Jammu and Kashmir Article 370

India abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir on 5th August 2019. The article was related to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Since 1947, Kashmir had a special status under the constitution of India, however, with the abrogation of article 370 the status of Jammu and Kashmir has been changed. The abrogation,  not only affect the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also has its impacts on the region as well.

The Abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir Article 370 has Multiple sides of the Story that range from the tensions between the India Pakistan relations to the limited or the total war between the two nuclear states, from the rise of nationalism in India to the rise of Kashmiri freedom movement in Kashmir and from hampering CPEC to icing the relations between China and India. In addition to all these sides, it may affect the Afghan peace process. Here we will briefly discuss the Abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir & Game of Various Players With Multiple Interests

Why India Abrogated Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir

There could be internal as well as external factors responsible for the abrogation of article 370.  It was in the manifesto of the ruling party of India to revoke article 370 of the Indian constitution. There was a nationalistic drive behind the abrogation of article 370. As the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi said, ” the government decision to revoke article 370 would bring stability, market access, and predictable laws in the state, which could help it gain investment, especially in key sectors like tourism, agriculture, IT, healthcare among others”. This will help develop an ecosystem which will give better rewards to the skills, hard work and products of the people in the region.” Business Today  

Abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir could be a part of the global game of big power’s interests and competitions

In addition to the internal factors and nationalistic drive behind the abrogation, there could be external factors as well. As we all know that there is a trade war going on between the US and China and CPEC is a flagship project of China, but the US is not happy over China’s role in the region. The ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan could affect the CPEC project and this will be in the interests of the USA. Therefore, the abrogation could be a part of the global game of big power’s interests and competitions. However, the Abrogation of Article 370 has Multiple sides of the Story.

Abrogation of Article 370; Multiple sides of the Story

From Tensions between India-Pakistan to war Between the Two

Kashmir has its strategic importance for both the states. Pakistan considers Kashmir as it “Jugular Vein” however India considered it as its part, but the matter of the fact is that it is a disputed territory between the two states, India and Pakistan.  India abrogated article 370 from the Indian constitution on 5th August 2019, and with the abrogation, a wave of tension is going on between the two nuclear states. The diplomatic relations between the two states are at their lowest point as Pakistan sent back the Indian ambassador and called back its ambassador from India. The trade relations are at a standstill as Pakistan announced to cut off the trade with India after the revoking of article 370.

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The armies of both states are fighting a limited war on the borders and there is a continuous tension in the border areas. India and Pakistan both are nuclear states, therefore there is a threat of nuclear war as well. As the Indian Defense Minister said on Friday that India could change its “NO First Use” policy regarding the nuclear weapons and according to the Pakistan Army’s spokesperson, Pakistan is equally prepared to respond to any kind of attack from India. Therefore, if it would happen, it would not only bring destruction to the two states but to the whole region and the world as well. Therefore, war is not in the interest of any state, and the matter should be resolved through diplomatic means.

Rise of Nationalism in India and Freedom Movement in Kashmir

The abrogation of the article 370 of the Indian constitution gave rise to the nationalist sentiments in India and Indian population regarded it as a success of Indian state against Pakistan and Indian government believes that this would bring stability and progress for the state. As PM, Modi said, “In today’s world, economic growth cannot happen in a closed environment. Open minds and open markets will ensure that the youth of the region will put it on the path of greater progress. The integration gives a boost to investment, innovation, and incomes”.

However, this would fuel the freedom movement in Kashmir as the Kashmiri population is not happy with the abrogation of article 370. The world has seen a wave of protests from the Kashmiri and Pakistani diaspora in different states, over the abrogation of article 370. The nationalist and freedom vibes do not spare the social media and there were popular trends form both sides in support of their agenda and stance over the matter.

The Icing of the Indo-China Relations

The revoking of article 370 brings tensions in Indo-China relations. China opposes the Indian claim over the Laddakh territory. The Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said that China objected over the formation of Ladakh as a Union Territory. She said, “China always opposes India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in the western section of the China-India boundary under its administrative jurisdiction” She further added, “This position is firm and consistent and has never changed. The recent unilateral revision of domestic laws by the Indian side continues to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty, which is unacceptable and will not have any effect.” She urged the Indian government, “to be cautious in its words and actions on the boundary issue, strictly abide by the relevant agreements reached between the two sides and avoid any move that further complicates the boundary issue.”

Apart from the tensions over the situation of Ladakh, China is concerned about the tensions between India and Pakistan, because it would affect CPEC that is the flagship project of China’s OBOR project. Gilgit Baltistan is a major part of the CPEC projects and the ongoing tensions between the India and Pakistan would affect the stability and peace of GB because India is concerned about the CPEC projects in the GB and the ongoing tensions would further highlight these concerns and it would ultimately affect CPEC and China’s interests in the region.  Therefore, China said, “Pakistan and India should resolve the dispute over the Kashmir matter through dialogue and diplomatic means.” China expressed its support to play a “constructive role” for the improvement of the relations between India and Pakistan.

Afghan Peace Process

The ongoing tensions between the two nuclear states could affect the peace process in Afghanistan. The US wants to withdraw its forces from  Afghanistan to put an end to its longest war against terrorism in Afghanistan and wants to sign a peace deal with the Taliban. Pakistan is an important player in the peace process because it has links with all stakeholders to bring peace in Afghanistan. However, the tensions on the eastern border of Pakistan would affect the peace process on the western border. In the ongoing situation, Pakistan’s foreign policy has become “Kashmir centric” as Pakistan is busy in getting the international support for the Kashmir and the Peace talks with the Taliban has somehow gone into the background. Therefore, it could slow down the peace process in Afghanistan.

To wrap up, it can be concluded that each side, has its own view of the situation of Kashmir, however, the rights of the Kashmiri population is important in this regard. It is the need of the hour that the international community should play its role to achieve the long term peace in Kashmir.  Every state should favor a solution to the dispute that would ensure all the due rights of the Kashmiri people. United Nations, Human Right organizations and all the states should play their role to resolve the dispute.

India Revokes Article 370, Raising Fear of Unrest in the Region

article 370-kashmir issue

The Indian government unilaterally revokes article 370, raising fear of unrest in the region. The government said on Monday that it was revoking the article 370 of the constitution. Since 1947, Kashmir had a special status and it is considered as a disputed territory. The government’s move has been viewed as a blow to the special status to the Kashmir. India’s governing party roots in Hindu nationalism and this was one of the promises it make during the election campaigns, but as India revokes article 370, raising fear of unrest in the region. India has evacuated the valley from the tourists, closed the schools and cut off the internet services. Moreover, India flooded the valley with thousands of additional troops.

What was Article 370

Article 370 of the Indian constitution gives the special status to the J&K. The article also puts limits on the powers of the Indian government. In addition to the limitations on Indian power, the article allows the state of Kashmir to have its own constitution, its own flag and to take decisions on its own except defense and foreign Affairs. Article 370 was included in the Indian constitution in 1949.

Meanwhile, article 35 was added into the Indian constitution in 1954. The clause gives special rights to the residents in government jobs, in getting scholarships and when buying the property in the valley of Indian occupied Kashmir. However, India revokes article 370, raising fear of unrest in the region.

Situation in Kashmir

It raised the tensions and unrest in the Kashmir. A sense of panic and stress is visible in the streets of Indian occupied Kashmir. Indian government cut off the telephone, internet, and mobile services from the area. Many of the leaders are in house arrest, even Mehboba Mufti and Umer Abdullah, who were pro Indian leaders. In addition to all these measures, the Indian government is using military means as well and there is a curfew in the valley and the Muslims of the valley are on the verge of death. The freedom fighter’s leader Syed Ali Gillani gave an SOS call to the whole international community and specifically to the Muslim community to save the Kashmiris against the Indian forces.

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Response From Pakistan

Pakistani government condemns the Indian decision. As Pakistani foreign ministry said that it is a clear violation of the UN resolution and it added, “Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”  All the political parties urged the government to come up with a strong and calculated diplomatic response. As the tensions were already looming over the region. PM, Imran Khan said, while referring to the LOC, “This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis.” To take all the stakeholders on board, the government of Pakistan called a joint session of the Parliament. In the session, the situation of Kashmir and the region would be discussed.

Response from India

India’s ruling party got criticism from India as well. “Today the B.J.P. has murdered the Constitution of India,” said Ghulam Nabi Azad, a senior leader of the Indian National Congress, an opposition party. The minorities in India are uncertain about their future as they fear that India would no longer remain a secular state under the BJP party. However, there are two opinions in India about article 370, some consider that India could revoke it while others consider that it is not so clear and the issue would most probably end up before Indian supreme court.