Dr Muhammad Khan
There exists a situation of uncertainty all over the Indian occupied State of Jammu and Kashmir since mid-July 2019. Since then, rather decreasing, the panic and state of uncertainty has constantly increased with each passing day. The level has reached where people of the state have been asked to store the ration in their houses and educational institutions have been ordered to close down for an indefinite period of time. The foreign and Indian tourists have been asked to leave the state forthwith. Besides, the Hindu pilgrims, who had come for Amarnath Yatra have been asked to return. Starting from mid-July, 2019, India has mover additional troops in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. Apart from 10,000 troops moved in third week of July, 2019 another 280 battalions are on their way to Jammu and Kashmir. This massive reinforcement is over and above the already deployed 700,000 Indian security forces, deployed there since 1990s.
While explaining the reasons for additional deployment of Indian troops in the occupied state, the funny Indian Corps Commander of 15th Corps, Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, said in a press conference on August 1, 2019 that, ‘a sniper gun and a mine with Pakistani markings had been found on the route of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage’. Besides, the Presidential Rule IOK Government has said that, there were “intelligence inputs of terror threats” for the Hindu pilgrims, travelling to Amarnath. The defence analysts consider this press conference as a big anecdote and funny. How a single sniper rifle and one mine would have created alarming situation for over 700,000 security forces in IOK? The logic quoted for the deployment of additional troops in IOK and creating a panic all around by General Dhillon has failed to convince the audience, viewers and readers as the real reasons for creating a greater degree of panicky and uncertainty in the state.
I question the very professionalism and rationality of a Lieutenant General who commands over 500,000 Army men and another 200,000 troops of Indian Central Reserve Police in IOK, who said that with a sniper gun and mine found in the route of Amarnath, “Proves Pakistani attempts to attack the Yatra.” Indian General could have found some solid reasoning which could have justified creation of extra-ordinary security situation in the occupied state. Besides, the analysts also discard the Indian military claims that, Pakistan has attempted to infiltrate militants from across the LoC into Indian occupied areas, which Indian troops foiled. It is worth mentioning that, LoC is totally fenced from Indian side with heavy surveillance all over by Indian Army.
Indeed, India is in a state of frustration ever since US President offered his services for mediation between Pakistan and India for the resolution of Kashmir dispute. Indian overruled the offer and even called President Trump as a liar over his revelation of Modi’s request for mediation. With US on its side and world at large condemning the Indian atrocities in IOK, how could Pakistan plan any aggressive action in IOK, since it goes against the interests of Pakistan and the 72 years struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir? India could have at least tested its hypothesis of accusations in the prism of minimum adequacy. The real intention of India through this state of emergency in the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir is quite different. This was part of election manifesto of the BJP both in 2014 and 2019. The allegations against Pakistan, the panicky and an environment of fear in IOK are a cover under which India is going to finally announce its ultimate agenda. This Indian plan includes, changing the status of the occupied state from a non-entity to an entity of the Indian Union after diluting Article 35 A and doing away its special status under Article 370.
Sources within Indian Government say that, Prime Minister Narindra Modi will unveil this decision on the eve of Indian Independence day (August 15, 2019). The decision would include: phase-I, dilution of Article 35 A with separation of Jammu Province from Kashmir and Ladekh provinces. Jammu will be given the status of a separate state within Indian Union while Kashmir and Ladekh Provinces will be under direct rule of Delhi as Federally Administered territories. This would automatically pave the way for undoing the special status of the State, under Article 370.
The uncertain situation and panicky in the IOK clearly dictate such an Indian act. The massive presence of Indian security forces with additional reinforcement is all meant to suppress the likely reaction of Kashmiri masses over this Indian illegal act. Indian Army Chief and Corps Commander 15th Corps has already hinted further killings of Kashmiris, who would put up any resistance to the acts of Indian security forces. It is worth mentioning that, according to UN resolution 91 of March 30, 1951, reiterated on January 24, 1957, neither India nor Legislative Assemblies of the state can change the status of Jammu and Kashmir. It is only UN that can decide the future status of the state in accordance with wishes of its masses.
These resolutions states; “The final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. Affirming that the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the “All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference” and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State. The unprecedented escalatory condition in IOK has obliged APHC Chairman Syed Ali Shah Gillani to tweeted in the wording, “This tweet must be taken as an SOS (Save Our Souls) message to all Muslims living on this planet. If we all die and you kept quite you will be answerable to Allah the Magnificent. Indians are about to launch the biggest genocide in the history of Mankind.” Pakistan has a major responsibility to take a serious note of this emergency situation in IOK where masses are under intense scare, severe pressure and unusual shock. Under such a situation, Islamabad must move faster than New Delhi. Instead of approaching OIC for its symbolic sessions and futile resolutions, let’s approach United Nations, since the dispute is already pending in UN, calling for a final settlement. The above mentioned two UN resolutions provide Pakistan with sufficient grounds, forcing India Not to change the current status of the occupied state, until a final decision is made in accordance with UNCIP resolutions.
— The writer is Professor of Politics and International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad.