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, including China, 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. Annexation of Ladakh is also challenge to Chinese claims to it. 

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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61 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...

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.

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


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.
------------

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.

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...

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...

#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.


------------
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.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan Tests Indigenous Fatah-1 Guided MLRS. It's an indigenously developed multiple launch guided #rocket system that can accurately deliver conventional warheads up to a range of 140 km deep inside enemy territory. #artillery https://quwa.org/2021/01/10/pakistan-tests-indigenous-fatah-1-guided-mlrs-2/ via @QuwaGroup

Adding to Pakistan’s rocket artillery inventory, the Fatah-1 joins the A-100, Nasr, and Yarmouk-series. Like the Fatah-1, Pakistan manufactures the A-100, Nasr, and Yarmouk domestically.

But in contrast to its other rockets, Pakistan is positioning the Fatah-1 as an offensively oriented weapon. The ISPR says the Fatah-1 gives Pakistan the ability to precisely engage targets “deep in enemy territory.”

Background on the Fatah-1
The Fatah-1 seems to be one of two MLRS the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) referenced in its annual yearbook in 2015-2016. [1] These were a base MLRS and an “extended-range” MLRS.

In 2019, the ISPR revealed the A-100 (which has a range of over 100 km) as an “indigenous” rocket. If the A-100 is the base MLRS, the 140-km Fatah-1 could be the “extended-range” MLRS design.

There is no confirmed connection between the A-100 and Fatah-1. However, Pakistan apparently localized the A-100, so it would make sense for it to develop the Fatah-1 as a subvariant. If the Fatah-1 is a variant of the A-100, then it could share the same caliber (300 mm) and warhead weight (reportedly 235 kg).

However, this apparent link is only speculation. The Fatah-1 could also be distinct design and, as a result, be a larger rocket design. For reference, the Chinese Weishi or WS-series of rockets have spun out into a diverse line-up of missiles of varying calibres, ranges, and applications.

The ISPR’s mention of “precision target engagement” indicates that Pakistan configured the Fatah-1 with a guidance system. It could be a GPS/INS (or BeiDou/INS)-based suite. This enables Pakistan to feed Fatah-1 missiles with location data of predetermined targets.

Thus, Pakistan could use the Fatah-1 as a long-range strike weapon, and potentially deploy it combination with precision-guided bombs (PGB), land-attack cruise missiles (LACM), and glide-munitions.

How Pakistan May Deploy the Fatah-1
Past footage of Pakistan’s artillery deployments show that it is using the SLC-2 counter-battery radar with the A-100E (which it was using before announcing a locally built variant). However, the range potential of the Fatah-1 exceeds the reported detection range of the SLC-2…

Riaz Haq said...

From Hindustan Times:

#China reiterates support for #Pakistan in its dispute over #Kashmir with #India, saying it opposes any unilateral action which could complicate the situation. #Article370 #Modi #BJP #Hindutva #Ladakh https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/china-reiterates-support-to-pakistan-on-kashmir-101627148536956.html

China on Saturday reiterated its support to Pakistan on its dispute over Kashmir with India, saying it opposes any unilateral action which could complicate the situation in the Indian union territory at the centre of the conflict between New Delhi and Islamabad.

The situation in Kashmir was among several issues, likely topped by the death of nine Chinese personnel in a bomb blast in Dasu in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan earlier this month, discussed at a meeting between Chinese state councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi and Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi held in Chengdu in southwest China on Saturday.

BONDING OVER KASHMIR

“The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the deteriorating situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including its concerns, position and current urgent issues,” a China-Pakistan joint statement issued after the meeting said.

The joint statement was first posted on the Pakistan foreign ministry website.

“The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue is a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, which is an objective fact, and that the dispute should be resolved peacefully and properly through the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation,” the statement said.

China and Pakistan had voiced their strong opposition after the state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh in August, 2019.

“Both sides underscored that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in the common interest of all countries. Both sides agreed on the need to settle disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” the statement said.

China also reiterated its “…firm support to Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence…”.

India had earlier rejected the reference to Kashmir by China and Pakistan, saying: “The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral and inalienable part of India and we expect the parties concerned not to interfere in matters that are internal affairs of India.”

REMAINS OF 9 CHINESE NATIONALS RETURN HOME

Qureshi and the head of Pakistan’s ISI chief, Faiz Hameed had rushed to China on Friday a week after the attack in Dasu.

Their visit has been linked to Islamabad’s efforts to assuage “iron brother” China that it will do more to protect Beijing’s wide-ranging interests, projects and Chinese personnel in Pakistan.

Remains of the nine Chinese personnel killed in the attack were returned to China in a chartered flight on Friday, hours after the two top Pakistani officials landed here for talks.

“The Pakistan side conveyed its profound condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families, emphasised that the sacrifices of Chinese nationals would not be in vain, and that China-Pakistan partnership would emerge stronger through this test,” the joint statement said.

Riaz Haq said...

India & China's political tensions are hitting the #smartphone market. But they need each other. Xiaomi is the top-selling brand in #India. China's Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo together control more than 60% of the #Indian market. #Modi #BJP #QUAD #Ladakh https://www.cnn.com/2022/07/19/tech/chinese-smartphones-india-market-future-intl-hnk/index.html


The Indian government is cracking down on the companies that make the country's most popular smartphones.

Indians love Chinese smartphones, but for the last two months, New Delhi has intensified the scrutiny of three top Chinese firms — Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo. Together, these companies control more than 60% of the Indian smartphone market, according to data from research firm Counterpoint.
Xiaomi, the top-selling brand in the country, was the first company to face regulators' heat. In May, the country's main financial investigation agency accused Xiaomi's Indian subsidiary of making illegal remittances, violating foreign exchange laws.

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Chinese technology firms have had a particularly rough time in India over the last two years, with New Delhi cracking down since border tensions escalated between the world's most populous countries.
In 2020, India banned more than 200 apps — many of which were Chinese, including the wildly popular video platform TikTok.
Chinese vendors have also come under the thumb of Indian regulators because "they have "grown very fast very quickly," noted Tarun Pathak, a research director at Counterpoint.
"More clarity is being sought by India on how Chinese firms do their business here," he said. "Their balance sheets are now being looked into."
He added that the Indian government is tightening regulations for foreign phone makers because they have realized that "these companies need India more than India needs them."
Although regulatory crackdowns are making business in India difficult, experts say it's unlikely New Delhi would put an outright ban on Chinese smartphones.
"Chinese firms are here to stay," said Pathak, adding that there are "no other takers."

South Korean giant Samsung is the second-best-selling smartphone brand in the country and the only non-Chinese firm among the top five sellers in India, according to data from Counterpoint. But it "cannot grow its share of the market from 20% to 60% overnight," said Pathak.
Apple (AAPL) has had big plans for India for years now, but has only captured a tiny sliver of the market as its products are prohibitively expensive for most Indians.
Kiranjeet Kaur, an associate research director at International Data Corporation (IDC), also expects these companies to bounce back by the time the Diwali festival season — driven by shopping — begins in India in October. She added that these probes would hardly matter to Indian consumers.
After the border clashes, calls for a boycott of Chinese companies, including phone makers, had engulfed India, recalls Kaur.

Despite these protests, there was "not a dent in the shipment numbers" of these companies, and they continued to dominate the market, she added.
India's love for Chinese smartphones transcends any political tensions, mainly because they are seen as great value in a highly price-sensitive market.
While Indian manufacturers have come up with affordable smartphones in the past few years —including one developed by Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire head of sprawling Indian conglomerate Reliance, in partnership with Google — these have failed to make much of a splash among consumers.
"If you compare the features, Chinese smartphones offer a lot more, and cost only a little bit more," said Kaur.
And, despite the new legal challenges, China can't afford to abandon the Indian market.

Riaz Haq said...

At 75, India’s Kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus
By AIJAZ HUSSAIN


https://apnews.com/article/china-pakistan-asia-india-0acb43fd7de635c38fe086ee5827011d


“Galwan represents a strategic inflection point,” said Constantino Xavier, a fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, a New Delhi-based policy group. It “helped create a new Indian consensus about the need to reset the entire relationship with China, and not just solve the boundary issue.”

Soldiers from the two sides fought a medieval-style battle with stones, fists and clubs, leaving at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead.

The fighting came a year after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Kashmir of its statehood, scrapped its semi-autonomy, and clamped down on local politicians, journalists and communications.

The government also split the Muslim-majority region into two federally administered territories — Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir — and ended inherited protections on land and jobs.

The government insisted the moves involved only administrative changes, part of a long-held Hindu nationalist pledge to assimilate overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir into the country.

Pakistan reacted with fury to India’s changes, asserting that Kashmir was an international dispute and any unilateral change in its status was a violation of international law and U.N. resolutions on the region.

But the main diplomatic challenge to New Delhi’s moves in Kashmir came from an unexpected rival: China.

Beijing scathingly criticized New Delhi and raised the issue at the United Nations Security Council, where the Kashmir dispute was debated -- again inconclusively -- for the first time in nearly five decades.

India’s line of argument remained consistent: To the international community it insisted that Kashmir was a bilateral issue with Pakistan. To Pakistan it reiterated that Kashmir was an Indian internal affair. And to critics on the ground, it stubbornly asserted that Kashmir was an issue of terrorism and law and order.

Initially, New Delhi had faced a largely peaceful anti-India movement in the portion of Kashmir it held. However, a crackdown on dissent led to a full-blown armed rebellion against Indian control in 1989. A protracted conflict since then has led to tens of thousands of deaths in the region.

Kashmir turned into a potential nuclear flashpoint as India and Pakistan became nuclear-armed states in 1998. Their standoff attracted global attention, with then-U.S. President Bill Clinton describing Kashmir as “the most dangerous place in the world.”

Many Indian foreign policy experts believe New Delhi was successful over the decades in blocking foreign pressure for change in Kashmir, despite deep sentiment against Indian rule in the region.

Now, New Delhi policymakers face the fundamental challenge of a China that is exerting more power in Asia and supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

At 75, India’s Kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus
By AIJAZ HUSSAIN


https://apnews.com/article/china-pakistan-asia-india-0acb43fd7de635c38fe086ee5827011d


Pakistan “now operates in a more complicated political role as a partner of Chinese power,” said Paul Staniland, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. “This gives it some clout and influence.”

With geopolitical rivalries deepening in the extended region, Kashmiris have been largely silenced, with their civil liberties curbed, as India has displayed zero tolerance for any form of dissent.

China’s rise as a global power has also pushed India closer to the U.S. and to the Quad, a new Indo-Pacific strategic alliance among the U.S., India, Australia and Japan that accuses Beijing of economic coercion and military maneuvering in the region upsetting the status quo.

India’s old nonaligned stance, rooted in the Cold War era when rivalries were playing out thousands of miles (kilometers) from its borders, has come to an end. The entire region has become a focus of geostrategic competition and great power rivalry close to India’s borders.

“We recognize the need to hedge against China to curb its ambitions by making it known that there is a new line of security that is being built against any aggressiveness by China, which is at the core of the Quad,” said Sibal, the former diplomat.

With the Quad now central to discussions among India’s strategic thinkers, New Delhi has massively ramped up infrastructure along its long, treacherous and undemarcated border with China. Beijing views the Quad as an attempt to contain its economic growth and influence.

“This is how we are sending a signal to China that we are ready to join with others to curb you,” Sibal said.

Riaz Haq said...

China too reacted adversely to the above Indian move, accusing India of continuing to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally amending its domestic laws and urging it to be cautious in its words and deeds on the border issue. Subsequently, it repeatedly called for peaceful resolution of “Kashmir dispute” left over from colonial history, based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements, thus echoing Pakistan’s position on the subject.  Pakistan’s questioning of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India and its policy of cross-border terrorism did not stem from the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under the Indian constitution and have outlasted its abrogation. The Pakistani dimension of India’s Kashmir problem and the Pakistani threat to the security of this sensitive region are still very much alive. China’s reaction to the Indian move and its subsequent aggressive actions in eastern Ladakh have added to that threat. Keen to ensure the safety and security of its strategic CPEC investment, China could in the normal course be expected to encourage a solution based on freezing the existing  territorial reality between India and Pakistan in J&K. However, with the downturn of its own relationship with India, it may be tempted to sustain and bolster Pakistan’s hostility. Equally, India’s strategic planners may be tempted not to give any comfort to China on the CPEC until a degree of stability is restored to the India-China equation, disturbed seriously by China’s aggressive behaviour in eastern Ladakh. Overall, the external environment for the security and stability of Jammu and Kashmir has worsened. This makes it all the more important for India to address the internal dimension of its Kashmir conundrum. India’s challenge is to ensure peace in J&K, not only in the immediate, but durable peace, for the failure to do so would continue to invite external meddling.


Sabharwal, Sharat. India’s Pakistan Conundrum (pp. 181-182). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition. 

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan’s relationship with China has emerged as its most important one in the recent years. For a long time, Pakistan enjoyed the patronage of the US – albeit in a transactional manner, but that role has increasingly shifted to China. Significantly, Pakistan and China have strategic congruence, which was lacking in the US-Pakistan partnership.
The China-Pakistan nexus has its genesis in their shared animosity against India. In 1963, close on the heels of China’s 1962 aggression against India, Pakistan ceded over 5,000 square kilometres of illegally occupied Indian territory in the Shaksgam valley to China under the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement, which provided that “after settlement of the Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India, the sovereign authority concerned will reopen negotiations with the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the boundary” as described in it. This was, however, a clumsy attempt to cover up the illegitimate nature of the accord. Since then, the relationship  has seen a multidimensional growth. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan in April 2015, the two countries decided to elevate it to “All-weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership, enriching the Pakistan-China Community of Shared Destiny”. China pledged investment of $45.6 billion for energy and infrastructure projects, including $622 million for expansion of the Gwadar port, with the CPEC as its centrepiece and the crown jewel of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Subsequent Pakistani media reports put the planned investment at around 62 billion dollars. 

Sabharwal, Sharat. India’s Pakistan Conundrum (pp. 315-316). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition. 

Riaz Haq said...

After India vows to wrest back PoK, China vows to help Pakistan protect sovereigntyXi asked Sharif to ensure security of the Chinese in Pakistan, and agreed to advance CPEC with greater efficiency

Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/national/after-india-vows-to-wrest-back-pok-china-vows-to-help-pakistan-protect-sovereignty-1158871.html

“China will continue to firmly support Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, development interests and dignity, and in achieving unity, stability, development and prosperity,” Xi told Sharif, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Chinese government.

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After Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in August 2019 initiated the process to strip J&K of its special status and to reorganize the erstwhile state into two Union Territories, China had joined Pakistan to oppose New Delhi’s move and run an an international campaign against India. China also stepped up its aggression along the disputed boundary with India in eastern Ladakh in April-May 2020, resulting in a military stand-off, which has not been fully resolved yet.

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India has been opposed to the CPEC, a flagship project of the BRI, as it passes through its territories illegally occupied by Pakistan. Just a day before the Xi-Sharif meeting, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday tacitly reiterated New Delhi’s concerns, stating that connectivity projects should be carried out respecting the sovereignty of the nations. India also stayed away from the BRI perceived as China’s bid to expand its geostrategic influence.

Riaz Haq said...

The Kashmir Files: Israeli director sparks outrage in India over ‘vulgar movie’ remarks
Nadav Lapid, chair of the International film festival India, spoke out against work that critics say is anti-Muslim propaganda

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/29/the-kashmir-files-israeli-director-sparks-outrage-in-india-over-vulgar-movie-remarks

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the film festival, Lapid said he and other jury members had been “shocked and disturbed” that the film had been given a platform. The Kashmir Files, said Lapid, was “a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival”.
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Lapid, who has taken an anti-establishment stance against rightwing elements in his home of Israel, is not alone in expressing concern over The Kashmir Files. Cinemagoers have started anti-Muslim chants at screenings and it has been accused of stirring up communal violence. In May, Singapore banned the film over its “potential to cause enmity between different communities”.

Vivek Agnihotri, the film’s director, said on Monday that “terror supporters and genocide deniers can never silence me”.

He added: “I challenge all the intellectuals in this world and this great film-maker from Israel to find one frame, one dialogue or an event in The Kashmir Files that is not true.”

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A row has erupted in India after an Israeli director described a controversial film about Kashmir as propaganda and a “vulgar movie”, prompting the Israeli ambassador to issue an apology.

Nadav Lapid, who was chair of this year’s panel of the international film festival of India (IFFI), spoke out against the inclusion of The Kashmir Files at the event.

The film, released in March to popular box office success, is largely set in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when attacks and threats by militants led to most Kashmiri Hindus fleeing from the region, where the majority of the population are Muslim.

Many film critics, Kashmiri Muslims and others, have described it as propaganda that inflames hatred against Muslims and distorts events to suit an anti-Muslim agenda.

However, the film has received a ringing endorsement from the highest levels of the Indian government, ruled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), who have also been accused of pursuing an anti-Muslim agenda. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, has praised the film, congratulating its makers for having “the guts to portray the truth” and it was the second highest-grossing film in India this year.

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Lapid said his comments were made in the spirit of “critical discussion, which is essential for art and life”, adding he was sure they could be accepted graciously by the festival and audience as such. But his critique caused outrage.

Amit Malviya, a senior BJP leader, compared his remarks to denial of the Holocaust. “For the longest time, people even denied the Holocaust and called Schindler’s List propaganda, just like some are doing to Kashmir Files,” he said.

In Goa, where the festival took place, a complaint was filed to police against Lapid, accusing him of “instigating enmity between groups”.

Fellow jurors at the film festival, which is sponsored by the Indian government, quickly distanced themselves from his comments, stating that they reflected his opinion and not that of the panel. Film-maker Sudipto Sen, who was on the panel, said: “We don’t indulge in any kind of political comments on any film.”

Some of the harshest criticism came from Israel’s ambassador to India, Naor Gilon, who told Lapid he should be “ashamed” of his comments and that it was “insensitive and presumptuous” to speak on a subject that has political and religious ramifications in India. Gilon said he “unequivocally condemned” the statements.

Riaz Haq said...

China’s frontier aggression has pushed India to the West
Brawling on the roof of the world

https://www.economist.com/asia/2022/12/15/chinas-frontier-aggression-has-pushed-india-to-the-west

The most likely flashpoints in Asia are generally thought to be the Taiwan Strait, the South China Sea and the Korean peninsula. This week, though, attention turned to the Himalayas and the 3,440-km (2,150-mile) border, much of it disputed, between the world’s most populous powers. News of a high-altitude brawl on December 9th has trickled down from the mountains.

The border disputes date back to the early 20th century when Britain demarcated spheres of influence between British India and Tibet (not in those days under Chinese subjugation). At the western end of the frontier, India claims Aksai Chin, an area under Chinese control in the Xinjiang region. In the eastern sector, China claims the whole of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as a historical part of Tibet: an earlier Dalai Lama was born in its Tawang monastery. Sixty years ago India and China fought a nasty war over the disputed line. It ended with India humiliated by the People’s Liberation Army (pla).


In the decades since, confrontations have often taken place. But thanks to protocols agreed between the two countries—including a ban on using firearms when patrols clash—most have been tokenistic. Until recently, both sides tacitly acknowledged the other’s patrol routes along the contested Line of Actual Control (lac). When rival patrols met, warning banners were raised and sharp words exchanged, but little worse.

That changed in 2020 when the remote Galwan valley, in Ladakh in the western sector, saw a terrible mêlée that left 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead. They were the first fatalities along the frontier since 1975. The latest incident was in the eastern sector near Tawang, and resulted in no deaths; yet it appears to have been similar to the one in Galwan. Several hundred pla soldiers—many times the usual patrol size—are said to have charged across to the Indian side of an “agreed disputed area”, in the frontier jargon. They carried tasers and spiked clubs, and were swinging “monkey fists”, steel balls on lengths of rope. Well-prepared Indian troops pushed them back, India claims, but with injuries on both sides. China says the Indians “illegally” crossed the lac and sought to block a Chinese patrol. It was the first clash in the eastern sector in years.

Though the details of such incidents are always contested, and neither side’s account is reliable, the Galwan fracas appeared to represent a direct Chinese challenge to the status quo. It occurred after China had built new roads along the border and reinforced it with troops and equipment. It is now doing much the same in the eastern sector and India, as ever, is scrambling to keep up. “Unpredictability” along the frontier, writes Sushant Singh of the Centre for Policy Research in Delhi, “has become structural”.

To manage the tensions that it has done so much to increase, China may well propose to establish buffer zones in the east, just as the two sides have done in the west. Given that such zones often mean India being shut out of areas that it had previously patrolled, they are tantamount to an Indian retreat. Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, would be extremely reluctant to submit to this. India’s political opposition senses that he is vulnerable on the issue.

Mr Modi once invited President Xi Jinping to his home state to celebrate the Indian prime minister’s birthday. Such chumminess is long gone. China says the border dispute should be isolated from the two countries’ broader relationship. But India considers a peaceful border a precondition for normal ties, says Tanvi Madan of the Brookings Institution, a think-tank in Washington. Since Galwan, India has blocked a lot of Chinese investment and banned Chinese apps. Official visits are curtailed. The two leaders have had one brief exchange in three years, at the g20 summit in Bali.

Riaz Haq said...

Border clashes between India and China ‘regularly covered up’


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/terror-and-security/border-clashes-india-china-regularly-covered/

India is covering up the true extent of border clashes with China to avoid panicking the public, senior Indian Army sources have told The Telegraph.

Several incidents are taking place in the northern state of Arunachal Pradesh every month, the sources said, with soldiers from the two nuclear-armed countries sometimes engaging in violent hand-to-hand combat, often using clubs and other homemade melee weapons.

China seized Arunachal Pradesh during a war with India in 1962 and returned it as part of a peace deal, but Beijing has maintained its claim over the territory ever since. In recent years, Delhi has accused China of stepping up aggression along the border and attempting to gradually seize strategically important territory.

A clash on December 9 in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang district, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers were injured, was widely reported. But Indian Army sources said such incidents are commonplace.

“Face-offs with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have become a common feature along the border in Arunachal Pradesh, particularly in the Yangtse area,” said a senior Indian Army officer. “They have happened on average two or three times a month, recently, and the incursions have increased in frequency over the last two years.”

India’s border forces are under strict instructions to keep quiet about the regular clashes between Indian and Chinese troops.

“We get directions from the top not to discuss these incidents and the reason seems to be political. It seems the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wants to play down the crisis with China,” said the officer.

India’s next general election is scheduled for 2024. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to win a landslide victory but much of his popularity rests on his image as a strongman who can defend India against China and Pakistan.

“Sometimes it’s important to hold back information because rushing out with information complicates the subsequent negotiations,” said General Deependra Singh Hooda, the former General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Army's Northern Command.

Riaz Haq said...

"China, Pak Are Together. If War Happens, It Will...": Rahul Gandhi

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/china-pakistan-are-together-now-if-there-is-war-it-will-be-against-both-rahul-gandhi-3637497

In a YouTube video on Rahul Gandhi's channel, while interacting with Armed Forces' veterans during the Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress MP said, "China and Pakistan have come together, if there will be any war then it will happen with both, so there will be a major loss for the country. India is now extremely vulnerable. I don't just have respect for you (Army) but also love and affection for you. You defend this nation. This nation would not exist without you."

The Congress leader explained, "Earlier we had two enemies China and Pakistan and our policy was to keep them separate. First, it was said that two front war should not happen then people say there is two and a half-front war going on, that is, Pakistan, China and terrorism. Today there is one front that is China and Pakistan which are together. If the war happens it will happen with both. They are working together not only militarily but also economically."

Criticising the Central government over its policies, Rahul Gandhi said, "Our economic system has slowed down after 2014. In our country there is disturbance, fight, confusion and hatred. Our mindset is still that of two and a half-front war. Our mindset is not of joint operability and of cyber warfare. India is now extremely vulnerable. China and Pakistan are both preparing a surprise for us, which is why I keep repeating that the government cannot keep quiet. What happened at the border the government should tell people of the country. What action we have to take we have to start today. Actually, we had to act five years ago but we did not do it. If we don't act fast, then there will be a big loss. I am extremely concerned with what is happening at the border in Arunachal and Ladakh," he added.

On December 13, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed the Rajya Sabha that China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops tried to transgress the Line of Actual Control in Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh Tawang Sector and unilaterally change the status quo but they went back to their locations due to timely intervention of Indian military commanders.

Giving a statement in the Rajya Sabha, the Defence Minister assured the Upper House that "our forces are committed to protecting our territorial integrity and will continue to thwart any attempt made on it".

Singh also displayed confidence that "this entire House will stand united in supporting our soldiers in the brave effort."

Explaining the incident, the Minister said: "I would like to brief this august House about an incident on our border in Tawang Sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, 2022."

"On December 9, 2022, PLA troops tried to transgress the LAC in Yangtse area of Tawang Sector and unilaterally change the status quo. The Chinese attempt was contested by our troops in a firm and resolute manner. The ensuing face-off led to a physical scuffle in which the Indian Army bravely prevented the PLA from transgressing into our territory and compelled them to return to their posts," said Singh.

He further said "the scuffle led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides", and clarified that "there are no fatalities or serious casualties on our side".

Riaz Haq said...

Why Pakistan is not a walkover

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGD6ZBKK3MY

FORCE editor Pravin Sawhney explains why India must take Pakistan military seriously. And how it is as professional a force as any. Visit us at www.forceindia.net

China-India military interoperability is a threat to India.

Professional Military:

1. Clearly defined threat

2. Balance at strategic and operational level.

3. Bring technologies and capabilities to the theater.

Pakistan meets all of the above criteria.

Bulk of India's attention is on Pakistan, not China.

Pakistan used proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir to keep Indian military engaged and to balance India's numerical advantage.

Both strategic and conventional forces report to Pakistan Army Chief.

Pakistan has created a strong air defense network.

Then Pakistan developed tactical nukes and refused to say "No First Use" to maintain ambiguity.

Pakistan has never lost in the western sector.

That's why India has failed to obliterate the Line-of-Control in Kashmir.

Pakistan developed and deployed nuclear weapons delivery system.

Now Pakistan is confident it can take on India.

Why? Because Pakistan and China have developed interoperability.

There is commonality of equipment, timely upgrades, ammunitions and spare parts.

China-Pakistan doctrinal compatibility.

CPEC has added the economic dimension to the relationship.

China now has an economic interest in defending its assets in Pakistan.

China can now shares non-kinetic capability cyber capability with Pakistan.

It makes no sense for Indian military leaders to make tall claims and issue threats to Pakistan.

Riaz Haq said...

Fear of truth, fear of escalation: China has assessed Modi correctly | Deccan Herald

Fear of truth, fear of escalation: #China has assessed #Modi correctly. #India government hiding the truth only emboldens China, which has seen through the veneer of Modi’s image. #BJP #Hindutva
| Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/fear-of-truth-fear-of-escalation-china-has-assessed-modi-correctly-1176835.html


As China’s army was inflicting defeats on Indian forces on the disputed border in November 1962, Parliament had been convened to discuss the conflict and bilateral relations. L M Singhvi, an independent MP from Jodhpur who would later join the BJP, backed by some Opposition MPs, requested that it should be a secret session of Lok Sabha as they were to discuss a “sensitive” matter. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru rejected the idea.

“I gave careful consideration to it. I think that, at the present moment, it would not be desirable to have a secret session,” Nehru replied. “The issues before the House are of high interest to the whole country. Right at the beginning to ask for a a secret session would have a bad effect on the country.” He then went on to personally answer all the questions raised about India’s China policy and the ongoing conflict.


In contrast to Nehru, Narendra Modi and the ruling BJP have gone one step ahead of Singhvi in keeping under wraps what’s going on in the border crisis with China. In the past 32 months, since the Chinese ingresses into Ladakh came to light, the the government has refused to discuss the matter altogether, not even in an ‘in camera’ session. Leave alone a debate or discussion in the House, it has not allowed any questions on the subject in Parliament to be accepted for answers. The mention of border clashes has been restricted to a few perfunctory statements by the Defence Minister.

In late 2020, then Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha Venkaiah Naidu had asked the government to brief Opposition leaders in private, but that was never done. After the infamous all-party meeting in June 2020 where PM Modi claimed that no Chinese had entered our territory – essentially validating the Chinese claim that the Indian soldiers who died in Galwan were on Chinese territory – there have been no more meetings. Neither have journalists been allowed to report freely from the frontline, as was the case during the 1999 Kargil War.

Riaz Haq said...

Fear of truth, fear of escalation: China has assessed Modi correctly | Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/fear-of-truth-fear-of-escalation-china-has-assessed-modi-correctly-1176835.html

Supporters of the government argue this total clampdown on information is essential to provide it the requisite space for diplomatic negotiations. This argument could hold water for a couple of months after the crisis started but has no meaning after 32 months when India’s negotiating strategy has failed to achieve disengagement in important areas like Depsang and Demchok, or de-escalation in areas where disengagement has taken place. In the 17th round of talks this month, the Chinese side flatly refused to discuss these issues and its foreign ministry has already publicly ruled out any suggestions of a return to status quo as it existed in early 2020. If the Modi government hides behind euphemisms like “friction points” and cannot acknowledge that China has denied Indian Army control of its territory, what force of argument can it bring during the talks? By now, it is evident that China has successfully exploited the Indian government’s penchant for secrecy as a personal weakness of PM Modi. Beijing first learnt the lesson after the Doklam crisis in 2017, when the Indian Army went into Bhutan to stop the Chinese from constructing a road to Jampheri ridge. It resulted in a 72-day long faceoff, when a similar clampdown on information was applied by the government. As government sources declared a win after both sides announced disengagement, it soon emerged that the Chinese had stepped back by only 150 metres and constructed a military base, helipads, and infrastructure with a permanent deployment there. The Modi government claimed “victory” while the Chinese got their way. Ladakh would have been similar but in this case, Beijing has refused to give Modi a face-saver to somehow claim an honourable resolution. The government wanted to bury the clash at Tawang, where PLA soldiers reportedly fired rounds in the air, but had to concede the truth after a couple of journalists reported it. That the Chinese have constructed an all-weather road and a military camp 150 metres short of the clash site in 2022 is not easy for the government to explain.

This information came out from publicly available satellite imagery put out by an Australian think-tank while other commercially available imagery from HawkEye360 has shown PLA and Indian infrastructure and military deployment all along the LAC. Foreign governments would definitely have far more detailed information available to them. It is often betrayed by foreign diplomats and visiting officials in their private interactions in New Delhi. This nails the claim that a parliamentary debate would make operational details available to the adversary. China has correctly assessed that fear of a military escalation in Delhi holds back any bold Indian moves, diplomatic or military. The Modi government is gripped by a fear of provoking China. MoS for Home Ajay Teni deletes a tweet within minutes of proclaiming that he had met a Tibetan delegation. US officials are told not to mention Chinese aggression on the border in any statement, and New Delhi has stalled any security-centric moves under Quad. The attitude, approach and actions of the Modi government on China give credence to claims that it is hiding something. Instead of defending our borders, it is more intent on defending the strongman image of the Prime Minister. Provided a regular dose of Hindutva nationalism by the ruling party and mainstream media, many Indians believe that India can militarily defeat China. The gulf between image and reality is being packed by propaganda, PR, and fake news.

Riaz Haq said...

Fear of truth, fear of escalation: China has assessed Modi correctly | Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/fear-of-truth-fear-of-escalation-china-has-assessed-modi-correctly-1176835.html


Democracy has been India’s strength, and public opinion should be used smartly by the government during negotiations with China. Hiding the truth only emboldens China, which has seen through the veneer of Modi’s image. A free and frank discussion in Parliament will not tie the hands of a leader who is self-confident and sure of himself. Running away from the truth is not only evasion of democratic accountability but 32 months after the border crisis with China, also a strategic folly.

Riaz Haq said...

Why India and China Are Fighting in the Himalayas

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/01/01/opinion/india-china-himalayas.html

By Ajai Shukla

Mr. Shukla is a strategic affairs analyst and former Indian Army officer.

Soldiers from China and India, nuclear-armed Asian neighbors, have been clashing on their disputed border with an alarming frequency owing to the rise of aggressive nationalisms in President Xi Jinping’s China and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India. Insecurity is also growing in New Delhi and Beijing over intensified construction of border infrastructure by both countries. And mutual suspicion is deepening as China contemplates the increasing strategic cooperation between the United States and India as competition and conflict between Washington and Beijing intensifies.

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

Throughout the 1960s and the ’70s, India’s military, traumatized by China’s comprehensive victory and fearful of setting off another conflagration, deployed well to the rear of the border, which was covered only by long-range patrols. In the early 1980s, the Indian military leadership came to be dominated by a new generation of bolder commanders and New Delhi greenlighted a move forward, much closer to the Line of Actual Control.

----------

Between 1989 and 2005, the Indian and Chinese sides had 15 meetings and no blood was shed for 30 years. After the Gandhi-Deng meeting, the two sides signed an agreement in 1993 for restraint and joint action on the disputed border whenever Indian and Chinese patrols differed on the alignment of the LAC. It was followed by four more pacts, aimed at keeping the peace on the border.

Minor Chinese intrusions in Ladakh in 2008, 2013 and 2014 were resolved through dialogue. A major escalation followed in June 2017 in the Doklam Plateau in the Himalayas, where India, China and Bhutan meet. The Chinese military was building a road into the area, which is claimed by both China and Bhutan.

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

The plateau is close to “Chicken’s Neck,” a narrow corridor of Indian territory that connects mainland India to its northeastern states, an area the size of Oregon, where 45 million people live. India saw the Chinese incursion and construction as a dangerous move toward control over the Doklam Plateau, and it reawakened New Delhi’s fear of China cutting off northeastern India in a war by taking over Chicken’s Neck.

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

For New Delhi, China’s new aggressiveness presents a clear dilemma: Should India continue to build strategic and military relations with the United States and the partnership of America, Australia, Japan and India — known as the Quad — even though Beijing has made it clear it sees the Quad as an anti-China grouping? While the Quad, and its more overtly militaristic version, the AUKUS (Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States) alliance, constitute a viable deterrent to China in the maritime Indo-Pacific theater, India is the only partner that confronts China on its land border.

From New Delhi’s perspective, the Chinese military aggression on the disputed border is the price India is paying for joining hands with the Western alliance. New Delhi takes pains to portray its independence, even turning down an American offer of assistance against China at the time of the 2020 intrusions in Ladakh. New Delhi has restricted Indo-U.S. cooperation to the realm of intelligence and privately asked Washington to lower the rhetoric over China. This is unlikely to change.

Within India, Mr. Modi’s strongman image has taken a dent from the confrontation with China. His insistence that India has not lost territory to China provides ammunition to his supporters, but the numbers of his blind supporters have dwindled. The Chinese military’s most recent aggression shows that Beijing continues to fuel the confrontation, and relations between India and China face a negative spiral without a predictable end. The political cost to Mr. Modi, it seems, will eventually be decided in Beijing as much as in New Delhi.

Riaz Haq said...

For the most part, Chinese news outlets have downplayed the recent clash. Unlike the proliferation of articles about the clash in the Indian news, Chinese media such as Xinhua News Agency, Caixin, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Daily, and Pengpai have published only a few short articles. These mostly emphasize that the skirmish was quickly resolved in a diplomatic manner and call for the Indian side to work together with China to maintain peace on the border. They also lay the blame squarely on India, claiming that the clash occurred because the Indian army illegally crossed the LAC while the Chinese side was undergoing a routine border patrol. These brief accounts differ from the lengthy coverage in Indian media, which blames Chinese troops as the instigators.

https://www.cfr.org/blog/china-routinely-underestimates-indias-concerns-about-its-border

The Chinese media response to the December (India-China border) clash is not surprising when seen in the larger context of how China views India.


While the 1962 war was seminal for India, prompting it to pour money into military modernization, China never saw it as a game-changing moment. Moreover, China’s laser-like focus on the United States means that it often erroneously views India through the frame of U.S.-China relations. For example, a recent op-ed by Tsinghua professor Li Xiguang made the astonishing claim that Himalayan countries (read India) view the Himalayan border and corridor through the eyes of Western analysts and “lack original knowledge production” (quefa zizhu de zhishi shengchan) on Himalayan issues. Professor Li’s prescription was for China to generously offer to rectify this lack and unify the region with its own expansive thinking along with the help of other scholars from the region.

These attempts by China to downplay not just December’s incident but the border dispute as a whole indicate a precarious misreading of the situation and the depth of India’s mistrust of China. In just the past few days, India has inaugurated several infrastructure projects along its border with China, aiming to develop the area for enhanced defense preparedness. These projects include the new Siyom bridge in Arunachal Pradesh, which will facilitate the delivery of rations and military equipment, and the recent purchase of three hundred rough terrain vehicles that can be used for the transportation of loads and casualty evacuations in high altitude areas.

While the risk of uncontrolled escalation on the border is said to be low, these sporadic clashes do nothing to mitigate the mistrust between the two nations, and instead deepen their rift. The ongoing instability is exacerbated by China significantly underestimating the importance that India places on the border and the occurrence of these clashes. For the bilateral relationship to improve, or even to maintain the status quo, China needs to take India’s concerns seriously.

Riaz Haq said...

Ukraine war impacts spare parts supply for Indian military: Army chief

https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2023/01/12/ukraine-war-impacts-spare-parts-supply-for-indian-military-army-chief/

India’s army chief said Thursday the war in Ukraine has impacted the supply of spare parts for India’s military.

Gen. Manoj Pande made his comments to reporters while discussing the border situation with China, which he described as stable but unpredictable. The two countries remain in a nearly two-and-a-half-year standoff in the eastern Ladakh area. He added that the countries were continuing to talk both at the diplomatic and military levels, and that India’s military maintains a high level of preparedness.

“The sustenance of these weapons systems — equipment in terms of spares, in term of ammunition — is one issue that we have addressed,” Pande said, without providing more details.

“We have adequate forces. We have adequate reserves in each of our sectors to be able to effectively deal with any situation or contingency,” he added.

Experts say up to 60% of Indian defense equipment comes from Russia, and New Delhi finds itself in a bind amid the standoff with China over a territorial dispute. Twenty Indian troops and four Chinese soldiers died in a clash in 2020.

The Times of India newspaper reported Thursday that India is having problems transporting back one of its diesel-run submarines after a major refit in Russia, which was hit with sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine.

India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (14,672 square miles) of its territory in the Aksai Chin plateau, which India considers part of Ladakh, where the current faceoff is happening.

India says any unilateral change in the border status quo by Beijing is unacceptable.

The Line of Actual Control separates Chinese- and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety. India and China fought a deadly war over the border in 1962.

Riaz Haq said...

Maleeha Lodhi
@LodhiMaleeha
"Kashmir’s immediate future appears to be as an impoverished police state, run from Delhi, with light shows and tulip gardens, but little peace, liberty or prosperity" The Economist

https://www.economist.com/asia/2023/01/10/the-mirage-of-peace-and-prosperity-in-kashmir

https://twitter.com/LodhiMaleeha/status/1613632661108494347?s=20&t=fTfiJgKLwTx2fLQVDBMLpg


The Economist
@TheEconomist
Narendra Modi’s government has deployed even more troops to the region and intensified surveillance and control of Kashmiris’ lives

https://twitter.com/TheEconomist/status/1613741716024037376?s=20&t=N8bGuMQUvhiIpFO_8WWP_A

Riaz Haq said...

Riaz Haq
@haqsmusings
#Modi's #Kashmir Blunder: Even more troops to the region to control of Kashmiris’ lives..Kashmir’s immediate future appears to be as an impoverished police state, run from Delhi, with light shows and tulip gardens, but little peace, liberty or prosperity"

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1613763693837451264?s=20&t=xIcc5Im49zGSaK6D2Tbyug

Riaz Haq said...

#India Has Lost Access to 26 Of 65 Patrol Points In Eastern #Ladakh to #China. This report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in #Delhi, attended by PM #Modi and #AmitShah. #Kashmir #Pakistan #Article370 https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-has-lost-presence-in-26-of-65-patrol-points-in-eastern-ladakh-report-3722533

India has lost access to 26 of 65 patrolling points in Eastern Ladakh, a report by a senior police officer in the union territory has said, in a worrying new disclosure amid the country's standoff with China at various flashpoints along their tottery 3,500-km frontier.
"Presently there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) starting from Karakoram pass to Chumur which are to be patrolled regularly by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrolling by the ISFs," PD Nitya, the Superintendent of Police of Leh, Ladakh's main city, wrote according to the research paper accessed by NDTV.

The report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

"Later on, China forces us to accept the fact that as such areas have not seen the presence of ISFs or civilians since long, the Chinese were present in these areas. This leads to a shift in the border under control of ISFs towards Indian side and a "buffer zone" is created in all such pockets which ultimately leads to loss of control over these areas by India. This tactic of PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) to grab land inch-by-inch is known as 'Salami slicing'," it said.

"PLA has taken advantage of the buffer areas in the de-escalation talks by placing their best of cameras on the highest peaks and monitoring the movement of our forces... they object our movement even in the buffer zone, claiming it to be 'their' area of operation and then further ask us to move back to create more 'buffer' areas," the officer wrote.

She said this Chinese strategy was seen in Galwan Valley, the site of a deadly clash in 2020 when 20 Indian troops and at least four Chinese soldiers died in hand-to-hand fighting.

Ms Nitya also said that marking areas as out of bounds and keeping them barren affects troop morale as well. "During an interaction with one senior officer whose unit is based right on forward area, he shared that, if by retreating 400 metres back, we can buy peace with PLA for 4 years, then it's worth it," the report said.

The government is yet to comment on the disclosure. Speaking to The Hindu newspaper, which first reported the police officer's research paper, a defence source countered its assertions, saying "there is no loss of territory due to disengagement in friction areas".

"Some areas have been restricted for patrolling for both sides pending diplomatic resolution of disputes. No pasture lands have been lost. In disengaged areas, we have as many cameras and technical means as the PLA and hence dominate the area as much, if not more," the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

They said the military was "encouraging and providing all facilities", in conjunction with the civilian administration, to allow locals and their cattle in grazing locations.

The report comes just over a month after India accused China of trying to "unilaterally change the status quo" on their de-facto border, known as the Line of Actual Control, when clashes left troops on both sides injured.

The December 9 incident in Arunachal Pradesh was seen as the most serious face-off since the Galwan Valley clash in 2020 which led to a sharp escalation in hostilities between the two countries. A series of military talks since then have led to a careful pullback of troops on both sides.

Riaz Haq said...

India trying to prevent declassification of ‘sensitive’ 1947 Kashmir papers

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/14/india-trying-prevent-declassification-sensitive-kashmir-papers

India may prevent the declassification of papers from 1947 related to Kashmir as it fears the “sensitive” letters could affect foreign relations, according to internal government documents seen by the Guardian.


The letters, known as the Bucher papers, are believed to include political and military arguments for why India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, called for a ceasefire with Pakistan and provided special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

For decades the region in the foothills of the Himalayas was given a separate constitution, a flag, and autonomy over all matters except for foreign affairs and defence. Those measures were seen by Kashmiris as crucial to protecting their rights in the Muslim-majority state.

But in 2019, under the Hindu nationalist prime minister, Narendra Modi, the government in Delhi formally revoked the disputed state’s constitutional autonomy, in an attempt to integrate it fully into India.

The decision tightened the government’s grip over the region and stoked anger and resentment as a three-decade armed revolt continued to rage.

The Bucher papers refer to communications between Gen Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher, who served as second commander-in-chief of the Indian army between 1948 and 1949, and government officials, including Nehru.

Over the years, several attempts have been made by activists to declassify the papers to throw light on the reasoning for article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir its special status.

A recent foreign ministry document seen by the Guardian said the contents of the papers should not be declassified yet. The papers contain “military operational matters in Kashmir and correspondences amongst senior government leaders on sensitive political matters on Kashmir”, the document said.

The papers have been kept at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, an autonomous body under India’s culture ministry.

According to a source with knowledge of the matter, they reveal that Nehru was aware and informed of the military development in Kashmir, including Pakistan’s attempts to use external military assistance to escalate the situation.

Riaz Haq said...

India trying to prevent declassification of ‘sensitive’ 1947 Kashmir papers

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/feb/14/india-trying-prevent-declassification-sensitive-kashmir-papers

“Roy Bucher suggested a political approach to solve the escalating situation given military fatigue faced by Indian troops due to 13 months of military deployment, including taking the matter before the United Nations,” the source said.

That advice may have influenced Nehru’s decision to grant Kashmir special status. In 1952, the prime minister argued that the aspirations of the people of Kashmir should be respected. “I want to stress that it is only the people of Kashmir who can decide the future of Kashmir,” he told India’s parliament. “We are not going to impose ourselves on them on the point of the bayonet.”

The Bucher papers were handed over by India’s external affairs ministry to the Nehru museum and library in New Delhi in 1970, with a note saying they should be kept “classified”. They have remained in the library’s closed collection since then, the foreign ministry document said.

An Indian activist, Venkatesh Nayak, has filed multiple appeals to declassify the papers, a move that was initially rejected. However, in 2021 the Indian information commissioner ruled it was in the “national interest” but fell short of ordering the disclosure of the crucial documents. The order advised that the library may seek the foreign ministry’s permission to declassify the papers for academic research.

In a letter dated 12 October 2022 that has been reviewed by the Guardian, the chair of the museum and library, Nripendra Misra, wrote to India’s foreign secretary arguing the papers “are very important for scholarly research” and requested declassification.

“We have read the contents of the Bucher papers. Our view is that the papers need not remain ‘classified’ beyond the reach of academicians. We are opening papers of other important public figures also,” Misra argued.

India typically allows the declassification of archival documents after 25 years.

The foreign ministry argued in the document that the disclosure of the papers should be put in “abeyance” for the time being and advised that the “sensitivity of Roy Bucher papers and the likely implications of their disclosure” should be examined further.

Sources say the government has yet to take a final decision on the matter.

The Guardian has contacted the Indian foreign ministry and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library for a response.

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Riaz Haq said...

Why India’s Ladakh region is now fighting for full statehood

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/2/17/why-indias-ladakh-region-is-now-fighting-for-full-statehood

Three years after Ladakh was separated from Indian-administered Kashmir, residents say they want more safeguards for land and livelihoods.


On August 5, 2019, when Ladakh was separated from Indian-administered Kashmir and turned into a federally governed territory, the streets in its main city – the Buddhist-majority Leh – erupted in jubilation.

Nearly 300,000 residents in the Himalayan desert – situated 5,730 metres (18,800 feet) above sea level – had hoped the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) move would safeguard their lands and livelihoods.

More than three years later, that hope has been replaced by anger and desperation.

Residents now fear Ladakh’s fragile ecology will be threatened by developmental and industrial projects approved in New Delhi without their consent. They are also concerned that people from other parts of India would settle there, thereby changing the mainly tribal demography of the region.

On Wednesday, a group of Ladakh’s political leaders, civil society members and students travelled nearly 1,000km (621 miles) to the national capital of New Delhi to demand their rights.

“We protested in Ladakh and Jammu earlier but nobody listened to us. That is why we have come to Delhi so that the government can hear our voice,” student Zahida Banoo told Al Jazeera, as she protested at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, less than a kilometre from India’s parliament.


The protesters want Ladakh to be declared a separate state, and their jobs and land rights protected.

“Our lands were protected, our jobs were protected, and now we are totally exposed to outside influence. In that way, we were much better. We wanted separation of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir but we didn’t want it this way,” Ladakhi politician Chering Dorjay told Al Jazeera.

When Ladakh was part of Indian-administered Kashmir, the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), an elected body that governed the region, enjoyed significant autonomy. But with the region now under the direct rule of New Delhi, Ladakhi leaders say the LAHDC has been reduced to footnotes, leading to a feeling of political dispossession.

‘Ladakh could become another Tibet’
Sonam Wangchuk was one of the prominent Ladakhis who in 2019 endorsed the BJP’s decision to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its autonomy and turn Ladakh into a separate union territory.

Wangchuk is an engineer, innovator and climate activist whose life is said to have inspired the 2009 Bollywood blockbuster, 3 Idiots.

Last month, as part of a symbolic protest, Wangchuk slept under the open sky for five nights in minus 25 degrees Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit) temperatures to demand constitutional safeguards for the residents of the sparsely populated region.


Wangchuk is seeking more autonomy for Ladakh as people have apprehensions India could turn Ladakh into another Tibet.

“Tibet has been completely raped of all kinds of minerals and so on,” he told Al Jazeera, referring to the region’s control by China.

Wangchuk says if Ladakh does not get land safeguards, Ladakhis will become a minority in their own land.

“In Tibet, there are hardly any Tibetans now. It is mostly people from mainland China and Tibetans are a minority in their own place. They have no rights,” he told Al Jazeera.

“People in Ladakh do fear that if there are industries, each industry will bring lakhs of people and this fragile ecosystem cannot support so many people.”

According to the officials, several industrial groups have shown interest in exploring Ladakh for the development of infrastructure and mining, making the residents restless.

Surrounded by barren and snow-peaked mountains, Ladakh is home to multiple glaciated lakes and many small and big glaciers. Studies have shown that the glaciers in the region are receding at a fast pace due to climate change.

Riaz Haq said...

Fake #India officer conned his way into top meetings in #Indian Occupied #Kashmir. Kiran Patel claimed he was from #Modi's office. He was given top security, travelled in bulletproof cars, stayed at a 5-star hotel during his visits. #tourism https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-64974627

Indian police have arrested a man for posing as a senior official from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's office.

Kiran Patel was on a visit to the Kashmir valley on 2 March when he was detained by security officials, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. He was arrested the next day.

Police has charged him with cheating, impersonation and forgery.

A police complaint filed against him says Patel was trying to secure "monetary" and "material benefits".

Patel's arrest came to light on Thursday when he was produced in court.

He has a verified Twitter account and counts an official of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) among his followers.

Photos shared by Patel on his Twitter and Instagram pages show him on "official visits" to Kashmir surrounded by paramilitary guards.

According to PTI, on one visit, Patel claimed he had been asked by the government to identify buyers for apple orchards in south Kashmir.

On another visit, he travelled to popular skiing destination Gulmarg and claimed the government had asked him to look into improvement of hotel facilities in the area.

Reports say Patel was given the highest level of security, travelled in a bulletproof car and stayed at official accommodation at a five-star hotel during his visits.

Court documents reveal security officials found forged identity cards in his possession.

Riaz Haq said...

HomeIndia NewsIndia Says Situation With China "Fragile, Dangerous" In Himalayan Front
India Says Situation With China "Fragile, Dangerous" In Himalayan Front

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/india-says-situation-with-china-fragile-dangerous-in-himalayan-front-3871842

"The situation to my mind still remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close up and in military assessment therefore quite dangerous," S Jaishankar said.


The situation between India and China in the western Himalayan region of Ladakh is fragile and dangerous, with military forces deployed very close to each other in some parts, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said on Saturday.
20 Indian soldiers died for the country and more than 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.when the two sides clashed in the region in mid-2020, but the situation has been calmed through rounds of diplomatic and military talks.

Violence erupted in the eastern sector of the undemarcated border between the two nations in December but did not result in any deaths.

"The situation to my mind still remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close up and in military assessment therefore quite dangerous," S Jaishankar said at an India Today conclave.

Riaz Haq said...

'India needs educated PM': Arvind Kejriwal targets Narendra Modi in Assam | Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/national-politics/india-needs-educated-pm-arvind-kejriwal-targets-narendra-modi-in-assam-1205990.html

Continuing his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his educational qualifications, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said an educated PM would not have gone for "dangerous" decisions like the demonetisation and three "anti-farmer" laws.


"I listened to Narendra Modi's speech where he said he went to a village school only and could not do further studies. But I want to ask you today, shouldn't the Prime Minister of a great nation like India be educated?" Kejriwal asked the crowd during his maiden rally in Assam capital Guwahati on Sunday afternoon. The rally was organised by the Assam unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as part of its organisational expansion programme in the state, where BJP has been in power since 2016.


"India is a poor nation and someone not going to school due to poverty is not a crime. But our Prime Minister should be educated. The Prime Minister did demonetisation which took our economy 10 years backward. Someone fooled our PM and told him to ban the notes to end corruption. Did demonetisation end corruption? Someone told our PM that demonetisation will end terrorism. Did demonetisation end terrorism?" Kejriwal asked.

"It's the 21st Century and youths of the 21st Century are aspirational. They believe in science and technology. They want employment and prosperity of India and only an educated PM can bring that prosperity. A less educated or illiterate person can not bring prosperity. A private company asks for an MBA, MA and BA degree for a manager's job. But shouldn't there be educational qualifications for the country's topmost manager as the Prime Minister?" he asked.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann addressed the rally before Kejriwal in which he also slammed BJP.

Both Kejriwal and Mann slammed their Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma saying the latter was only doing "dirty politics" and failed to provide jobs, hold examinations in a fair manner and could not improve amenities such as schools, hospitals and other infrastructure. "Today he is threatening me on TV to put me behind bars. Am I a terrorism, why will you catch me?" Kejriwal asked while referring to Sarma's warning on Friday about filing defamation cases in case the former made corruption allegations. "Today I want to invite him to come to my home for tea when he visits Delhi next. I will take him around in my car and the finest schools and hospitals we have provided to the people of Delhi," he said. Both Mann and Kejriwal asked why Sarma's wife was running a private school in Guwahati. "If a CM's wife runs a private school, will the government improve the government schools?" he asked. Both promised that AAP will provide Delhi and Punjab-like facilities if people voted them to power in the Assembly elections in 2026.

Riaz Haq said...

#China backs #Pakistan on #Kashmir post #Jaishankar-#BilawalBhuttoZardari meet. 2 sides issued a joint statement saying they oppose “unilateral actions” that could “further complicate the already volatile situation” #SCO2023 #Article370

https://www.deccanherald.com/international/world-news-politics/a-day-after-jaishankar-bilawal-war-of-words-in-goa-china-stands-by-pakistan-on-kashmir-1216491.html @deccanherald

Beijing has joined Islamabad in seeking the settlement of the row over Kashmir according to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions – a day after a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Goa witnessed a war of words between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan over bilateral disputes.

After a meeting between Chinese and Pakistani foreign ministers, Qin Gang and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in Islamabad on Saturday, the two sides issued a joint statement, taking a veiled swipe at New Delhi on the issue of Kashmir and opposing what they called “unilateral actions” that could “further complicate the already volatile situation”. China and Pakistan also underscored the importance of maintaining peace and stability in South Asia and the need for the resolution of all outstanding disputes the resolution of all outstanding disputes. “The Pakistani side briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments of the situation in Jammu & Kashmir. The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir dispute was left over from history between India and Pakistan and should be properly and peacefully resolved in accordance with the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements,” noted the joint statement released in Beijing and Islamabad.

India has been maintaining that the 1972 Simla Agreement between India and Pakistan and the 1999 Lahore Declaration had left no scope for the UN or any other third party to play any role in resolving the “outstanding issues” between the two South Asian neighbours. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in August 2019 moved to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution of India to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and to reorganise the state into two union territories, Beijing and Islamabad have been running an international campaign, opposing what they called a unilateral move by New Delhi on a disputed territory.

Both Qin and Bilawal were in Goa on Thursday and Friday for the SCO meeting, which was hosted by External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, at a beach resort in the coastal state. They were joined by the foreign ministers of the other member nations of of the bloc. The meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers was however overshadowed by the war of words between Jaishankar and Bilawal.


Bilawal accused New Delhi of causing a setback to the India-Pakistan peace process with its August 2019 move on Kashmir. “Wake up and smell the coffee. (Article) 370 is history. The sooner people realise it, the better it is,” responded Jaishankar, adding that the only issue New Delhi would like to discuss with Islamabad about J&K was when Pakistan would vacate India’s territory it had been illegally occupying. His remark was in response to Bilawal’s comment that the onus to create a conducive atmosphere for restarting the stalled India-Pakistan dialogue was on New Delhi.

Jaishankar also dismissed Pakistan’s claim over J&K stating that the territory had been, was and would always remain an integral part of India. Bilawal returned to Islamabad from Goa on Friday. Qin also arrived in the capital of Pakistan on Friday for a pre-scheduled visit

Qin also arrived in the capital of Pakistan on Friday for a pre-scheduled visit. They on Saturday chaired the fourth round of Pakistan-China Foreign Ministers’ Strategic Dialogue. Addressing media-persons jointly with Qin, Bilawal lauded China’s “steadfast support” on all of issues of core national interests of Pakistan “including its principled position on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute”.

Riaz Haq said...

#India is using #G20 summit to further its settler-#colonial ambitions in #Kashmir. Route to Gulmarg is lined with barbed wire. Armed soldiers keep watch from fortified bunkers. The town is near Line of Control that divides Indian-Occupied Kashmir from #Pakistani #AzadKashmir
https://theconversation.com/india-is-using-the-g20-summit-to-further-its-settler-colonial-ambitions-in-kashmir-205166?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bylinetwitterbutton via @ConversationCA

In September, India will host the 2023 Group of 20 (G20) summit in the capital, New Delhi. Events and meetings are already taking place in other venues around the country. Under its G20 presidency, India will host a Tourism Working Group meeting in Srinagar, in Indian-administered Kashmir, in late May.

New Delhi wants to show the world that normalcy has returned to the picturesque, resource-rich region and that the disputed territory is open to visitors and investors.

The iconic Dal Lake will form the backdrop for the meeting. International delegates will also visit Gulmarg, a popular winter destination, under tight security provided by India’s Ministry of Home Affairs.

The route to Gulmarg is lined with barbed wire. Armed soldiers keep watch from fortified bunkers. The resort town is near the Line of Control that bifurcates Kashmir into Indian-held and Pakistani-held areas.

Hosting G20 delegates in Srinagar is a step towards normalizing India’s occupation of Kashmir internationally. But Kashmiris continue to demand their right to self-determination in accordance with international law and United Nations resolutions.

International attendance of the meeting will seriously undermine their efforts.

In Canada, the NDP has called on the federal government to boycott any G20 meetings that take place in Kashmir, citing the Indian government’s human rights abuses. However, the Trudeau government has reportedly ignored those calls.

Normalizing occupation
Beautification projects are underway in Srinagar on an industrial scale. These revitalization campaigns are designed to create a sanitized image of Kashmir for foreign delegates. The region remains troubled by violence and human rights abuses, as well as draconian media restrictions.

Human rights activists and journalists are being arrested and there have been reports of hundreds of young people being detained by security forces.

Urban renewal in Srinagar is a tool of displacement and dislocation. I spoke with Asghar, a long-time Kashmiri resident of Srinagar, over the phone earlier this month. He described how urban redevelopment projects are changing certain sections of the city entirely. This, coupled with the government’s name-changing spree, is creating a sense of alienation for locals who feel out of place in their own homeland.

The Indian government is planning to temporarily minimize the visible presence of troops in the heavily militarized region by building “smart bunkers.” These are bunkers painted in pastel tones and subtly positioned so they remain unnoticed by foreign visitors.

“Smart policing” is also underway. This includes security agencies monitoring social media, gathering local intelligence, and surveillance through CCTV cameras and aerial drones.

Police officers handling foreign delegates are being trained to display a softer and more polite image. This is in sharp contrast to the treatment of Kashmiris by Indian security personnel.

Riaz Haq said...

#India is using #G20 summit to further its settler-#colonial ambitions in #Kashmir. Route to Gulmarg is lined with barbed wire. Armed soldiers keep watch from fortified bunkers. The town is near Line of Control that divides Indian-Occupied Kashmir from #Pakistani #AzadKashmir
https://theconversation.com/india-is-using-the-g20-summit-to-further-its-settler-colonial-ambitions-in-kashmir-205166?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bylinetwitterbutton via @ConversationCA

G20 and tourism
Founded in 2020, the G20’s Tourism Working Group guides the development of local and global tourism among G20 countries with an eye to achieving the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The G20 meeting is the first global event to be held in the Kashmir valley since India unilaterally removed the region’s semi-autonomous status in 2019. Since then, the region has undergone significant rezoning and re-districting.

Semi-autonomous status granted Kashmiris some territorial and cultural rights while living under Indian rule. The designation recognized that India was only a temporary administrator of Kashmir. And that Kashmiris had the right to ultimately decide their own future.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) long opposed Kashmir’s special status. Revoking it was in the party’s 2019 election manifesto.

Tourism is big business
India is seeking to capitalize on the scenic beauty of the Kashmir valley that it illegally occupies. Domestic tourists from India visited Kashmir in record numbers last year.

Since coming into power in 2014, Modi’s government has also heavily promoted religious tourism in the disputed territory. Last year an estimated one million people from all over India attended the annual Amarnath Yatra, a 43-day Hindu pilgrimage, amid heavy security.

With the return of direct international air travel to Indian-administered Kashmir and the construction of railway infrastructure that connects the region to India, the Indian government is determined to open Kashmir to the world.

On the other hand, the mobility of local Kashmiris remains severely restricted. Ultimately, we must question what kind of connectivity is desired, by whom and for what purpose.

Tourism and settler-colonialism
The Indian government sees Kashmir as an “integral part” of the country and wants to make its occupation permanent. Tourism plays a direct role in legitimizing and expanding the Indian control of Kashmiri lands.

Kashmir scholar Ather Zia cautions against uncritically accepting tourism as a form of development. Tourism in settler-colonial contexts is an extension of imperial politics. It is the process by which colonized lands are absorbed by a hegemonic state.

This is achieved by fostering a sense of attachment for those with little or no connection to occupied lands. The Indian government has weaponized the law to make it easier for Indians to visit and settle in Kashmir, disavowing and erasing Indigenous Kashmiri claims to the same lands.

The Indian government also aims to change the demographics in the Muslim-majority region in favor of Hindus.

Decolonizing tourism
All of this raises questions about the ethics of tourism in occupied territories.

Riaz Haq said...

#India is using #G20 summit to further its settler-#colonial ambitions in #Kashmir. Route to Gulmarg is lined with barbed wire. Armed soldiers keep watch from fortified bunkers. The town is near Line of Control that divides Indian-Occupied Kashmir from #Pakistani #AzadKashmir
https://theconversation.com/india-is-using-the-g20-summit-to-further-its-settler-colonial-ambitions-in-kashmir-205166?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=bylinetwitterbutton via @ConversationCA



Indigenous governance and Native Hawaiian scholar Hōkūlani K. Aikau and Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez argue that colonialism is the ultimate breach of guest protocol that violates a welcome that was never extended. By visiting areas under occupation, tourists, unknowingly or knowingly, reproduce the violent colonization of peoples and places.

Those visiting Kashmir must first learn about the decolonial history of the region, one that honours Kashmiri calls for self-determination and sovereignty. They must follow the principle of do no harm by not visiting tourist sites or using tour operators run by Indian authorities. They should support local Kashmiri-run businesses as much as possible.

There is no simple resolution for tourism on occupied lands. Tourism amid settler-colonialism manifests in exploitation, dispossession, commodification and other injustices and inequities. The goal of ethical travel is not immediate perfection or self-exoneration. It is an invitation to think about our own actions and complicity.

Riaz Haq said...

#China & #SaudiArabia boycott #G20 meeting held by #India in #Indian Occupied #Kashmir. Indian presidency of group becomes mired in controversy as tourism session hosted in disputed territory. #G20Kashmir #Pakistan https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/22/china-saudi-arabia-boycott-g20-meeting-india-kashmir?CMP=share_btn_tw


India’s presidency of the G20 group of leading nations has become mired in controversy after China and Saudi Arabia boycotted a meeting staged in Kashmir, the first such gathering since India unilaterally brought Kashmir under direct control in August 2019.

The meeting, a tourism working group attended by about 60 delegates from most G20 countries taking place from Monday to Wednesday, required a large show of security at Srinagar international airport.

In 2019 the Indian government stripped the disputed Muslim-majority region of semi-autonomy and split it into two federal territories in an attempt to integrate it fully into India.

Indian authorities hoped the meeting would show that the controversial changes have brought “peace and prosperity” to the region and that it is a safe place for tourists.

India’s elite National Security Guard, including its counter-drone unit and marine commandos, were helping police and paramilitary forces to secure the event venues.

China has said it will not attend, citing its firm opposition “to holding any kind of G20 meetings in disputed territory”. In April, Pakistan, which also lays claim to Kashmir but is not a G20 member, described the meeting as irresponsible. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Indonesia were also expected to stay away.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti claimed India had turned the region into the equivalent of the Guantánamo Bay prison simply to hold a meeting on tourism. She also accused the Bharatiya Janata party, the party of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, of hijacking the G20 for its promotional purposes.

Last week Fernand de Varennes, the UN’s special rapporteur on minority issues, issued a statement saying the G20 was “unwittingly providing a veneer of support to a facade of normalcy” when human rights violations, political persecution and illegal arrests were escalating in Kashmir.

He said the meeting risked normalising what some have described as a military occupation. The statement was criticised as baseless by India’s permanent mission at the UN in Geneva. It was India’s prerogative to hold G20 meetings in any part of the country, the mission said.


India divided the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019 to create two federally administered territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Ladakh is a disputed frontier region along the line of actual control between India and China, and both countries claim parts of it.

The chief coordinator for India’s G20 presidency, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, said on Sunday: “We have the highest representation from foreign delegations for the tourism working group meeting in Srinagar, than we have had in the previous working group meetings.

“Our experience is that in any working group meeting, to get such a large turnout of delegates not only from G20 countries but also from international organisations that are part of the G20 is an incredible process. If you have to do a working group on tourism in India, we have to do it in Srinagar. There is no option.”

Britain’s high commissioner to India, Alex Ellis, said UK representatives would be attending the meeting. At a meeting between Modi and Rishi Sunak, the UK prime minister, at the G7 in Hiroshima, the two sides discussed progress on reaching a free trade deal. India remains angry at what it regards as a lax UK police reaction to an attack on the Indian high commission in London on 19 March by pro-Khalistan extremists. Security has been stepped up outside the commission.

Riaz Haq said...

After #China, #SaudiArabia, #Turkey, #Egypt & #Oman skip G20 tourism meet in Indian Occupied #Kashmir. #Indian officials admitted that Egypt not participating was a surprise. #G20InKashmir #Modi #BJP #Pakistan

https://theprint.in/diplomacy/after-china-saudi-arabia-turkey-egypt-oman-skip-g20-tourism-meet-in-kashmir/1588760/ via @theprintindia

Egypt was a special invitee. Earlier this year, Egypt and India decided to elevate bilateral relations to 'a strategic partnership'. President El-Sisi was chief guest at R-Day parade.

Srinagar: Egypt and Oman Monday joined China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in skipping a G20 tourism working group meeting in Kashmir, the first international event of this scale being held since the abrogation of Article 370 and withdrawal of special status to the now Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir in 2019.


Egypt was a special invitee to the G20 event. The country’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day parade this year.

While Indonesia was also speculated to skip the event, it sent representatives from its mission in New Delhi.

Incidentally, trade delegations from both Saudi Arabia and Turkey have come to attend the tourism meet. However, no one from China or Egypt was present.

While China had publicly said that it will not attend the event over the issue of Kashmir, Turkey and Saudi Arabia did not register for it, meaning they did not attend in an official capacity.


Speaking to ThePrint on the sidelines of the meeting here, Minister of State for PMO Jitendra Singh said that over 300 meetings have been held as part of the G20 and not all countries take part all the time.

“It all depends on what is of interest to whom. Some have sent in private trade delegations because tourism is largely run by private players rather than government,” he said.

Sources in the diplomatic and security establishment explained that it would have been surprising if Turkey had participated, given its past position on Kashmir and close partnership with China.

However, they admitted that Egypt not participating was a surprise. But they also pointed out that Egypt is not a G20 member and a mere invitee.

“They may or may not attend an invite. Not everyone attends all events,’ a source explained.

Egypt’s move comes as a surprise because there has been a growing partnership between the country and India.

It was in January this year that the two countries decided to elevate bilateral relations to “a strategic partnership”.

“We’ve decided that under the India-Egypt strategic partnership, we will develop a long-term framework for greater cooperation in the fields of politics, security, economics and science,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said at a joint press conference after holding wide-ranging talks with visiting Egyptian President El-Sisi in January.

Army chief Gen Manoj Pande had just completed an official visit to Egypt last week.

As reported by ThePrint, Egypt is considering the purchase of up to 70 Tejas light combat aircraft. Like the Indian Air Force (IAF), Egypt operates the Rafale but needs a smaller and less complex fighter to provide bulk to its force and a stepping-stone for its pilots.

A keen India has offered to set up a production line in Egypt if the deal goes through. Egypt is also interested in Indian-made missile systems, as well as the Advanced Light Helicopter and Light Combat Helicopter.

India is keen to deepen cooperation with Egypt. An estimated $200 billion of Indian trade passes through the Suez Canal each year, giving India an obvious interest in Egypt’s security. China has set up a naval base in Djibouti, posing a potential threat to Indian access to Suez, underlining the need for Egypt-India security cooperation.

Riaz Haq said...

Response to G20 in Srinagar a diplomatic setback for India

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/response-to-g20-in-srinagar-a-diplomatic-setback-for-india-1220148.html


The hype about the G20 working group on tourism holding a meeting in Kashmir is slowly coming unstuck. Some members of the G20 have decided not to attend at all while some others have scaled down their participation.

It was scheduled to be the biggest international event in Kashmir after the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) was revoked, and it was split off from Ladakh. Holding the meeting in J&K, was not only to showcase its potential for tourism but to also signal globally the restoration of stability and normalcy in the region. Till recently, only Pakistan had criticised India’s choice of Srinagar as one of the venues for G20 meetings, accusing India of of “exploiting its membership of an important international grouping (G20) to advance its self-serving agenda” in J&K. India had defended its right to hold G20 meetings anywhere in India, including J&K.


Now, China and Turkey have decided to boycott the meeting in Srinagar. China had also boycotted a science-related meeting of G20 in Arunachal Pradesh, to which it lays claim as Southern Tibet. China is boycotting the Srinagar meeting now in in support of the objections
raised by its close ally Pakistan. Turkey’s decision to stay away is in keeping with its past criticism of the Indian handling of J&K, and may also be influenced by Pakistan’s pressure.

Other G20 member states as well as guest countries, have reportedly downscaled their participation by deciding to send only their Delhi-based diplomats, rather than representatives from their national capitals. Notable among those who have opted for low-level representation are Saudi Arabia and Mexico. It is also unclear whether Indonesia, the preceding president of G20, will send its representative to the Srinagar meet. Significantly, the stand taken on the Srinagar meeting by G20 members and others was preceded by a UN official’s statement criticising India for holding the meeting in Kashmir. On May 15, Fernand de Varennes, UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues said, “By holding a G20 meeting of the working group on tourism on 22-24 May, the Government of India is seeking to normalise what some have described as a military occupation by instrumentalizing a G20 meeting and portray an international 'seal of approval’.” He warned the G20 of “unwittingly providing a veneer of support to a facade of normalcy at a time when massive human rights violations, illegal and arbitrary arrests, political persecutions, restrictions and even suppression of free media and human rights defenders continue to escalate.”

India’s condemnation of de Varennes’ statement as “baseless and unwarranted” was amplified with domestic media headlines screaming ‘Kashmir ours, who are you?’ and ‘India slams UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues for his criticism of holding G20 meet in J&K’. He was officially sought to be chastised by India’s Permanent Mission in Geneva for acting ‘irresponsibly to politicise this issue’.

Riaz Haq said...

Response to G20 in Srinagar a diplomatic setback for India

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/response-to-g20-in-srinagar-a-diplomatic-setback-for-india-1220148.html


Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming State visit to the United States makes this rebuff on J&K by the international community, especially significant. What might have been ignored by India and perhaps down-played, at least publicly by the US, in the build-up to the Modi-Biden summit, will now become an additional irritant in the bilateral relationship. Did the Modi government bait fate by overplaying its hand in organising a G20 event in Srinagar?

The Governor’s administration administration in J&K has announced enhanced security measures including deployment of marine commandos to patrol the Dal Lake, and the National Security Guard to prevent fidayeen attacks and counter-drone operations. The Special Operations Group of of the J&K Police, and the Indian Army will set up checkpoints across the city to prevent public protests. About 1,000 CCTV cameras have been set up across the city, and there are daily drills at the conference venue by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), that include anti-mine operations, placing bullet-proof vehicles at the entry and exit points of the meeting venue, special training in invisible policing by the local constabulary, and drones for aerial surveillance drones overhead?

Such staged events make it clear that the situation in J&K is far from normal. The people of J&K have been without democratic representation for four long years. The Modi government seems in no position to hold elections to the assembly. It cannot assure the certain outcome it desires — a Chief Minister of its choice, preferably a Hindu Dogra from Jammu. Nor can it be sure that if elections are held, the elected assembly will not try to unravel its narrative about the abrogation of the special status of the erstwhile state. The Centre also has not yet delivered on its promise of restoration of full statehood to J&K.

It is unlikely that the Modi regime would hold J&K assembly elections before the 2024 general elections. Its narrative of having ‘mainstreamed’ the erstwhile Muslim-majority state with its separate constitution and state flag into a ‘normal’ state/union territory of India is necessary for the ruling party’s election campaign. In 2019, a terrorist attack in Pulwama facilitated Modi’s national security narrative to return to power. In 2024, J&K and developments there are unlikely to suddenly become irrelevant to his election campaign strategy. So, while a successful G20 meeting in Srinagar would have been a feather in his cap, now it seems an unlikely prospect.

(Bharat Bhushan is a Delhi-based journalist)

Riaz Haq said...

While most countries sent just local staff to the tourism conference, Pakistani allies China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey skipped the event. However, only China, which also has a border dispute with neighboring India, issued a condemnation.

https://www.voanews.com/a/india-s-hosting-of-g20-meeting-in-disputed-kashmir-raises-questions-of-international-acceptance/7106605.html

“[This] says something about how the issue itself is defined by the international community, contrary to what India claims [it is seen] as an international dispute,” Pakistan’s former ambassador to the U.N., Maleeha Lodhi, told VOA.

She rejected the notion that attendance by dozens of G-20 delegates was a quiet endorsement of India’s position on Kashmir, instead blaming global politics for the continuation of the decades-old conflict.

“The fact that the … Security Council has been unable to implement its own resolutions on Kashmir … is a reflection of big power politics,” said Lodhi.

Fernand de Varennes, U.N. special rapporteur on minority issues, recently criticized the meeting, saying that by hosting the session in Kashmir, “India is seeking to normalize what some have described as a military occupation.”

Reeling from decades of separatist militancy that has killed tens of thousands, Indian-administered Kashmir is among the most heavily militarized parts of the world. India accuses Pakistan of supporting the insurgency, but Pakistan says it only provides moral support to the separatist cause.

Security was bolstered for the event, with New Delhi deploying National Security Guards, marine commandos and Border Security Force personnel to join dedicated police units. As the event drew closer, though, security moved into the background to give a sense of normalcy amid reports of mass detentions.

Bokhari said the fact the G-20 is happening in Kashmir shows the most powerful nations have accepted New Delhi’s claims the security situation has improved.

“Obviously, India has been able to demonstrate that it has things more or less under control,” he said.

According to India’s minister of tourism, G. Kishan Reddy, a record 18.4 million tourists visited Kashmir in 2022, with the government expecting that number to grow.

However, only 20,000 of the millions of tourists were foreign visitors, according to local officials.

As India works to make the conflict-riddled scenic valley welcoming for globe-trotters, Lodhi notes, “Pakistan has no choice but to continue to internationalize the issue, to keep raising it at key forums.”

New Delhi says it will not discuss the issue with Pakistan until Islamabad stops supporting terrorist activities against it, a charge Pakistan denies.

“We would like to discuss … the status of what is [the part of Kashmir’] with Pakistan, which was originally a part of India,” Seth said.

Earlier this month, Jaishankar told reporters, “There is only one issue to discuss on Kashmir, that is when does Pakistan vacate its illegal occupation of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”

Pakistan calls its part of Kashmir, Azad or Free Kashmir.

Riaz Haq said...

Ashok Swain
@ashoswai
The US ambassador to India (2017-2021) Ken Juster says Modi even tells the US not to make China angry! How can one expect Modi to confront China. All his bravado comes against Pakistan.

https://twitter.com/ashoswai/status/1669411696580935693?s=20

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

India asked Washington not to bring up China’s border transgressions: Former US ambassador

https://scroll.in/latest/1018580/india-asked-washington-not-to-mention-chinas-border-transgressions-former-us-ambassador-to-india

Kenneth Juster made the statement on a Times Now show when asked why the United States had not made any statement about Beijing’s aggression.

Former United States Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster has said that Delhi did not want Washington to mention China’s border aggression in its statements.

“The restraint in mentioning China in any US-India communication or any Quad communication comes from India which is very concerned about not poking China in the eye,” Juster said on a Times Now show.

The statement came in response to news anchor and Times Now Editor-in-Chief Rahul Shivshankar’s queries on whether the US had made any statements about Beijing’s aggression.

India and China have been locked in a border standoff since troops of both countries clashed in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control in June 2020. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the hand-to-hand combat. While China had acknowledged casualties early, it did not disclose details till February 2021, when it said four of its soldiers had died.

After several rounds of talks, India and China had last year disengaged from Pangong Tso Lake in February and from Gogra, eastern Ladakh, in August.

Juster, who was the envoy to India between 2017 and 2021, had said in January 2021 that Washington closely coordinated with Delhi amid its standoff with Beijing, but left it to India to provide details of the cooperation.

During the TV show, defence analyst Derek Grossman claimed that Moscow was not a “friend” of India, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the Beijing Olympics. Grossman told the news anchor that Putin and Xi had then said that their friendship had “no limits”.

He claimed that India’s strategy to leverage Russia against China did not have any effects. “In fact, Russia-China relations have gotten only stronger.”

To this, Shivshankar said that before passing any judgement on India and Russia’s relationship, he must ask if US President Joe Biden had condemned China’s aggression at the borders along the Line of Actual Control or mentioned Beijing in a joint statement with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Grossman said: “To my understanding, the US has asked India if it wanted us to do something on the LAC but India said no – that it was something that India can handle on its own.”

Juster then backed Grossman’s contention.

Riaz Haq said...

The Settler-Colonialist Alliance of India and Israel
Over the decades, the two nation’s have become closer allies in business and politics. We talked to journalist Azad Essa the origins of this international relationship.
By Deeksha Udupa



https://www.thenation.com/article/world/qa-india-israel-azad-essa/


In 1962, after a series of border conflicts over the disputed territory of Aksai Chin—which both China and India claimed, and still continue to claim, as their own—the two countries fought a one-month war. India’s troops in Namka Chu Valley were considerably weaker and the state of Israel quickly responded to India’s request for assistance. Then–Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion wrote to his Indian counterpart, Jawaharlal Nehru, emphasizing his country’s “fullest sympathy and understanding” and offering to provide weapons to Indian forces. Nehru requested that the weapons be sent in unmarked ships, aware that accepting Israeli assistance could affect India’s relations with Arab nations. Ben-Gurion declined and said, “No flag. No weapons.” Eventually, India relented and accepted arms transported in ships with the Israeli flag. And though India lost the conflict, the country was now aware that in times of need, Israel could be counted on as a potential ally.

The two countries have only grown closer since then, as their military and business interests have aligned. Just this year, for example, Indian tycoon Gautam Adani, chairman of the Adani Group, recently acquired the Israeli port of Haifa, where 50 percent of Israeli cargo is handled. Privatizing the port has been a topic of conversation since the early 2000s and was finally completed when Adani submitted his bid, which was supported by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Just days after the acquisition, however, Hindenburg Research released a report accusing the Adani Group of financial malpractice, fraudulent transactions, and share-price manipulation. Modi and Netanyahu spoke days after the release of the report, and Modi emphasized the importance of “the multifaceted India-Israel friendship.” The purchase of the port launched a new chapter of the Israel-India alliance, with some commentators referring to it as the largest deal between the two nations in the private sector.



AZAD ESSA (Author of Hostile Homelands: The New Alliance Between India and Israel): Being from South Africa and growing up towards the end of apartheid, I was enamored by the concept of international solidarity through boycotts and the very idea that people around the world were thinking about us.

And since I am of Indian origin (with the caveat that there was no India, as we now know it, when my grandparents had come to South Africa), I was told stories about how India had been instrumental in standing up to apartheid government. Later, as a graduate student, I was introduced to the story of Kashmir, and I was struck by how a country that positioned itself as anti-colonial, anti-apartheid, and a leader of the Non-Aligned Movement could also have a colonial project of its own. I subsequently went to Kashmir and was shocked by the militarization. I also traveled to Palestine and immediately felt the connections between the two.

Then Narendra Modi came to power in 2014—and when he did, the floodgates opened. Just like when Donald Trump came to power, it was as if the US had been unmasked; likewise, the Indian and Israeli relationship, too, was unmasked under Modi, and they soon became even closer strategic partners. When the Indian consul general spoke in 2019 about replicating Israeli-style settlements in Kashmir, I was convinced that this was a project I wanted to pursue. This is a book, then, about how oppressors work together.