• Thursday 22nd August 2019

Kashmir case likely to breed new conflict in South Asia

  • Published on: August 15, 2019



  • By Our Correspondent
    The latest move of the Union Government of India to bring Kashmir, the most disputed area in the border between India and Pakistan, into union territory by scraping Article 370 and Article 35Athat had provided special privilege to Kashmir right from India became independent in 1947 is likely to breed new conflict not only between India and Pakistan but also in the entire region.
    Moreover, the union government split the territory of Kashmir between Kashmir and Laddhak with a view of ending Muslim dominance.
    While the debate on the implications of the move continues, political pundits have suspected whether Kashmir will turn into another Palestine of Asia. Pakistan has strongly opposed the move while China also criticised the steps taken by India to end the privileges provided to only Muslim state of India.
    The Indian government that had completely cut off television and internet services in Kashmir has not yet restored them and the outer world still does not know the actual situation there.
    However, when the media, including BBC reported potential outburst in Kashmir against the move, the Union government refuted the report. But the people in India and the neighbourhood believe the media not the claim of the Indian government. Even the US expressed its concerns over the move.
    Pakistan, meanwhile, had slammed the Indian government’s decision stating that it would exercise all possible options to counter this.
    Even before India and Pakistan won their independence from Britain in August 1947, the area was hotly contested.
    Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act, Kashmir was free to accede to either India or Pakistan.
    King Hari Singh initially wanted Kashmir to become independent – but in October 1947 chose to join India, in return for its help against an invasion of tribesmen from Pakistan.
    India and Pakistan had already fought wars regarding Kashmir, which was settled in the initiative of the United Nations. Finally, in July 1949, India and Pakistan signed an agreement to establish a ceasefire line as recommended by the UN and the region became divided.
    The Kashmir case also became an issue of debate in Nepal. However, the government and the political parties have kept mum over the issue, probably in the pretext that the issue was an internal matter. Moreover, the government as well as the political parties does not want to irk India by speaking in the case.
    However, the latest move of India could serve a lesson to Nepal, which the leaders should not ignore. India clearly wants to bring the territory around it under its grip by applying different tactics. It annexed Sikkim and Kashmir and has taken control of the foreign affairs and security issues of Bhutan. Hence, Nepal has remained the only independent nation in its neighbourhood. A minor mistake or greed on the part of leaders could become suicidal. Therefore, no leader should dare to seek the Indian support to reach power or disturb peace in Nepal.
    And if a war breaks between Pakistan and India, both of them possess nuclear weapons, over the issue, Nepal is surely to be trapped. As the chair of SAARC, Nepal should try its best to prevent such war. Moreover, such war will disturb supply system in Nepal, and for that the government needs to make preparations, at least Nepal should develop system to store fuel to meet the demand of at least six months.

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