Cachemira

Srinagar, in the Indian-controlled part of the Kashmir region, was under guard last month days after India said it would revoke the area’s autonomy.CreditCreditAtul Loke for The New York Times

Over the past few weeks, we have seen a plethora of comments from Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan and senior officials of his government painting an apocalyptic picture of India’s reorganization of its province of Jammu and Kashmir — and raising the threat of conflict, including nuclear war, with India.

Under Prime Minister Khan’s watch, the people of Pakistan are reeling under economic depression, with inflation at a five-year high, national debt exceeding gross domestic product and an International Monetary Fund bailout for the 22nd time. Mr. Khan has, of course, every right to run his own economy into the ground.…  Seguir leyendo »

We vacation hard, my family. Ideally three weeks, and always a home rental, never a hotel. We settle in like we own the place, and have always owned the place. We start with a grocery store, a thrift shop for toys, a visit to the local library. We scope out playgrounds and children’s classes, make some friends, set up play dates.

The Google map I create during my research phase is color-coded, layered, intricate. We set up temporary lives everywhere from Greece to Japan. On our last trip, to Oahu, Hawaii, we did five grocery runs and nine loads of laundry, and spent the rest of the time washing dishes.…  Seguir leyendo »

En una maniobra desconcertante el Gobierno de Narendra Modi ha revocado la autonomía del Estado de Jammu y Cachemira, el único de mayoría musulmana en la India. Un movimiento que ha sorprendido, no tanto por la medida en sí, una reivindicación histórica del nacionalismo hindú, como por el proceder abrupto, desentendiéndose de cualquier posibilidad de diálogo con las partes afectadas.

Cachemira es un enclave disputado sobre el que concurren los intereses nacionales y geoestratégicos de tres potencias nucleares: India, China y Pakistán, cada una de ellas con reivindicaciones territoriales sobre el país colindante. El origen del conflicto se remonta a la descolonización británica del subcontinente.…  Seguir leyendo »

The family of Fayaz Ahmed Mir, a tractor driver who was arrested, consoling his sister, Zahida Jan, earlier this month. Thousands of people were imprisoned by Indian security forces after India unilaterally stripped away Kashmir’s autonomy on Aug. 5. CreditCreditAtul Loke for The New York Times

After I was elected prime minister of Pakistan last August, one of my foremost priorities was to work for lasting and just peace in South Asia. India and Pakistan, despite our difficult history, confront similar challenges of poverty, unemployment and climate change, especially the threat of melting glaciers and scarcity of water for hundreds of millions of our citizens.

I wanted to normalize relations with India through trade and by settling the Kashmir dispute, the foremost impediment to the normalization of relations between us.

On July 26, 2018, in my first televised address to Pakistan after winning the elections, I stated we wanted peace with India and if it took one step forward, we would take two steps.…  Seguir leyendo »

Le 4 août, 10 h 30 en Inde – 7 heures en Suisse. Le gouvernement indien coupe toutes les télécommunications (y compris les lignes téléphoniques locales) dans l’Etat de Jammu-et-Cachemire, et impose un couvre-feu général. Depuis quelques semaines, la population locale sait que quelque chose se prépare : touristes et pèlerins ont été appelés à quitter la région au plus vite, des milliers de soldats supplémentaires ont été envoyés sur place, la panique se répand. Les nouvelles qui me parviennent de Srinagar dénotent une inquiétude latente et une angoisse grandissante. Le gouvernement central fomente quelque chose. Toutefois, personne ne semble savoir exactement ce qui est sur le point de se produire.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers on the streets of Srinagar earlier this month.CreditCreditAtul Loke for The New York Times

Every summer in Kashmir begins with the question of fate. The sun, having traveled through a long, dormant winter, stretches wide open to mark the return of color and noise, electricity and traffic, cricket, weddings, song and gluttony in our gardens. Desire and humor ride through town and for a moment we meet life, not as it is known to be but perhaps as it was meant to be, before the dice is rolled yet again: What will light the fire this time?

Around midnight on Aug. 4, the night before India’s Hindu nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally erased Kashmir’s autonomy, Srinagar, the largest city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, my home, and other parts of the Valley of Kashmir were beginning to be sealed into a valley of soldiers and checkpoints between which laid quiet, dimly lit homes, like mine, with their internet, phone lines and cable television severed.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian security personnel on the streets of Srinagar, Kashmir, last week.CreditCreditAtul Loke for The New York Times

As India celebrates her 73rd year of independence from British rule, ragged children thread their way through traffic in Delhi, selling outsized national flags and souvenirs that say, “Mera Bharat Mahan.” My India is Great. Quite honestly, it’s hard to feel that way right now, because it looks very much as though our government has gone rogue.

Last week it unilaterally breached the fundamental conditions of the Instrument of Accession, by which the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India in 1947. In preparation for this, at midnight on Aug. 4, it turned all of Kashmir into a giant prison camp.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Aug. 8, in a 40-minute address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi argued that Article 370 of the Indian constitution had prevented economic development from reaching Kashmir and had stimulated terrorism and corruption.

Three days earlier, Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had announced the abrogation of Article 370, which had accorded the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) special status — including a separate constitution, a state flag and control over internal administrative matters. India also abolished Article 35A, part of Article 370, which stipulated that only permanent residents of J&K could own property in the region.…  Seguir leyendo »

In the run-up to his election victory in 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised a form of federalism that was “co-operative, not coercive.” The statement solidified a long-term trend of Indian leaders who have been willing to recognize the country’s regional diversity. Though the central government once regularly dismissed state governments — 95 times between 1966 and 1996 — such practices seemed a thing of the past. State governments became more likely to serve out their terms, and the central government seemed more amendable to seeking compromises with local leaders. Even the troubled state of Kashmir saw free and fair elections and a steep decline in violence between 2001 and 2017.…  Seguir leyendo »

India’s controversial move to pull the autonomy of the disputed region of Kashmir marks a major moment in the regional politics of South Asia. The decision, as political scientist Ahsan Butt explained here at TMC this week, was motivated by Indian domestic politics — but its implications will reach beyond India. It will force a number of countries, including Pakistan, China, and the United States, to recalibrate their foreign policies — and other key players, such as al-Qaeda, will watch developments closely.

Will this increase conflict in South Asia? Here are four key things to watch.

1. The India-Pakistan rivalry is likely to worsen

Contention over Kashmir broke out soon after the British partitioned India into two countries in 1947.…  Seguir leyendo »

India Annexes Kashmir and Brings Us Back to Partition

Pakistani kids are taught in and out of school that Kashmir is our “shah rug (jugular vein). Indians believe that Kashmir is their “atoot ang” (indispensable body part). Urdu and Persian poetry is full of paeans to the beauty of Kashmir. If there is paradise on earth, “it is this, it is this, it is this,” the 14th-century poet Amir Khusro wrote. Since the time of Partition, 72 years ago, India and Pakistan have been fighting wars over Kashmir and calling each other the occupier and the oppressor of the Kashmiris.

Occasionally, there have been halfhearted pledges that the Kashmiri people should probably get to do what they want with their paradise.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian Paramilitary soldiers standing guard during the curfew in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, on Wednesday.CreditCreditDar Yasin/Associated Press

Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan have fought four wars since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, has been the battleground for competing, conflicting ideologies. For Pakistan, the Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir was a critical missing piece in its positioning of itself as the South Asian Muslim homeland. For India, the state became the symbol of secularism for India in its post-colonial nation-building project.

But with the rise and rise of India’s Hindu nationalists, the very idea of India is being redefined and repurposed. To assert this redefining of India as a muscular, majoritarian nation state, there could have been no better place than Kashmir: a United Nations-endorsed, internationally accepted, disputed territory with a Muslim majority fighting an armed insurgency against the Indian state for the last 30 years.…  Seguir leyendo »

After a week of rumors and misinformation, on Monday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced changes to the constitutional and legal status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). There are two principal components: (1) scrapping Article 370 and the associated Article 35-A of the Indian constitution, which govern Kashmir’s relationship with the Indian Union, and (2) geographically splitting J&K and administrating it as a “Union Territory.”

These changes could have important political consequences, including increased instability and unrest in the region.

1. Jammu and Kashmir is losing its autonomy.

The Indian government’s constitutional and legal relationship with J&K is complicated by history.…  Seguir leyendo »

Monday marked a devastating turning point in India’s long-standing occupation of Kashmir.

Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday informed the Parliament of a presidential order revoking Article 370, which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status within the Indian Constitution. The article was instituted by India’s early leadership to give a certain degree of autonomy to its only Muslim-majority state — one it had incorporated without the consent of its people, who would have preferred independence or accession to Pakistan.

As a number of Indian historians and legal experts have noted, the presidential order is essentially unconstitutional. Article 370 is the only legal link between India and the disputed state; for it to be revoked, it has to be approved concurrently by the Jammu and Kashmir constituent assembly, which was dissolved in 1956.…  Seguir leyendo »

In less than one hour, without any real debate inside India’s Parliament, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi upended 72 years of policy and changed the course of Kashmir’s history.

The sudden decision on Monday to withdraw the historic special status to Jammu and Kashmir, constitutionally mandated under what is called Article 370, was taken while several elected representatives in the state were placed under house arrest and mobile and Internet services were cut off. The disruptive move was not preceded by any consultations with any political or civil society members. Nor was there any warning to the public about the most momentous paradigm shift India has ever seen in domestic policy on Kashmir.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Kashmiri being comforted after his house was destroyed in a battle in Tral, south of Srinagar, on Tuesday. Credit Dar Yasin/Associated Press

India and Pakistan don’t have to be on the brink of war. Negotiators painstakingly put together a way out of the crisis and a road map for resolution of the Kashmir dispute in the mid-2000s, and we need to get back to it.

Kashmir has been disputed since 1947, with India holding around two-thirds and Pakistan one-third of its territory and both claiming all of it. The unresolved future of the largely Muslim region has led to three wars between the two countries, while frustration with Indian misrule in Indian-controlled Kashmir led to an insurgency supported by Pakistan in 1990.

India and Pakistan have alternated between phases of intense hostility and moments of calm since 1947.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las tensiones entre la India y Pakistán están en su nivel más alto en décadas, y muchos temen que estos dos vecinos nucleares estén al borde de otra guerra por la región disputada de Cachemira. Pero este último estallido es diferente a los anteriores.

El conflicto por Cachemira comenzó en 1947. Cuando Pakistán dio apoyo a un movimiento insurgente musulmán en el Principado de Jammu y Cachemira, su gobernante, el maharajá Hari Singh (hinduista) decidió ceder el territorio a la India a cambio de ayuda militar. Pero como la población del estado era predominantemente musulmana, Pakistán protestó y envió tropas, a lo que la India respondió con tropas propias.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian policemen wait for the return of Indian pilot Abhinandan Varthaman on 1 March. Photo: Getty Images.

Asia’s prominence in geopolitical theatre was on full display last week as an escalation in tensions between traditional rivals India and Pakistan unfolded simultaneously with a Hanoi summit meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

The nuclear summit took place against a backdrop of India’s surprise air attack across the border in Pakistan, against what it described as ‘terrorist camps’, prompting a retaliatory strike from Pakistan a day later. When two nuclear weapon states threaten to go to war, the world has to intervene.

The nuclear summit itself was a failure, prompting the US president to turn his attention to India and Pakistan.…  Seguir leyendo »

Indian police officers in Srinagar, Kashmir, in 2016 in the wake of protests over the killing of a separatist leader. Credit Dar Yasin/Associated Press

For the past few decades, Kashmir has largely been referred to in news reports and policy papers as a “low-intensity conflict,” as if someone were leisurely making a lamb stew. But for those of us who call the region home, it means living with the constant ache of our painful history, a despair and rage about an oppressive present, and an uncertain future.

Political discontent has simmered in Kashmir since the partition of India in 1947. India and Pakistan, which each control parts of the region and claim the whole, have fought three wars over it. India eroded the autonomy of the part of Kashmir it controlled by imprisoning elected leaders and appointing puppet administrators.…  Seguir leyendo »

Students chant slogans under the shade of national flag, after Pakistan shot down two Indian military aircrafts, according to Pakistani officials, during a march in Lahore, Pakistan 28 February 2019. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

What happened exactly?

On Tuesday, 26 February, India claimed that its air force had targeted “the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed … in Balakot”. The strikes – the most significant airspace violations in nearly 50 years – followed a deadly 14 February suicide car bombing in Pulwama in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which had been claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group. India said it launched a “preventive strike” based on intelligence that Jaish intended to attack again. At a press conference, Foreign Secretary VK Gokhale said Pakistan “failed to take any concrete action against terrorists” and that the strike on the training facility had “killed a large number”.…  Seguir leyendo »