Modi’s new strategy on IIOJK | By Masood Ahmed Khan

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The Political Fix: Why did Narendra Modi meet Kashmiri leaders after jailing them for months? The miseries of Kashmiris started in 1846 when Kashmir was sold to Gulab Singh and the treaty brought into existence the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Upon the partition of the sub-continent, the British had laid a criteria for deciding the future of princely states, which included geographical contiguity, majority of population and economic dependence.

Under these conditions Kashmir naturally would have been part of Pakistan. Contrary to all this, the Radcliffe Commission gave a strip of Muslim majority areas to India.

After the first war on Kashmir, some parts of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) were liberated and India took the issue to the UN.

The UNSC Resolution recognises Pakistan and India as party to the dispute and left it up to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to decide their future.

Despite commitments by Nehru and Gandhi, nothing happened and issue of self-determination continues to remain.

On August 5, 2019, the BJP led government revoked the special status of IIOJK by abrogating Article 370 and 35A of the constitution.

India continuously denied the right of self-determination which forced the peaceful protesters to take up armed resistance against the occupational forces in 1990.

Indian barbarism against Kashmiris included indiscriminate shooting, massacres, targeted killings of innocent civilians irrespective of age and sex, raids and rapes, all of which become a routine.

Thousands of mass graves have been unearthed in IIOJK and the occupation forces gives the impression to the locals that these are foreign militants. These crimes are a part of their tactic to instil fear among the Kashmiris.

The Kashmir issue can be compared to East Timor where the UN was able to secure the right to self-determination for the people.

In the case of IIOJK, it failed miserably, even though their struggle has been longer in duration and bloodier.

This reflects the double standards of the international community and the UN. Indirectly, the UN continues to allow India to occupy the area.

The BJP led government has also initiated steps to change the demography of the region. Domiciles are being issued to Hindus through a policy issued by government of India.

Efforts are in hand to facilitate the mass settlement of Hindus in IIOJK, allowing the purchase of land and property to create a demography imbalance.

According to Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson, India has issued over 3.4 million fake domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris.

Recently, India deployed an additional 70 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in IIOJK.

This indicates some fresh plans for IIOJK which, according to reports, include making new divisions of the Kashmir valley and merging it with others.

On June 24, 2021, Indian PM Modi met 14 so pro-Indian politicians from IIOJK in Delhi for the first time after the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A.

It was not a surprise move as behind the doors, RAW was making preparations with these so called leaders while the actual leaders remain behind bars.

Holding a conference with some so called politicians is not acceptable to Kashmiris as it gives a false impression to the international community that India is serious in bringing normalcy to IIOJK.

It has been agreed during this conference that Kashmir will be declared a state similar to any other Indian state. Secondly, elections will be held on the completion of delimitations.

Thirdly, issues related to domiciles, allotment of land and job will be sorted out later, but most importantly there is no mention of Article 35 A which is the root cause.

Fourthly, a settlement has been agreed to according to which Kashmiri pandits will be back in IIOJK.

Fifthly, political prisoners will be released after consultation with the security forces but there was no mention of the Hurriyat leaders.—KMS

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