 7.5 million Nanakshahee Rupees which was written down formally in the Treaty of Amritsar of 1846.

And once India gained independence from colonial rule is when the string of events leading to the current unraveling of the situation in J&K had begun.

When India’s independence was on horizon, and the, then Viceroy of India Lord Mountbatten announced that the princely states would also gain their freedom and it involved them choosing to either join the newly independent nations of India or Pakistan.

The Maharaja of Kashmir and the people were now in the fray of a decision that would affect the way the lives of them and their future generations would carry on. The Maharaja was put into a fix on the basis of these two facts as to whether to join India or Pakistan.

The first, according to a 1941 census, over 75% of the Kashmiri population were Muslims. The second, the historical political movement in the Valley of Kashmir which not only had a secular outlook but also had its alliance with the Indian National Congress right from the 1930s.

Now it was the fix, the first fact dictated to the Muslim populous of a possible joining into Pakistan the same that was perceived by the Pakistanis as well. The next created the idea of Kashmir joining India.

This gave rise to a multitude of rebellion signs from Pakistan supported groups throughout the fresh independence era as an effect of which the Maharaja who initially repelled these threats, finally pled India for assistance and as an effect of which he signed the now infamous “Instrument of Accession” on 26th October 1947.

LOC

The immediate effect of this was again two things, the first was that J&K came to be a part of the dominion of India and the second was the end of India’s bargain. The Indian soldiers entered J&K to remove the raiders and effectively sparked the beginning of the Indo-Pak War of 1947-48.

This was ensured by the entry of the UNSC into the matter on invitation by India which passed a resolution to bring in a cease-fire on both sides which would be followed by a plebiscite in the same region. In the pursuant years to come, the UN Commission for India and Pakistan would try to find a dually amicable solution at which, it failed due to the non-acceptance by the Pakistani counterpart.

And as time passed in 1950, article 370 came into effect, in 1954 under article 370, by a presidential order article 35A had come into effect, in 1958, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)was passed. After these events, when 1965 and 1971 came around, India and Pakistan fought in two more wars post which they agreed upon the Simla Agreement.

And at the end to where the situation has reached today is an effect of all the things that have happened in Jammu and Kashmir Issue including the rise in separatism during the early 90s and other groups of small events that have amounted to drastic actions being forced in the region.

Indian frontier guard. Indian Army checkpoint in Kashmir Himalayas.

Jammu and Kashmir issue- Current Situation

The reason the entire Indian Subcontinent is on social media either raging or celebrating about the situation in Kashmir is due to the passage of the “Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act of 2019”(JKRA) through the entire Indian Parliament which is said to come into effect on 31st October 2019.

The major role of this act other than revising everyone’s basic geographic knowledge on India’s states and union territories, is the creation of two new union territories and the reduction of one state from the existing count, effectively making Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh two union territories of India.

Thus, subjecting them to the similar facets of law, treatment, and benefits as the rest of the pre-existing union territories. The JKRA in its 58-page long documentation talks about the establishment of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as two new separate union territories with an outline for the legislatures of both and the necessary altering of existing systems with respect to the legislative assembly, hierarchy in the government structure, establishment of a contingency fund, the judiciary in the region and other changes to ensure a smooth transition.

Although the general public doesn’t seem to have an issue with the JKRA directly and there is considerable praise for its passage, the major point of discussion arises with respect to the timing and method of implementation.

A significant number of international and local critics believe that the timing of this initiative could be disastrous and also the pre-emptive measures that were put in place were too radical in nature. This is where the crux of disagreements and debate are currently swirling out of and that is further the core of this post.

To start off with the first issue, the timing, with respect to the global scenario where a multitude of countries have criticized this move of the Indian government for the possibility of an escalation in the possible terror activities in the region, considering the withdrawal of USA’s troops from Afghanistan and the Chinese’s continuing attempts to establish the OBOR policy.

Kashmiri children playing past a Graffiti marked on closed shutters of shops during a shutdown in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir. In Kashmir, graffiti protest started appearing with regularity after the 2010 unrest.

This also comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump has claimed that Narendra Modi had asked him to mediate the Kashmir issue during a press meet with the PM of Pakistan, Imran Khan. This claim has been vehemently denied by the G.o.I. and is a very straightforward possibility considering the existence of the Simla Pact and Trump’s casual process of spewing lies to incite the media into a frenzy.

The second issue is with the pre-emptive measures that were installed in Jammu and Kashmir prior to the passage of the JKRA. India is the country with the highest number of internet shutdowns as surveyed by Forbes is often criticized for being curtailing of free speech on the internet.

And at the outset, there was a significant increase in troop force that entered Jammu and Kashmir, a complete blanket ban on all forms of communication, a complete curfew on all private and public organizations, shops, etc.

As an effect of all of this, the information on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir issue became very sketchy and the entire news cycle was basically reduced to hearsay. And when BBC came out with a report regarding the violence by soldiers in the region, a mass outrage on the Indian internet sphere against the BBC started with a large amount of mud-slinging on all sides, although the situation is currently shaping for the better with schools and shops being allowed to open, and the returning of the internet to a few areas.

There were incidents that, again, whose reporting is inadequate, that state that there were violent outbursts among the citizens there right after the relaxation of the restrictions. It is to be noted that a multitude of denials have been issued both by the Indian army and the government on any acts of violence by the troops present there and if they’re even was that it was against rebels who intended to harm the process of transition. With all of this being said the opinion stands divided. Form your own based on facts and not on propaganda.

Here are few FAQ

1] Do India and Pakistan want any other country or organization to mediate their territorial dispute in Jammu and Kashmir issue?

No. India and Pakistan both signed the Shimla Agreement in 1972 in which they both mutually agreed to keep the issue of J and K, a domestic one.

2] Are there any other foreign players in the region?

Jammu and Kashmir shares a border with 5 countries. The main player(s) in the region are China who control (CoK) and Pakistan who control (PoK).

3] Can the Jammu and Kashmir issue become an international issue again?

With China and Pakistan both being major nuclear powers along with India, diplomatic resolution of conflicts is essential. Provocation along either fronts can make J and K into an international issue.

4] Was revoking section 370 a good idea?

The G.O.I decided to revoke section 370 as a strategic measure to gain more access and control on Jammu and Kashmir. Citing internal issues as their cause, revoking 370 is a purely strategic matter.

5] Will a solution be reached any time soon?

No. Considering that Jammu and Kashmir are located in a strategically important place, Jammu and Kashmir, at least parts of it will forever be contested. However, it will not become a site of proxy war such as Yemen due to the mutual understanding of both the parties involved.

6] Have Pakistan and China become allies?

With China-Pakistan Economic Corridor {CHIPEC}, both the countries have become friendly in the economic friend. Strategically as well both seem to be lapping each other up. in the Jammu and Kashmir issue

7] Is India prepared for a simultaneous war on both the friends?

Yes. With increased defense spending and strategic deployment of troops and modernization of weapons, India is well equipped for a two-front war in Jammu and Kashmir issue

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