An influential American newspaper characterized as ‘absurd’ the claim by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that revocation of occupied Kashmir’s special status meant that the people there, have got equal rights with other Indians, pointing out that the disputed state was ‘essentially under martial law.’
The New York Times’ Editorial Board said that Modi’s clampdown on Kashmir would, in fact, only heighten tensions in the region and make life more miserable for Kashmiris, instead of his claim that it would resolve the conflict and bring normality and development to the troubled state. The Times, in its editorial, also said that the United Nations cannot ignore Kashmir anymore, as it focused on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s warning that failure to resolve the crisis, could result in a war between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.
‘He (Modi) could avoid disaster by lifting the siege, relaxing movement across the border between zones of the Kashmiri region that are held by India and Pakistan, releasing political prisoners and allowing independent investigators to look into alleged human rights abuses, ‘ said the Times, which carried a large photograph atop its editorial. ‘Perhaps India’s Supreme Court, responding to various legal petitions, could even order him to re-institute (Kashmir’s) autonomy.’
During his recent 7-day visit to New York at the head of Pakistan delegation to the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, PM Imran Khan visited The New York Times and briefed the newspaper’s editorial Board. The editorial said, ‘Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, was a man on a mission at the United Nations, imploring members last week to persuade India to lift its siege of Kashmir, a longtime flash point between the two nations, which both have nuclear weapons. ‘Failure to do so, he warned in a speech before the General Assembly on Friday, could result in war between the neighbors if Kashmiris push back against the suffocating presence of thousands of Indian troops.—INP