Saturday, August 10, 2019

Modi's Kashmir Blunder: Wider Implications For India, Pakistan and the World

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reckless decision to unilaterally abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution has sent shockwaves across South Asia and the rest of the world. The immediate effect of this action is on Indian Occupied Kashmir which has lost its status as a state and stands divided into union territories directly ruled from New Delhi. It has wider implications for India's federal, secular and democratic constitutional structure. It has sent alarm bells ringing in Indian states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Mizoram. It also threatens to escalate tensions between nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan when the Kashmiri resistance turns violent and Modi falsely blames it on "cross-border terrorism". Nuclear confrontation in South Asia could result in deaths of billions of people across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir:

Regardless of Article 370, the region of of Jammu and Kashmir remains a disputed territory whose status must be resolved according to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 47 (1948) and 80 (1950). India can not unilaterally alter its status without agreement with Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir who are are parties to it.  Any unilateral action by either India or Pakistan on Kashmir also violates the Simla Agreement which requires bilateral resolution of the disputed region.

Mr. Modi's actions are not only an affront to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but also in clear violation of India's international and bilateral obligations under United Nations charter and the Simla Accord.

China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, lays claim to Ladakh region. It has objected to India making it a union territory.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's Pledge

Domestic Opposition in India:

Mr. Karan Singh, a member of Indian Rajya Sabha (upper house) and the son of Kashmiri Maharaja Hari Singh who "acceded" Jammu and Kashmir to India in 1947, has said that Kashmir is "not an internal matter" of India. Mr. Singh has insisted on restoration of the dialogue process with Pakistan.

“J&K’s relationship with the rest of India is guided by Article 370 and the State Constitution that I signed into law. We must realize that from the very beginning, J&K, rightly or wrongly, has been given a special position. Now [after] that special position from the original three subjects, there have been a whole series of developments — some may call them positive developments of integration, others may say negative developments of reducing autonomy,” Mr. Singh was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Strongest reactions to Mr. Modi's decision to annul article 370 have come from top leaders in Indian Punjab and Tamil Nadu. It has inspired fear that the central government in Delhi could take control of any state, strip it of its statehood and impose direct rule without the consent of its people.

Former union minister P. Chidambaram called Modi's action a "cardinal blunder" and a "fatal legal error"."What you are doing today sends a very wrong signal to every state of country", he added.

Tamil Nadu's DMK party leader MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn Modi's decision. “This is a dark day in the history of Indian federalism. I urge the President of India to not precipitate the situation and not take any further steps in this regard until a democratically elected Government is formed there. The DMK stands with its Kashmiri brothers and sisters and will oppose any assault on federal structure,” he said in a series of tweets.

Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh of Indian Punjab has denounced the revocation of 370 as “totally unconstitutional”. He tweeted that “the Constitution of India had been rewritten without following any legal provisions. Such a historic decision should not have been taken and pushed through in this arbitrary manner...This will set a bad precedent as it would mean that the Centre could reorganize any state in the country by simply imposing President’s rule.”

India-Pakistan Escalation:

Most of Kashmir has been under an unprecedented and extended lock-down. People are imprisoned in their homes for several days in a row. There is no Internet, telephone or television.

Eventually when the restrictions are eased, there will be large street protests which the Indian security forces will try to quell by force. When such protests turn violent,  Mr. Modi will cry "terrorism" and falsely accuse Pakistan of being behind it. There will be a familiar replay of the events of the past with Mr. Modi escalating conflict with Pakistan across the Line of Control in Kashmir.

Such escalations pose the danger of spiraling out of control and leading to a nuclear confrontation.

The West, particularly the United States and Canada, are geographically far removed from South Asia. This distance makes many think that any nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan would not have a significant impact on life in America and Europe. Dr. Owen Brian Toon and Professor Alan Robock dispute this thinking. They believe the nuclear winter following an India-Pakistan nuclear exchange will kill crops as far as the United States and cause a global famine. Another study by Nobel Peace Prize- winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility reached the same conclusion.

Professors Robock and Toon have calculated that the smoke from just 100-200 Hiroshima sized atomic bombs exploding in South Asia would cover the entire globe within two weeks. This smoke would hang 30-50 miles above the surface of the earth where it never rains. This thick layer of smoke would block the sun causing farmers to lose their crops for years to come. The resulting famine would kill billions of people around the globe.

It seems that the American leadership recognizes the devastating global impact of possible India-Pakistan nuclear war.  In "Brokering Peace in Nuclear Environments U.S. Crisis Management in South Asia", Pakistani-American analyst Dr. Moeed Yusuf talks about the US efforts to prevent India-Pakistan war that could escalate into a full-scale nuclear exchange. He analyzes American diplomacy in three critical periods: Kargil conflict in 1999; the stand-off after the Indian Parliament attack in 2001 and the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Yusuf argues that the US-Soviet Cold War deterrence model does not apply to the India-Pakistan conflict and offers his theory of "brokered bargaining". In chapters that detail the US role during three India-Pakistan crises, it is clear that the US rejected India's insistence on bilateralism in resolving India-Pakistan disputes.  The author says that "in each episode, the concern about the escalation forced the United States to engage, largely unsolicited, and use a mix of rewards (or promises of) and punishments (or threats of) with the regional rivals to achieve de-escalation--ahead of its broader regional or policy interests."

Summary:

Indian Hindu Nationalist government of Prime Minister Modi's abrogation of Article 370 is in clear violation of the Indian constitution and international rules governing resolution of disputes between countries. It has wider implications for India's federal, secular and democratic constitutional structure. It has sent alarm bells ringing in Indian states of Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland and Mizoram. It also threatens to escalate tensions between nuclear armed rivals India and Pakistan when the Kashmiri resistance turns violent and Modi falsely blames it on "cross-border terrorism". Nuclear confrontation in South Asia could result in deaths of billions of people across Asia, Africa, Europe and America. It is time for all sane Indians and the rest of the world to wake up to the serious threats posed to peace in South Asia region and the wider world by Mr. Modi's fascist Hindutva project.

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MQM-RAW Link

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26 comments:

Riaz Haq said...

#India must talk with #Pakistan as #Kashmir is not an internal matter of #India, says Karan Singh, son of #Kashmir ruler Maharajah Hari Singh who signed accession document - The Hindu

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Kashmir-is-not-an-internal-matter-of-India-Karan-Singh/article14562551.ece


Son of the erstwhile king of Kashmir, Mr. Singh said the government is weakening its claim on the State by refusing to look at the international dimensions to the issue.
Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Karan Singh urged the government on Wednesday to abstain from stating that the political instability in Jammu and Kashmir was “an internal matter” of India.

Son of the erstwhile king of Kashmir, Mr. Singh said the government is weakening its claim on the State by refusing to look at the international dimensions to the issue as half of the state’s territory is under Pakistani and Chinese occupation.

“Today, we have barely 42,000 square miles under our control,” said Mr.Singh, while addressing the lawmakers at Rajya Sabha. “To say that we will not talk is not a mature response. When we say we do not need to talk to Pakistan, have we legitimised that [Pakistan occupied Kashmir]?”


While insisting on restoration of the dialogue process with Pakistan, Mr. Singh reminded the House that on October 27, 1947, when his father Maharaja Hari Singh, then ruler of the princely state, signed an Instrument of Accession with the Union of India, the development happened on three principles — that only Defence, Communications and Foreign Affairs would be handled by the Centre, and the rest will be under the state.

“I was in the House when the Accession was signed. However, please remember something more, my father acceded for three subjects — Defence, Communications and Foreign Affairs. He signed the same Instrument of Accession that all the other princely states signed. But all other states subsequently merged. And J&K did not merge,” said Mr. Singh.

“J&K’s relationship with the rest of India is guided by Article 370 and the State Constitution that I signed into law. We must realise that from the very beginning, J&K, rightly or wrongly, has been given a special position. Now [after] that special position from the original three subjects, there have been a whole series of developments — some may call them positive developments of integration, others may say negative developments of reducing autonomy,” he added.

Ahsan H. said...

Here is Modi’s agenda:

(a) Show Pakistan who is Boss;

b) Bring Pakistan to its knees every which way; and ultimately

c) Re-unite India and thus realize the vision of Bharat Mata.

The only thing standing in the way, as far as (c), is Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, thanks to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

As for (a) and (b), Pakistan had a little taste about a month ago at the ICC World Cup. India intentionally lost to England just to keep Pakistan out of the semis. It was a tactical move intended to show Pakistan who was in control of its destiny. The symbolism of the move was not lost on some of us. --- Ahsan

Riaz Haq said...

Ahsan: "Show Pakistan who is Boss;"


First and foremost on Modi's agenda is to dismantle pluralist Gandhi-Nehru legacy and establish Hindu Rashtra in India. He's enjoying a lot of success in this.

Secondly, he wants to establish Hindu hegemony in South Asia. The main obstacle to achieving this dream is nuclear-armed Pakistan.

Quaid e Azam saw this coming in 1947. He was very prescient indeed.

Riaz Haq said...

Chris Wood cuts #India’s weight by 1% point. #Kashmir has proved more negative for #MSCI #Pakistan down 11% in first 2 weeks, while India declined 1.5%. Pakistan Index is up 11.2% so far this week, compared with 1.6% decline in India. https://www.bloombergquint.com/markets/jefferies-chris-wood-cuts-indias-weight-citing-jammu-kashmir-security-worries via @BloombergQuint

Jefferies’ Chris Wood cut India’s weight in portfolio by 1 percentage point on worries that the security situation will get “significantly worse” after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government removed the special constitutional status of Jammu & Kashmir. “Kashmir aggravation has added an additional negative,” Wood, global head of equity strategy at Jefferies, wrote in his weekly Greed & Fear new

Earnings estimates have continued to come down in the first quarter with Jefferies revising down the FY20 Nifty 50 earnings per share forecast by 7 percent since early July. As a result of the downgrades, the Indian market is not cheaper despite the 10 percent decline in the Nifty Index from the peak in early June, Wood said. “Investors are going to need to see evidence of a cyclical pickup to get

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News: How serious is #India's #economic crisis? The quibble among the members of the economic team of Mr #Modi and his government is not about whether India is facing an economic slowdown or not, but about how grave the current economic crisis is. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-49470466

Top Indian government officials are engaged in a vociferous public debate over the state of the country's economy.

Rajiv Kumar, the head of the government's think tank Niti Aayog, recently claimed that the current slowdown was unprecedented in 70 years of independent India and called for immediate policy interventions in specific industries.

The Chief Economic Adviser, K Subramanian, disagreed with the idea of industry-specific incentives and argued for structural reforms in land and labour markets. Members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's economic advisory council sound inchoate, resorting to social media and opinion editorials to counter one another.

In essence, the quibble among the members of the economic team of Mr Modi and his government is not about whether India is facing an economic slowdown or not, but about how grave the current economic crisis is.

This is a remarkable reversal in stance of the same group of economists who, until a few months ago, waxed eloquent about how India was the fastest growing economy in the world, generating seven million jobs a year.

To put all this in context, it was less than just two years ago, in November 2017, that the global ratings agency Moody's upgraded India's sovereign ratings - an independent assessment of the creditworthiness of a country - for the first time in 14 years.


Justifying the upgrade, Moody's had then argued that the economy was undergoing dramatic "structural" reforms under Mr Modi.

In the two years since, Moody's has downgraded its 2019 GDP growth forecast for India thrice - from 7.5% to 7.4% to 6.8% to 6.2%.

The immediate questions that arise now are: is India's economic condition really that grim and, if yes, how did it deteriorate so rapidly?

One of India's most celebrated entrepreneurs, the founder of the largest coffee store chain, Café Coffee Day, recently killed himself, ostensibly due to unmanageable debt, slowing growth and alleged harassment by tax authorities.

The auto industry is expected to shed close to a million direct and indirect jobs due to a decline in vehicle sales. Sales growth of men's inner wear clothing, a key barometer of consumption popularised by former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan, is negative. Consumption demand that accounts for two-thirds of India's GDP is fast losing steam.

To make matters worse, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented her first budget recently with some ominous tax proposals that threatened foreign capital flows and dented investor confidence. It sparked criticism and Ms Sitharaman was forced to roll back many of her proposals.



So, it is indeed true that India is facing a sharp economic downturn and severe loss of business confidence.

The alarm over the economic condition is not merely a reflection of a slowdown in GDP growth but also the poor quality of growth.

Private sector investment, the mainstay of sustainable growth in any economy, is at a 15-year low.

In other words, there is almost no investment in new projects by the private sector. The situation is so bad that many Indian industrialists have complained loudly about the state of the economy, the distrust of the government towards businesses and harassment by tax authorities.

But India's economic slowdown is neither sudden nor a surprise.

Behind the fawning headlines in the press over the past five years about the robustness of India's growth was a vulnerable economy, straddled with massive bad loans in the financial sector, disguised further by a macroeconomic bonanza from low global oil prices.

Riaz Haq said...

Why a top think tank official says #India’s fiscal problems are “unprecedented"? #Economy #Modi #BJP https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/08/27/india-economic-crisis-kashmir-rohingya/

“Unprecedented” Fears About the Indian Economy?

Last Friday, India’s government finally acknowledged that all was not well in the world’s seventh-largest economy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman rolled back a tax on foreign investors and promised to speed up tax refunds to small businesses, among other announcements. Investors seemed pleased: On Monday, the key Mumbai stock market gained more than 2 percent, after recording its worst July in nearly two decades. And the markets continued to rise on Tuesday.

Broader problems. While the stock market may have received a short-term boost, Sitharaman’s announcements alone won’t fix underlying economic problems. The biggest concern—and a likely factor behind slowing consumer demand—seems to be the country’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate, the highest in 45 years. An estimated 1 million Indians enter the workforce every month, and enough jobs simply aren’t being created for them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, car sales declined by 36 percent in July. Sitharaman announced on Friday a one-off government move to replace its fleet of cars with new ones, but that will hardly encourage the auto industry to ramp up production or hire more workers. (Automakers have laid off an estimated 350,000 workers since April.) Meanwhile GDP growth has slowed, with Nomura analysts predicting a tepid 5.7 percent growth rate for the April-June quarter, expected to be announced next week.

Criticism. Thomas Isaac, the finance minister of the state of Kerala, tweeted that Sitharaman’s announcements didn’t amount to enough. “What is required is a large fiscal spending package,” he wrote. And in a rare example of a top Indian businessman criticizing New Delhi, Adi Godrej, the chairman of the Godrej conglomerate, told Business Standard last week that “the speed of decision-making is very good for example in Kashmir, but the speed of decision-making on business matters is not good.”

One problem may be that even as India’s central bank continues to cut interest rates—which are already at their lowest level in nine years—outdated state banks often avoid passing on cheaper loans to consumers. And the private sector seems too spooked by a global slowdown to make large investments. Put together, these trends led a top government think tank leader to admit last week that India’s economic situation was “unprecedented” and that “nobody is trusting anybody else” in the government and private sector.


Depleting brain trust. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has had to cope with the loss of some key lieutenants to ill health. On Saturday, Arun Jaitley, who was finance minister from 2014 to early 2019, died after years of kidney-related illnesses. Sushma Swaraj, who served as external affairs minister over the same period, also died this month after a heart attack. And Manohar Parrikar, who served as defense minister from 2014 to 2017, died from pancreatic cancer in March.

Riaz Haq said...

#Kashmir narrative. According to western media outlets, #pulwamaattack was #Pakistan’s doing, not part of long history of J&K resistance. Since 911 US war on #terror, #India cast separatists as “terrorists” and framed #Kashmir struggle "terrorism" https://www.cjr.org/analysis/the-kashmiri-narrative.php via @cjr

IN MID-FEBRUARY, A YOUNG MAN named Adil Ahmed Dar killed 44 Indian paramilitary officers in a suicide bombing in Kashmir’s Pulwama district. It was the deadliest attack against Indian soldiers in three decades. Dar was from a local village, but the militant group that claimed responsibility was based in Pakistan. Fears escalated of a confrontation between the two countries, both nuclear-armed. “Our neighbor will not be allowed to destabilize us,” India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. A few days later, India retaliated by firing rockets into a remote part of Pakistan. The White House called for Pakistan to end its support of Kashmiri “terrorists.”

International news outlets, relying mainly on India and Pakistan analysts to explain Kashmir, distorted the reality on the ground. The New York Times, for one, noted that “an insurgency that was once stoked by Pakistan may have taken on a life of its own, as Kashmiris become more disenfranchised and angry at the central government in Delhi and its use of force.” According to the Times, as well as The Washington Post, the BBC, and other outlets, Kashmir is a “disputed territory”; the attack was Pakistan’s doing rather than part of a long history of regional uprisings. These reports—framed, as Kashmir stories have been for decades, in geopolitical terms, as a rivalry between India and Pakistan—failed to recognize the political struggle led by locals, who have rarely seen their home covered from their point of view. “The Kashmiri narrative doesn’t exist at all,” Feroz Rather, a Kashmiri fiction-writer, told me, “because the two states have held it hostage.”

---

Soon after the Pulwama attack, several members of the Kashmir diaspora sought to change that. Hafsa Kanjwal, an assistant professor of South Asian and Kashmir history at Lafayette College, got on the phone with about a dozen friends and colleagues: How could they amplify the idea that Kashmir wasn’t just in crisis when India-Pakistan tensions were high, that Kashmir has been in a state of war with India for years? Together, they formed Stand With Kashmir, a group that aims to center the Kashmiri perspective, in part by encouraging journalists to quote more local voices. “We are trying to push that there was already an indigenous uprising,” Kanjwal told me.

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Kaul described Kashmir as a “mobilizing issue” for the Hindu Right. The hostility has been advanced by online trolls who attack anyone in the press trying to represent the voices of Kashmiris. Reporters and academics have observed that the Modi government and his party uses social-media trolls to target Kashmiris who might be seen as sympathetic to the independence movement. In 2016, Facebook accounts of several Kashmiri activists who lived outside of the region were suspended, or saw posts deleted, after Facebook received complaints that they violated community standards. Modi’s government has, in the past, requested that Twitter block hundreds of users for “objectionable content.” Since it was created earlier this month, Stand With Kashmir’s Instagram account has been suspended four times.
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Over the past few weeks, Kanjwal, Kaul, and Trisal have been accused of erasing the history of Kashmiri Hindus or of being terrorist sympathizers, because of articles they’ve written, lectures they’ve given, even for tweets they’ve liked. Kanjwal described this month as a “pivotal moment,” both for Kashmir and the world’s awareness of the situation there. Writing for The Washington Post, she called India’s move the “beginnings of a settler colonial project in Kashmir,” comparing the dynamic to that of Israel and Palestine.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #economic growth plunges to 6-year low of 5%, the weakest growth rate recorded under #Modi, who first swept to power 5 years ago promising to take India's #economy to new heights and create millions of #jobs every year. #AchheDin #BJP #Hindutva https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/30/economy/india-gdp-economy/index.html

India's economic slump risks becoming a crisis, with growth plunging to levels not seen since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in 2014 on a promise to turn the country into a global powerhouse.

Gross domestic product grew by just 5% in the three months to June, according to government data released Friday. That compares with growth of 8% in the same period last year. It was also a huge drop from growth of 5.8% recorded the previous quarter.
The data mean Asia's third biggest economy is now growing at its slowest pace in over six years.
It's also the weakest growth rate recorded under Modi, who first swept to power five years ago promising to take India's economy to new heights and create millions of jobs every year.


But the downward spiral has now lasted a year, and India faces a steep road to recovery.

Several sectors of the economy have been struggling in recent months — the country's automotive industry has already shed hundreds of thousands of jobs, and consumer goods companies like Unilever (UL) are reportedly slashing prices because of slowing demand.
Since winning re-election by a landslide in May, Modi and his government have scrambled to boost the economy. A week ago, India unveiled tax breaks for startups, cheaper home and car loans, and an injection of 700 billion rupees ($9.8 billion) into state-run banks, among other measures.
A few days later, the government followed with an announcement that rules on foreign investment would be eased, opening up India's huge coal industry. It also said it would relax local sourcing regulations that have blocked companies like Apple (AAPL) and other global retailers from opening stores.
Another move came Friday just before the dire quarterly growth figures were released. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that 10 of India's state-run banks would be merged into four to boost lending to business.
No quick fix
Analysts say a lot more needs to be done.
"[The] government is taking steps to mitigate the difficulties faced by the economy but these measures will play out only in the medium term," Devendra Pant, chief economist at Fitch subsidiary India Ratings and Research, said in a statement after the figures were released. "There is no quick fix solution to the downturn which has been in the making for past few years."
Modi is getting help from the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India. It has slashed interest rates four times since the start of 2019 — bringing them to their lowest level in nine years — and earlier this week transferred excess reserves of around $25 billion to the government.
Pant said he expects "at least one more rate cut ... to boost demand."

Riaz Haq said...

#Beijing backs #Pakistan amid #Kashmir tensions. #China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi: “No matter how the situation in the region changes, China will firmly support the Pakistani side in safeguarding sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity.” #India https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3026308/beijing-gives-pakistan-its-backing-amid-rising-kashmir

The two countries are ‘all-weather’ partners with a rock-solid relationship, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi says
Balancing India’s influence and promoting the Beijing-funded China-Pakistan Economic Corridor are among their common interests

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has pledged support to Pakistan and described the two countries as “all-weather” partners as Beijing moves to protect its regional interests amid tensions with India.
Wang met Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the Pakistan capital Islamabad, where they had an “in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest”, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Monday.

“No matter how the situation in the region changes, China will firmly support the Pakistani side in safeguarding sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity,” Wang, who began a four-day trip to Pakistan and Nepal on Saturday, was quoted as saying.
“[China] firmly supports the Pakistani government in achieving national stability and development and prosperity, and firmly supports Pakistan to play a more constructive role in regional and international affairs,” Wang said, referring to the two countries as “all-weather strategic partners” with “rock-solid” relations.


Wang’s comments come amid fresh tensions between Islamabad and New Delhi over Kashmir. India decided last month to strip the Jammu and Kashmir autonomous state of its special status and break it into two federally controlled territories, which China said infringed its territorial integrity.

Both India and Pakistan claim the whole of Kashmir, which was partitioned between the two after the end of British rule in 1948, and have fought wars over the territory.

China has formally backed Pakistan’s request for the United Nations Security Council to hold “closed consultations” on the revoking of the state’s autonomy.
India is also involved in the Indo-Pacific strategy led by the United States, which Beijing views as a containment strategy to hinder China’s military expansion.

Wang stressed that China and Pakistan should cooperate to secure their common economic interests.
“The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor [CPEC] is a long-term development plan for Pakistan,” Wang said. “The Pakistani military has made unremitting efforts in corridor construction, especially security.”

Riaz Haq said...

Amit Shah's #Hindi push sparks outrage among state leaders, #TamilNadu's Stalin, #Karnataka's Kumaraswamy join attack after Union Home Minister Amit Shah advocated Hindi as #India India’s national #language #HindiDiwas2019 #Modi #Hindutva https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/hindi-amit-shah-national-language-outrage-stalin-kumaraswamy-1599106-2019-09-14 via @indiatoday

HIGHLIGHTS
Opposition trains guns on Union minister Amit Shah after he says Hindi can unite the whole country
Asking Amit Shah to reconsider his appeal, Opposition says Hindi imposition could affect the unity of India
On Hindi Diwas, Amit Shah had earlier said efforts will be made to expand Hindi to different parts of India
Union Home Minister Amit Shah's call to unify India with the help of Hindi language has not gone well with the Opposition leaders who have asked the minister to "reconsider" his appeal.

Leading the charge, DMK chief MK Stalin on Saturday registered protest against "imposition of Hindi" saying comments made by the Union minister could affect the unity of India.

In response to Amit Shah's push for Hindi as India's national language, Stalin said the Union minister should reconsider his decision. "We have been continuously waging protest against imposition of Hindi. Today's remarks made by Amit Shah gave us a jolt, it will affect the unity of the country. We demand that he takes his statement back," Stalin said on Saturday.

Hitting out at the BJP, Amit Shah said India's greatest strength is this diversity that brings together diverse states but the BJP is in the midst of distorting and destroying this.

On Amit Shah's remark that India needed one landuage, Stalin said in a statement, "If the national language is the most widely spoken Hindi, then the most flying bird in India, crow, should have been the national bird of India, this was our leaders Anna's stand. From that day, DMK has worked hard to protest Tamil language."

Asking the Prime Minister to clarify his position, Stalin said, "There is an attempt to impose Hindi dividing the spirit of our country (unity in diversity). The DMK is ready to defend the integrity of the country."

JD-S chief and former Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy also joined the attack against Amit Shah over 'imposition of Hindi'. "Across the country, Hindi Diwas is being celebrated. When will PM Modi celebrate Kannada diwas, which is also an official language according to the Constitution," Kumaraswamy asked.

WHAT DID AMIT SHAH SAY

On Hindi Diwas, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said widely spoken Hindi is the language which can keep India united as he made an appeal to unify India with Hindi. He also called for Hindi to be made the primary language, saying that it is necessary to have one to represent India.

"India is a country of different languages and every language has its own importance but it is very important to have a language which should become the identity of India in the world. If one language can unite the country today, it is the widely-spoken Hindi language," Amit Shah tweeted.

In another tweet, the home minister appealed the people to increase the usage of Hindi language to realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. "Today, on the occasion of Hindi Day, I appeal to all the citizens of the country that we should increase the use of our mother tongue and also use the Hindi language as one language to realise the dreams of Bapu and iron man Sardar Patel. Happy Hindi Day," Amit Shah said.

Riaz Haq said...

Protest dharnas across #Indian Punjab in #Kashmir support | India News, The Indian Express

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/protest-dharnas-across-punjab-in-kashmirs-support-5998151/

The Kashmir National Struggle and Support Committee, formed by these organisations, had announced on Saturday that it will stage dharnas wherever its members are stopped by police. Posters put up for the Sunday rally have pictures of children with eye injuries from pellet guns.

Denied permission to organise a mega rally in Mohali and protest march to Chandigarh over the situation in J&K, 13 organisations under the banner of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) on Sunday held protest dharnas in 14 districts, blocking various highways leading to the state capital.

The organisations had held several district-level protests across the state earlier this month over the Centre’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution, which granted special status to J&K.

Punjab has witnessed several agitations against the revoking of Article 370.

The Kashmir National Struggle and Support Committee, formed by these organisations, had announced on Saturday that it will stage dharnas wherever its members are stopped by police. Posters put up for the Sunday rally have pictures of children with eye injuries from pellet guns.

Dharnas were organised at Bhucho Mandi, Rampura and Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda area blocking the Bathinda- Chandigarh highway after buses full of protestors going to Chandigarh were stopped midway. In Barnala, a dharna was organised on the Barnala-Chandigarh road near Badbar area.

Two other agitations were staged along the Moga-Barnala road near Himmatpura and the Dharamkot-Ludhiana road near Kishanpura area. In Mansa, a dharna was held on the Mansa intersection, the Barnala-Mansa state highway, in Muktsar, Faridkot, Sangrur, Ludhiana, Patiala etc. State highways were blocked from 10 am to 2 pm.

‘Don’t understand why state govt changed its stand’
“Protestors from Amritsar and Gurdaspur managed to reach till Ropar, where they were stopped and hence they staged dharna on the Ropar-Chandigarh state highway from 10 am to 2 pm. Likewise, dharnas were also held at Kurali, outskirts of Mohali, as people were stopped from entering Mohali,” Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, general secretary of BKU (Ugrahan) told The Indian Express. “We were allowed to hold rallies and protest marches in Bathinda, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Gurdaspur etc. on September 10, and took out a protest march from Bathinda city as well. Hence we felt surprised at how the state government changed its stand and denied us permission for the Mohali rally for Sunday. It would have been a collective rally and a first mega attempt in support of Kashmiris who are living under severe restrictions as of now.”


(Express photo by Kamleshwar Singh)
The organisations that were part of this protest were: Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan), a farmer union active in Malwa Punjab, Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union, Textile Mazdoor Union, Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Punjab Students Union etc. These groups said they don’t support any political organisations and hence they should not be linked with anyone. Lachhman Singh Sewewala, president of the Pendu Khet Mazdoor Union said, “We neither take nor give support to any political party. Our grudge is that when we were not stopped for district-level dharnas which we organised in different districts of Punjab from September 3 to 10, why did the government stop us from organising a rally in Mohali? On one hand, Rahul goes to Kashmir, Capt Amarinder calls August 5 ‘Black day’, invites Kashmiri students for lunch at his residence on Eid, and on the other hand, he stopped us from organising today’s rally.”

Effigies burnt, many detained in Mohali

Vadodara university asks students to join rally against Article 370
Protestors were carrying effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in every bus. The effigies were burnt wherever they were stopped.

Riaz Haq said...

Alison Redford, Ex Premier of #Alberta #Canada: "For too long, #Pakistan’s actions have been unreasonably characterized as aggressive. #India’s tactics have been increasingly violent...more international criticism of its conduct and occupation of #Kashmir" https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-this-not-the-same-old-india-pakistan-conflict/?utm_source=facebook.com&fbclid=IwAR2dcf66o_XWPlIHKqrvgd1UFiQaR6J0tttzasqfiDFUrOcbH1gyvdpjbp4

First, in media reports, India refers to 40 years of terrorist attacks against India by Pakistan without equal mention of terror attacks perpetrated by India on Pakistani soil, as recently as three months ago in Karachi, or India’s support for independence insurgents operating in the Northwest of Pakistan over the past 10 years.

Second, although in the past there have been allegations that Jaish-e-Mohammed has been supported by Pakistan, the organization has been banned in Pakistan since 2002 and support for its operations and training activity was withdrawn. Yet, India continues to assert this position, without providing evidence to support it.

Third, it is against the fundamental principles of international law to launch a military attack on civilian targets, which can be considered an act of war. In those circumstances, one can argue that Pakistan had the right to defend itself and that its response was both measured and reasonable.

On the Kashmiri question, Pakistan has called for United Nations mediation, but India has refused, saying that it is an internal issue, while violently suppressing a growing, and younger, local insurgent movement. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized India for using excessive force in 2017. More than 500 people, including 100 civilians, have been killed in 2018.

In recent months, India’s tactics have been increasingly violent, leading to more international criticism of its conduct and occupation of Kashmir, including most recently by British parliamentarians, and two resolutions at the OIC this past weekend condemning its violent actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also faces criticism domestically from Indian opposition leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, for manipulating these events to bolster Mr. Modi’s political support in an election year.

There have been times when both countries have been accused of being involved in unwarranted actions against the other and the international community is quick to ignore the complicated dynamics in the region and rely on history. Instead, each incident should be assessed on its own merits to avoid dangerous rivalries from being perpetuated. With a real nuclear risk, we cannot afford to be complacent.

samir sardana said...

The Evil of the Hinooo vermin is not manifest to the white man.The white man sees only his innnate goodness in others - like a fool.

Much has been said and excoriated about the Jehadi suicide bombers and the 72 houris in heaven.It is an isolated verse in the Quran - in a time
and a context to remove the attachment to worldly passions. Just an isolated verse !

The Thesis and Exegesis of mass murder and genocide and the fairies in heaven lies in THE HINDOO FAITH - IN THE VEDAS AND PURANAS ! It is not Islam ! This will used the Hindoos for mass rapes and genocide in Kashmir ! Except that the Hindoo will rape in Kashmir and then look to the fairies in his heaven as the icing on the cake !

The White man has to awaken !

SIS has a natural bond with Hindoos ! The conceot of 72 houris in heaven is all inspired from the Hindoo Scriptures

https://dindooohindoo.page.tl/ISIS-%26-Dindoo-Houris.htm

Parashara Smriti 3.28-29 Celestial damsels seize for themselves, and “take delight with the hero”,whose “body is wounded or cut by arrows, clubs, or maces”.
Thousands of celestial damsels, rush forward in a hurry “towards a hero killed in battle”, each proclaiming, ‘He is my lord, he is mine’.·

Parashara Smriti 3.31 If victorious, wealth is won; if “death results, beautiful women fall to his share”; since this corporeal frame is liable to perish in an instant’s time, why
should we be shy of meeting death on a field of battle?·

Mahabharata 12.98 ”Foremost of Apsaras, numbering by thousands, go out with great speed (“for receiving the spirit of the slain hero”) coveting him for their lord.”

DeviBhagavatam 3.15.10-13 ”Some warriors on being slain in the battle instantly arose in a celestial car to the heavens and was seen “addressing the celestial nymph,
who came already within his embrace”, thus “O one of beautiful thighs. Behold! how my beautiful body is lying on the earth below!”

Riaz Haq said...

Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophe
Owen B. Toon1,*, Charles G. Bardeen2, Alan Robock3, Lili Xia3, Hans Kristensen4, Matthew McKinzie5, R. J. Peterson6,

https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/10/eaay5478

Abstract
Pakistan and India may have 400 to 500 nuclear weapons by 2025 with yields from tested 12- to 45-kt values to a few hundred kilotons. If India uses 100 strategic weapons to attack urban centers and Pakistan uses 150, fatalities could reach 50 to 125 million people, and nuclear-ignited fires could release 16 to 36 Tg of black carbon in smoke, depending on yield. The smoke will rise into the upper troposphere, be self-lofted into the stratosphere, and spread globally within weeks. Surface sunlight will decline by 20 to 35%, cooling the global surface by 2° to 5°C and reducing precipitation by 15 to 30%, with larger regional impacts. Recovery takes more than 10 years. Net primary productivity declines 15 to 30% on land and 5 to 15% in oceans threatening mass starvation and additional worldwide collateral fatalities.

The nuclear arsenals of Britain, France, China, Israel, India, and Pakistan are thought (1–3) to lie in the range of ~100 to 300 warheads each (Fig. 1). Although the use of these weapons by any of these countries could produce a regional, and likely global, disaster, India and Pakistan are of special concern because of a long history of military clashes including serious recent ones, lack of progress in resolving territorial issues, densely populated urban areas, and ongoing rapid expansion of their respective nuclear arsenals. Here, we examine the possible repercussions of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan circa 2025 in which cities are one class of target, either by direct or collateral targeting. These repercussions have not been investigated previously. Because of the near-term regional effects of nuclear blast, thermal radiation, and prompt nuclear radiation, we find that perhaps for the first time in human history, the fatalities in a regional war could double the yearly natural global death rate. Moreover, the environmental stresses related to climate changes caused by smoke produced from burning cities could lead to widespread starvation and ecosystem disruption far outside of the war zone itself.

Nuclear arsenals of India and Pakistan
The United States and Russia account for around 93% of the world’s estimated 13,900 nuclear weapons. Seven other nuclear-armed nations are not bound by treaties that require them to divulge information, such as the number of strategic launchers and the number of warheads deployed on missiles, allowing estimates of the numbers of nuclear warheads and yields in their arsenals, but between them, the seven nations may now hold a total of 1200 warheads. As shown in Fig. 1, India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear forces in 2019 each may contain 140 to 150 warheads, with a possible expansion to 200 to 250 warheads in each country by 2025 (1, 3–5). Britain (~215), France (~300), China (~270), and Israel (~80) have a similar number of weapons but have been maintaining relatively constant arsenals (2). Estimates of the numbers of warheads possessed by India and Pakistan are based on the capacity of delivery systems that can be observed from remote sensing, rather than on the amount of enriched uranium and plutonium fuel that the countries may have produced.

Riaz Haq said...

A #Nuclear War Between #India and #Pakistan Could Kill Twice As Many People As #WWII , Study Finds

https://www.newsweek.com/nuclear-war-india-pakistan-death-toll-ww2-1462550

The immediate effects of a nuclear war between India and Pakistan could cause up to 125 million deaths, a new study published in Science Advances has found. That's 2.5 times the fatalities of the Second World War, when an estimated 50 million people were killed as a direct consequence of military action.

The study, co-authored by researchers at Rutgers University, quantifies just how catastrophic a nuclear conflict between the two nations would be. In addition to the 100 million-plus death toll in the immediate aftermath, the study authors warn we could expect global vegetation growth to decline 20 to 35 percent as ocean productivity fell 5 to 15 percent⁠—a result that would cause mass starvation, ecosystem disruption and more deaths. It could take over a decade to fully recover from the impacts, they say.

"Nine countries have nuclear weapons, but Pakistan and India are the only ones rapidly increasing their arsenals," said Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University—New Brunswick.

"Because of the continuing unrest between these two nuclear-armed countries, particularly over Kashmir, it is important to understand the consequences of a nuclear war."

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Indeed, only last week in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan appealed for international support against India's decision to remove semi-autonomous status from its share of Kashmir last month and impose a lockdown on the majority Muslim population—stressing the threat of nuclear war.

"If a conventional war starts between the two countries, anything could happen," said Khan. "But supposing a country seven times smaller than its neighbor is faced with the choice: either you surrender, or you fight for your freedom till death, what will we do?"

"I ask myself this question and my belief is la ilaha illallah, there is no god but one, and we will fight. And when a nuclear-armed country fights to the end, it will consequence far beyond the borders."

Robock et al.'s calculations are based on a potential war scenario for 2025, when it is estimated the two countries could have 400 to 500 nuclear weapons between them. Each nuke could have an explosive power between 15 kilotons—equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, i.e. the same size as the "Little Boy" that fell on Hiroshima in 1945—and a few hundred kilotons, the researchers say. The largest known nuclear weapon in existence today, the Tsar Bomba, far exceeds those considered in the study with an explosive power of 50 megatons.

The researchers conclude that were India to release 100 strategic weapons in a nuclear conflict and Pakistan 150, the number of fatalities caused by the initial effects could total 50 million to 125 million people—the exact size depends on the size of the weapons used. For context, an estimated 50 million people were killed in the Second World War, although that number excludes those who died from disease and starvation. Many more would die from the mass starvation that would almost certainly follow, they add.

Riaz Haq said...

A #Nuclear War Between #India and #Pakistan Could Kill Twice As Many People As #WWII , Study Finds

https://www.newsweek.com/nuclear-war-india-pakistan-death-toll-ww2-1462550


Starvation is likely because the explosions would cause fires that could, between them, release 16 million to 35 million tons of soot into the atmosphere. This soot would absorb solar radiation and heat the air, which would then cause the smoke to rise further, blocking our sun's light so that 20 to 35 percent less would fall on the Earth. This would trigger a period of global cooling—resulting in a nuclear winter—that would see surface temperatures drop 3.6 F to 9 F to levels not seen on Earth since the last ice age. We could also see global precipitation levels plummet 15 to 30 percent, affecting some regions more than others, the study's authors conclude.

As a result, they predict 15 to 30 percent less vegetation growth and a 5 to 15 percent decline in ocean productivity worldwide.

"Such a war would threaten not only the locations where bombs might be targeted but the entire world," said Robock.

"I think we have been lucky in the 74 years since that last nuclear war that we have not had another due to mistakes, panic, misunderstanding, technical failures or hacking," Robock told Newsweek.

"If the weapons exist, they can be used. And the ongoing conflict in Kashmir has the potential to escalate."

Neither party is likely to initiate a nuclear conflict without major provocation, the study's authors wrote. However, they did warn of a new Cold War.

"India and Pakistan may be repeating the unfortunate example set by the United States and Russia during the 'Cold War' era: that is, building destructive nuclear forces far out of proportion to their role in deterrence," they write.

Riaz Haq said...

#Nagaland leader Muivah wary of #India after #Kashmir status scrapped, says #NewDelhi's abrupt decision to revoke #Article370 'unacceptable'. Wants Nagalim to include all Naga-majority parts of #Manipur, #Assam, #ArunachalPradesh #Modi #Hindutva @AJENews https://aje.io/8pxhz

'Divisions among rebel ranks'
Alex Waterman, a research fellow at the University of Leeds, said that bilateral talks have suited New Delhi's interests.

"This meant the [Naga] parties were divided and couldn't bring combined clout to the negotiating table," he told Al Jazeera referring to divisions among rebel ranks.

"It also suited the NSCN-IM, as it has needed to be able to stake the claim that its peace process is the only legitimate one to fend off rival factions and consolidate its 'government' in its areas of influence."

But now, Muivah alleges, the government has gone back on its commitment.

Despite repeated requests, government interlocutor and current Nagaland Governor RN Ravi declined to give a comment to Al Jazeera.

On the face of it, NSCN-IM demand for an integrated Nagalim goes head to head with Modi's vision of "one nation one constitution".

Soon after independence from Britain in 1947, India integrated about 500 provinces and princely states but some of them joined on the condition that they would be accorded special rights. Hence India's constitution guaranteed limited autonomy to some northeast states as well as disputed Kashmir region.

Senior journalist Bharat Bhushan says the Modi government is "keen on forging India as a unitary state".

"Our federalism is asymmetric as there are special constitutional provisions for different states. However, keen on forging India as a unitary state, the present political dispensation in Delhi seeks uniformity in dealing with all the states of the union in the same manner," he told Al Jazeera.

Riaz Haq said...

The forgotten massacre that ignited the #Kashmir dispute. In November 1947, thousands of #Muslims were killed in #Jammu by paramilitaries led by the army of Dogra ruler Hari Singh.@AJENews http://aje.io/3anhz

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir - The family of Israr Ahmad Khan lived through the massacre of Jammu in what was then part of the princely state of Kashmir. He recalls that many of his relatives were killed during the violence that followed months after British rule over Indian sub-continent ended.

"My father was young then and other immediate family members were in Kashmir at that time. But many of my relatives were brutally killed," the 63-year-old told Al Jazeera.

"To be honest that was a mad period. There was no humanity shown at that time," Khan, who retired as senior police officer, said at his home in Jammu.

In November 1947, thousands of Muslims were massacred in Jammu region by mobs and paramilitaries led by the army of Dogra ruler Hari Singh.

The exact number of casualties in the killings that continued for two months is not known but estimates range from 20,000 to 237,000 and nearly half million forced into displacement across the border into the newly created nation of Pakistan and its administered part of Kashmir.

Khan said many of his relatives had escaped to Pakistan, where they continue to live. "The incident divided families. There were a lot of Muslims in Jammu but now you won't find many," he said.

The killings triggered a series of events, including a war between two newly independent nations of India and Pakistan, which gave birth to Kashmir dispute.

The killings took place when millions of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs were crossing the border from the one side to the other, as part of British-designed plan to partition the subcontinent into India and Pakistan.

"The immediate impact (of partition) was in Jammu. The Muslim subjects from different parts of Jammu province were forcibly displaced by the Dogra Army in a programme of expulsion and murder carried out over three weeks between October-November 1947," Idrees Kanth, a fellow at International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, who researched the 1940s history of Kashmir, told Al Jazeera.

In mid-October, the Dogra Army troops began expelling Muslim villagers from Jammu province. The refugees were sent on foot toward West Punjab (later to form part of Pakistan), where most were accommodated in refugee camps in the districts of Sialkot, Jhelum, Gujrat and Rawalpindi.

On November 5, Kanth said, the Dogra Army soldiers began another organised evacuation of the Muslims but "instead of taking them to Sialkot, as they had been promised, the trucks drove them to forest hills of Rajouri districts of Jammu, where they were executed".

Kanth added that there may have been a systematic attempt by the dying Dogra regime to ensure that records of the incident are destroyed and made it a lesser known massacre of the partition.

------------------

Five days after the Jammu killings, tribal militias from Pakistan’s North Western Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), where many of the Jammu Muslims had family ties, invaded Kashmir.

As the army of tribesmen rushed to Kashmir, the army of Dogra monarch fled to Jammu. The king Hari Singh signed the instrument of accession with New Delhi, which sent its army to fight the tribesmen.

The fighting of several weeks between tribesmen and Indian Army eventually led to first India-Pakistan war. When New Delhi and Islamabad agreed to a ceasefire in January 1948, the formerly princedom of Jammu and Kashmir was divided between the two countries.

The conflict born in 1947 has led to three wars between India and Pakistan. An estimated 70,000 people have been killed in the violence in past three decades since the armed revolt against Indian rule broke out in the region in 1989.

Riaz Haq said...

Aakarvani : World is taking note that new India is not living up to its image. #Modi wants to screw #minorities with the entire #Indian polity from #government to #judiciary playing along but still wants to retain #India's image as tolerant and peaceful. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/aakarvani/world-is-taking-note-that-new-india-is-not-living-up-to-its-image/
Happenings in America expose a fundamental hypocrisy about this new India of ours. We want to screw over our minorities but also want to retain our image as tolerant and peaceful. This is not going to be possible unfortunately, given the transparency and viciousness with which we are going about our atrocities. With the entire Indian polity from government to judiciary playing along, it is only natural that the world will observe and object.

India’s response after the shellacking we received in the US Congress on the issues of Assam and Kashmir was predictably defensive and petty. In pushing back against the accusation that we were manhandling our own people, the foreign ministry moaned about cross border terrorism and whined about Pakistan not getting criticised sufficiently. And then we strut about the world pretending to be a great power.

It was excruciating to watch the studied clarity with which the American legislators arrived at an understanding of what India was doing to Muslims in Assam. The national register of citizens (NRC) was aimed at identifying who was not Indian? Correct. The absolute requirement was a full set of documents? Correct. The burden of proof for this was on the individual and not the state? Correct. Those who were suspected to be without them were locked up by India in concentration camps? Correct. There was a law that specifically excluded all but Muslims from these jails? Correct. Was it a “crackpot” idea or a serious legislation? It was a serious legislation.

Even the bureaucrats of the Trump administration, wheeled out to defend India against this reckless slander from the liberals, found it impossible to. This is how the Citizenship Amendment Bill — which excludes only South Asia’s Muslims from getting Indian citizenship while offering it by default to Hindus, Sikhs and others — was discussed in a report. The co-chair of the India caucus (India’s friend) Brad Sherman commented that “human rights abuse doesn’t cease to be human rights abuse just because it is consistent with law”.

He then sought a clarification whether there was a Bill in the Indian Parliament that seeks to discriminate against Muslims on the issue of citizenship.

Assistant secretary Robert Destro acknowledged that the Bill gave a presumption of citizenship to all religious groups but leaves Muslims out. “Is this a serious legislative proposal or just a crackpot idea going nowhere?” an astonished Sherman asked. Destro said that it was indeed “a serious legislative proposal”, but “thankfully, it is not going through the Upper House”.

Sherman demanded to know whether the US had condemned the concept of defining someone’s legal rights obligations based on their religion. To this Destro replied that “we are doing it right here. This is a good opportunity to do it.”

Destro commented that most religious groups are not discriminated against, but there was pressure to make special rules for Muslims for which US administration was “calling them out”. “India’s Constitution provides for secularism and we want the same to continue,” he added. And there were other equally damaging revelations about what we were doing to Kashmiris.

Riaz Haq said...

#Kashmir #HumanRights film "No Fathers in Kashmir" divides #UK’s #Indian and #Pakistani communities. The film is about #British-#Kashmiri teenage girl whose father is killed after being taken away by #Indian soldiers for interrogation. #Modi #Article370 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/18/no-fathers-in-kashmir-film-divides-indian-pakistani-communities-in-uk-ashvin-kumar?CMP=share_btn_tw

Ahvin Kumar, director of No Fathers in Kashmir, says it shows the plight of families and people in Britain must not ignore their suffering

A controversial film highlighting “disappearances” in Kashmir that premieres in Britain this week has led to fears of heightened tension between the country’s Indian and Pakistani communities.

No Fathers in Kashmir tells the story of a British-Kashmiri teenage girl who travels to the Indian Himalayan state to search for her father, only to discover that he “disappeared” and was then killed after being taken away by Indian soldiers for interrogation.

The film is set against the backdrop of the continuing turmoil in Indian-administered Kashmir and vividly addresses the contentious issue of human rights violations that are alleged to have been committed by security forces as they battle to suppress a popular insurgency that has raged for the past 30 years.

According to human rights campaigners, an estimated 8,000 people have “disappeared” during this time.

The film, partly funded by a group of British Kashmiris, opens in Bradford followed by screenings in London and other cities where there is a substantial South Asian population.

Last year, Kashmir exploded into renewed turmoil after the Indian government revoked its special status and placed it in lockdown. Known as Article 370, the move stripped away the autonomy Kashmir had been granted in exchange for joining the Indian union after independence in 1947. Another part of the state remained within Pakistan. Both countries claim it as their own.

The move prompted anger in Britain and protests outside the Indian High Commission, which resulted in violence, vandalism and several arrests. Demonstrations were also held in other cities, including Birmingham and Manchester.

Of the 1.1 million British Pakistanis, more than one million originate from the part of Kashmir governed by Pakistan. While there are no official figures for the number of Indian Kashmiris in Britain, the overall British Indian community numbers almost 1.4 million people, and support for India’s position is strong among some sections of that community.

Sabir Gull, a senior member of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, which was founded in Birmingham in 1977 and campaigns for the state’s independence, said: “We don’t want this film to create more problems but there’s no getting away from the fact that it definitely could – but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be shown.

“Kashmir is a sensitive matter for both British Indian and Pakistani communities. Drawing attention to human rights violations through film or any other medium is giving the oppressed a voice. Disappearances and the other crimes that have been committed against the Kashmiri people will not go away if we bury our heads in the sand. At the end of the day, we are all British but we can’t ignore what’s going on.”

Kuldeep Shekhawat, head of the UK branch of the Overseas Friends of the BJP, which supports India’s governing party and aims to increase its popularity among British Indians, said: “This film does not serve any purpose. It will just inflame hostility and tension. Things were difficult enough last year between the two communities but have calmed down a lot since then. If Kashmir is an issue then it is between India and Pakistan. We are all British here, so why should we be getting so obsessed with Kashmir?

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan factor behind #India-#China stand-off in #Ladakh. “There appears to have been a strategic shift in Chinese thinking after India abrogated Sections of Article 370 last year... Pakistan has become exceptionally important to China.." #CPEC The Hindu https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pakistan-factor-behind-india-china-stand-off-in-ladakh/article31676271.ece


China’s heightened concerns over Aksai Chin and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is routed, in part, through Gilgit-Baltistan, may have set the backdrop for the ongoing stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh.

“There appears to have been a strategic shift in Chinese thinking after India abrogated Sections of Article 370 last year and created the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. India has always claimed Aksai Chin, but the issue appears to have been re-interpreted in China after the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was revoked,” says P. Stobdan, former ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, who specialises in trans-Himalayan studies.

Mr. Stobdan added that the CPEC — China’s strategic pathway to the Indian Ocean — which passes through Gilgit-Baltistan — has emerged as an entirely new factor, reinforcing and clubbing the already strong security relationship between China and Pakistan. “Pakistan has become exceptionally important to China as CPEC — which gives access to Gwadar port and helps Beijing reduce its vulnerability on the Americans who dominate Malacca Strait — is the gateway governing China’s international trade. The CPEC has imparted game-changing strategic ballast to the Sino-Pak relationship.”

The CPEC is “too big to fail,” as China has already staked its prestige in the enterprise, which has been showcased as the flagship of the Beijing-led Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The CPEC plan was robustly challenged in the aftermath of the August 5 change in the status quo in Jammu and Kashmir, which covers Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), including Gilgit-Baltistan, on the corridor’s route. Speaking in the Lok Sabha on August 6 last year, Home Minister Amit Shah unambiguously nailed India’s claims over PoK and Aksai Chin.

“Kashmir is an integral part of India, there is no doubt over it. When I talk about Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Aksai Chin are included in it,” he said. For the record, Mr. Shah was echoing a February 1994 unanimous Parliament resolution that categorically stated that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, and that Pakistan must vacate parts of the State under its occupation. Besides, a Parliament resolution passed on November 14, 1962, commits India to recover Aksai Chin and other areas of J&K occupied/annexed by China.

Riaz Haq said...

#Trump’s embrace of #Modi stokes India-China stand-off in #Ladakh. #India-#American analyst Ashley Tellis: "They #Chinese) think India is uppity, they think India is punching above its weight and they want to bring it down a notch or 2" https://www.ft.com/content/dd253671-ee10-4e51-b9c0-c3fa9c2134e4 via @financialtimes

The flare-up comes at a time of growing Chinese assertiveness, with Beijing stamping its dominance over Hong Kong and the South China Sea. Analysts said the confrontation in Ladakh reflected Beijing’s growing sense of grievance towards India, and its desire to reinforce New Delhi’s subordinate status.

“They think India is uppity, they think India is punching above its weight and they want to bring it down a notch or two,” said Ashley Tellis, an expert on Asian strategic competition at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC. “They decided that they are going to punch India in the nose.”

New Delhi recently imposed blunt restrictions on Chinese investment in the country, and has been drawing ever closer to countries that Beijing considers hostile. Mr Trump’s invitation to India to participate in the upcoming G7 meeting drew scathing comment from the Global Times, a nationalistic Chinese tabloid.

“India has been active in many of US plans that target China,” Liu Zongyi, a South Asia expert at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the newspaper. “If India hastily joins a small circle that perceives China as an imaginary enemy, China-India relations will deteriorate.”

The border crisis has generated plenty of angst in New Delhi. According to independent Indian security analysts, India’s cancellation of its spring military training exercises in Ladakh due to coronavirus gave People’s Liberation Army troops the ideal opportunity to seize several positions long claimed and patrolled by India.


Indian army trucks near Pangong Lake. New Delhi has been trying to upgrade roads and military infrastructure on its side of the border © Manish Swarup/AP
Turf now held by Chinese soldiers includes positions in the Galwan Valley that overlook a new Indian highway built to supply New Delhi’s most forward military base at Daulat Beg Oldi.

“The Chinese have presented a fait accompli to India, and they are deeply entrenched and sitting pretty in vantage locations overlooking the highway, which is now in easy artillery range of the PLA,” said Brahma Chellaney, a professor of strategic studies at New Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research.

China has not elaborated on the nature of the conflict, but last week Beijing permitted violent imagery from the Himalayas to pulse through the country’s highly censored social media networks. Posts labelled China-India border conflict have been viewed tens of millions of times.

The Global Times recently listed Beijing’s military hardware in the disputed region, including tanks, helicopters and drones, and quoted Chinese analysts who said the equipment “should give China the advantage in high-altitude conflicts should they arise”.

Anxious about a domestic backlash, New Delhi has publicly denied that Chinese troops have encroached on Indian-claimed territory. But a government official told the Financial Times that Chinese troops were “closer to our side of the line of actual control than they were two months ago”.





New Delhi is braced for a long stand-off. “There is a change in the status quo — the Chinese have changed their position and they have to go back,” the official said. But analysts are sceptical about New Delhi’s prospects of dislodging the Chinese troops without big concessions.

India has been working steadily to upgrade the roads and military infrastructure on its side of the border, which was traditionally far less developed than what China had built in its territory.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's Why All's Not Well for India on the Ladakh Front
The Chinese have created new facts on the ground and pushed the Indian political leadership to react in ways that will further disadvantage the Indian military.

https://thewire.in/diplomacy/heres-why-alls-not-well-for-india-on-the-ladakh-front

Held in August and September (close to border with north Ladakh), the month-long Shaheen-VIII (China-Pakistan) joint exercise was reportedly most advanced. According to PLA commander, Xin Xin,

“The Shaheen series joint exercises started as one-on-one dog fight, but now it has evolved into systematic mock battles featuring more war planes, multiple military branches which include ground forces that deploy missiles and electronic counter-measures.”

Another commentary on this exercise noted that there were two opposing teams: Red team comprising the PLA Air Force, and Blue team constituted of PLAAF and Pakistan Air Force. The scope of such exercise does not require elaboration.

What could be the strategic, political, military and diplomatic objectives of the likely joint combat?

The Pakistan Army’s strategic objective for a localised war in north Ladakh could be to provide depth to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC);
The political objective could be to make India’s hold over the Kashmir Valley more tenuous;
The military objective could be to force the Indian Army out of the Siachen Glacier; and
The diplomatic objective could be to draw the international community’s attention to the possibility of a full-scale war between adversaries with nuclear weapons.
China is likely to endorse the above war objectives, as well as its participation with a caveat: the PLA will not use its kinetic war capabilities until attacked by the Indian military.

Riaz Haq said...

#China Government Think Tank CICIR Scholar: #India's revocation of Article 370 "has posed a challenge to the sovereignty of Pakistan and China and made the India-Pakistan relations and China-India relations more complex" #Kashmir #Pakistan #Ladakh #Beijing http://en.ce.cn/main/latest/202006/11/t20200611_35104226.shtml

On August 5, 2019, the Indian government announced the abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to Indian-administered Kashmir, the former state of Jammu and Kashmir, and the establishment of two union territories, "Jammu and Kashmir" and "Ladakh." India's unilateral move to change the status quo of Kashmir constitutes a serious threat to regional peace and stability.

First, this has posed a challenge to the sovereignty of Pakistan and China and made the India-Pakistan relations and China-India relations more complex.

For Pakistan, the ownership of Kashmir is a matter of the very foundation for building Pakistan. Pakistan was founded as "the home of Muslims in South Asia" and Kashmir is an area with a majority Muslim population, so the Pakistan side believes Kashmir is supposed to be one part of its territory. The whole of Pakistan was seething with anger over India's unilateral move to change the status quo of Indian-administered Kashmir. The Indian and Pakistani troops made separate platoon deployment near the Kashmir Line of Control, with the high-intensity confrontation lasting until now.

The Pakistani authorities, meanwhile, made frequent requests for the international community to keep a close watch and intervene on the Kashmir issue. More specifically, it accused the Indian authorities of massive human-rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir, which seriously affected India's image globally.

On the Chinese side, India "opened up new territory on the map," incorporated part of the areas under the local jurisdiction of Xinjiang and Tibet into its Ladakh union territory, and placed Pakistani-administered Kashmir within its so-called union territories of Jammu and Kashmir. This forced China into the Kashmir dispute, stimulated China and Pakistan to take counter-actions on the Kashmir issue, and dramatically increased the difficulty in resolving the border issue between China and India.

Just as what Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Foreign Minister, mentioned in his meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's moves challenged China's sovereign rights and interests and violated the agreement on maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas between the two countries. The Chinese side was seriously concerned about this. India's moves will have no effect on the Chinese side, nor will they change the fact that China exercises sovereignty over relevant territories and the status quo that China exercises effective jurisdiction.

Secondly, India used domestic legislation to deny the U.N.'s designation of Kashmir as a disputed region. The U.N. initiated active mediation over the war between India and Pakistan due to the ownership of Kashmir in 1947 and adopted resolutions 38, 39, 47 and 51 in the year 1948 alone, followed by several other resolutions.

The above resolutions suggest that the U.N. recognizes Kashmir as a region with undetermined status and that Kashmir is a disputed territory recognized by the international community. India substantially changed the status of Indian-administered Kashmir with domestic legislation and treated it as a general domestic provincial state unit. Such a unilateral move obviously violated the U.N. resolutions, but also altered Kashmir's status quo.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s poor politico-strategic choices. #Modi is in a bind after major blunders in #Kashmir. #Ladakh #Galwan #China #Pakistan https://www.thefridaytimes.com/indias-poor-politico-strategic-choices/

Recently, some in the Indian commentariat have begun talking about India facing a two-and-half front conflict situation. Strictly speaking, this is not new. We first heard the phrase in June 2017, just days before the Doklam standoff between India and China.

It was a comment by then-Indian army chief, now Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat. Rawat was speaking to the media. “The Indian Army is fully ready for a two-and-a-half front (China, Pakistan and internal security requirements simultaneously) war,” he was quoted as saying. He also talked about the 17 Mountain Strike Corps being raised from the scratch, as he put it. This Corps is meant specifically for offensive operations against China.

At the time his statement drew many comments in India. Most analysts looked at India’s previous conflicts and determined that politico-military objectives are best gained when a state can focus on a single threat and neutralise it. Two or more fronts, even for a strong state, can be problematic. Resources, both in men and war materials, get divided; logistics can become a nightmare; focus is lost in planning for more than one front at the tactical, theatre and strategic levels; diplomatic space is shrunk when a state is fighting more than one adversary and so on.

Three years from Rawat’s June 2017 statement, India thinks it faces the same situation again. The difference is that unlike the Doklam standoff, the current Sino-India face-off in Eastern Ladakh’s high-altitude barren heights and valleys has drawn blood, Indian blood, while the Chinese army sits comfortably on its gains. India is in a quandary. Despite Rawat’s boast, India doesn’t have many military options against China, not just in a land war scenario but also, as explained in detail by Pravin Sawhney, a former Indian army officer and now Editor of Force Magazine, across the full spectrum of military conflict.


At the Line of Control against Pakistan Army, ceasefire violations continue, however. That said, here too the Indian Army and more notably Indian Air Force know since February 27, 2019, that a misadventure would be costly. It would have been costlier on that morning if the Pakistan Air Force strike package, under directions from the government, had not shown restraint. PAF dominated the skies and controlled communications. Such was the confusion that the air defence unit near Srinagar shot down an Indian Air Force Mi-17 V-5 helicopter belonging to the Srinagar-based No 154 Helicopter Unit. That fratricidal action was even worse than losing a MiG to PAF.

Corollary: the China front is a militarily hopeless situation for India; the Pakistan front is a costly venture. As for Rawat’s half front, the internal security situation, people in the Occupied and now illegally annexed Jammu and Kashmir despise India to the last man and child. Despite a lockdown since August 5, 2019 and incarcerating thousands across jails in India, India has failed to break the spirit of Kashmiris. That front is already lost, unless Rawat, now at the top of the military pecking order as CDS, thinks that killing, maiming, arresting and torturing Kashmiris is a benchmark of success.


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India’s trade volume with China stands at USD86 billion with much greater potential. It could have a peaceful South Asia and trade relations with Pakistan and beyond if it decided to work with Pakistan and China in a cooperative rather than a conflictual framework. But no, it won’t do that. After making poor choices it would double down on them, giving Rawat his misplaced two-and-half-front conflict scenario. If that is not stupid, I don’t know what is.

Riaz Haq said...

#UN Human Rights Chief Raises #Kashmir at Start of HRC Session, #India Regrets Mention of “incidents of military and police violence against civilians continue, including use of pellet guns, as well as incidents related to militancy”. #KashmiriLivesMatter https://thewire.in/world/un-human-rights-chief-michele-bachelet-kashmir-45th-unhrc-session

UN high commissioner for human rights Michele Bachelet has welcomed the release of some Jammu and Kashmir political leaders and the limited internet restoration in two Kashmir districts, but expressed concern that many still remained behind bars and called for the full reversal of the communication blockade in J&K.

At the start of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Monday, Bachelet gave a “Global Human Rights Update” on the situation across the world, from China to Sri Lanka, Venezuela to the US.

In her section on India, Bachelet mentioned that in the last one year in Jammu and Kashmir, “incidents of military and police violence against civilians continue, including use of pellet guns, as well as incidents related to militancy”.

Kashmir and other human rights issues in India had also been part of Bachelet’s updates in previous sessions of the UNHRC.

She observed that changes in the constitutional status and domicile rules of J&K have generated “deep anxiety”. The new media policy unveiled by the J&K administration has also constricted the space for criticism, she noted. “…the space for political debate and public participation continues to be severely restricted, particularly since new media rules have prohibited vaguely defined ‘anti-national’ reporting,” she said.


During the changes in Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional status in August 2019, most mainstream politicians were taken into custody. Some of the big names, like former chief ministers Omar and Farooq Abdullah have been released, but several, including Mehbooba Mufti, are still in detention.

“While I welcome the release of some political and community leaders, hundreds of people remain in arbitrary detention, with many habeas corpus petitions still pending – including those of many of Jammu and Kashmir’s political leaders,” stated Bachelet.