The Kashmir outreach

Synopsis:  The center announced few specific objectives towards the development of Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370. However, a recent analysis of the stated objectives shows that the center has failed to deliver on its objectives

What are the objectives stated by the Centre after the abrogation of Article 370?

Apart from ending terrorism and violence in J&K, the center promised three specific objectives

    • One, bringing development initiatives and investment from other parts of the country;
    • Two, reclaiming those parts of the territory now occupied by Pakistan and China (PoK and Aksai Chin).
    • Three, ending the rule of political “dynasties” in J&K in favour of a “Naya Kashmir” polity.

Above all, the Government underlined, that the decision to abrogate article 370 was purely an “internal” one, and did not affect India’s ties with any other country.

Had the center delivered on its promise?

No, the Government had failed to deliver on its promised objectives.

    1. First, though terrorism and violence have decreased since 2019, it has come at the cost of massive hardship to the people in the name of security. For example, more than 5,000 people were arrested and the longest Internet shutdown (213 days) was enforced, etc.,
    2. Second, regarding attracting investments to Kashmir, the Government claims that it has more than 400 memoranda of understanding from businesses. However, it can only be confirmed once the money actually comes in.
    3. Third, the objective of reclaiming PoK and Aksai chin also looks impossible after the Chinese aggression at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Further, any future conflict at the LAC would need to account for a two-front “situation” with Pakistan at the Line of Control as well.
        • Moreover, the US pullout from Afghanistan will add to the risk calculus, as the Taliban will get strengthened.
    4. Fourth, the promise of ending the rule of political “dynasties” in J&K is also not delivered. Because currently, the government is engaging with the erstwhile State’s former leaders to discuss the future of the political process of J&K.
    5. Fifth, what India calls an internal issue is being subjected to international pressure. For instance, it has now been discussed in more capitals, including the U.S. Congress, Parliaments in the United Kingdom, the European Union (EU), and the Nordic countries, than ever before.
        • In addition, the J&K dispute has been discussed at least three times at the UN Security Council, which had not touched the issue since 1971.
Impact of Geopolitics and Kashmir’s outreach
    • India’s decision to engage the previous leadership, to discuss the restart of a political process and the reversal of the August 5 decision comes not from domestic considerations alone.
    • Similarly, Pakistan’s softening stand towards J&K is borne out of international pressure as well as the sustained threat of a (Pakistan) blacklisting by the Financial Action Task Force.
    • For instance, the U.S., keen to complete its Afghanistan pull-out and its negotiations with the Taliban, and nudges from the UAE envoy (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates) as “mediation” have been the push factors.

Source: The Hindu

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