Is independence the best option for cashmere?

The solution to the Kashmir conflict

The division of Kashmir between India and Pakistan will remain a fact. Nevertheless, a solution to the conflict is within reach. China is one of the keys

On August 5, 2019, India's Interior Minister Shah repealed Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution, which previously granted autonomy and privileges to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The step came as a surprise, but it was prepared on November 21, 2018.

For the abolition of the autonomy the approval of the parliament in Kashmir or of the governor there was necessary. However, in July 2018, Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) flew out of the ruling coalition in Kashmir. Three opposition parties that were actually hostile jumped over their shadows and wanted to form the new government.

But Governor Satya Pal Malik, who had been installed by the Modi government, refused - the parliament in Kashmir was dissolved. In this way, the BJP's loyal governor was able to approve Interior Minister Amith Shah's coup. But legally the coup is on shaky legs, the Supreme Court could overturn it.

Obviously positive about current events around Kashmir, however, is that the approximately 300,000 residents of Ladakh have finally been released from the terrible comedy Kashmir after 72 years. The government in Srinagar and Jammu neglected Ladakh, which is mostly inhabited by Buddhists. The greater the corruption in Jammu Kashmir, the less money flowed east.

Only that Prime Minister's Special Relief Fund It is thanks to us that in Ladakh at least further investments were made in roads and infrastructure. But now the money for Ladakh will come directly from Delhi, which is sorely needed. Electricity and internet in the capital Leh are gone several times a day or even gone for days.

But the celebrations in Leh were limited on August 5th, only on August 11th there was a car parade in Modi's honor. For the first time in many years, the Dalai Lama is not coming to Ladakh this summer. Unofficially, it is said that he is at odds with the anti-Muslim policies of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) - "his" people. For this purpose, Ladakh with the new status of a union territory, the special rights have been canceled.

"Investors" will turn Ladakh upside down in the next ten years

Foreigners can now also purchase land and real estate. It can be assumed that "investors" from Delhi will turn Ladakh upside down in the next ten years. The mountainous area of ​​Darjeeling is a warning example: large parts of the population there now work as cheap workers on the tea fields, which are in the hands of foreign "investors". Before the 2014 elections, Narendra Modi promised the people of Darjeeling and the surrounding valleys a state of their own if they vote for it: Nothing has happened to this day.

Srinagar is now also the capital of a Union territory. There, too, outsiders can now purchase property. It is likely that as a next step the central government will also separate the part of Jammu from Kashmir, because predominantly Hindus live there. It is not to be expected that something will change for the better in the remaining part of Kashmir.

The predominantly Muslim population there now neither wants to be a part of India nor a part of Pakistan, but wants independence. The Muslim youth in Kashmir are angry, their lives are increasingly reminiscent of that of the people in the Gaza Strip. The deletion of Article 370 will increase their anger: This is how "terrorists" are created.

Score at the expense of the Muslims

It is important to remember that the unrest in the Indian part of Kashmir started after the fraudulent elections in 1987. The jihadists from Pakistan infiltrated the Indian-administered part of Kashmir only later.

Narendra Modi was able to score again with the majority Hindu population of India at the expense of the Muslims, but India did not win anything. On the contrary: in addition to the usual 500,000 security forces, a further 28,000 soldiers were sent to Kashmir at short notice.

India will not allow itself to be put under pressure by anyone from abroad in matters of Kashmir, and even the USA does not want to mess with the fifth largest economy in the world. They want to use India to make life in the region difficult for China.

China, however, is not interested in a confrontation with Delhi, as they made clear to Islamabad in May: After years of hesitation, Beijing agreed that Hafiz Saeed could be placed on the UN terrorist list. Hafiz is the leader of the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and his armed arm the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

Imran Khan and Beijing

The LeT is held responsible, among other things, for the serious attack in Mumbai in 2008, in which 174 people were killed. Until now, Hafiz Saeed has been a useful tool for the Pakistani army in the hidden war for Kashmir with India. For example, an officer of the Pakistani intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Karachi was in contact with the Mumbai bombers all the time (to be read in detail in Directorate S by Steve Coll).

But on July 13th of this year there was a sensation for those interested in Pakistan: Hafiz Saeed and 12 other high members of the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) were arrested: They are accused of financing terrorism. In the years before that, Hafiz Saedd was usually only placed under house arrest when international pressure had once again become too great. He then went about his usual activities, including preaching mosques in which he incited hatred of dissidents and jihad.

Imran Khan and Beijing seem to have made the Pakistani generals aware of the seriousness of the situation: Pakistan is an economic ruin, despite 60 billion US dollars that China has invested in Pakistan in the form of loans in recent years. The six billion dollars that Pakistan received again in May from the IMF are likely to be used for the interest payments on old (IMF) loans.

A developing country like Pakistan is not considered bankrupt if it bleeds its population to death, but if it no longer pays the interest on the loans on time.

There are also more positive things to report from Pakistan. So the first elections in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which until now, as in colonial times, have been ruled by an envoy from Islamabad.

Since 9/11, the tribal areas have been considered a refuge for the Afghan Taliban, where the Pakistani secret service and Pakistani extremists pepped up the Taliban. But al-Qaeda and Islamists quickly joined in, who had chosen the Pakistani state as an enemy, from which the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) then formed.

The TTP and pressure from Beijing, which sees its investments in jeopardy, may have been the reasons that the Pakistani army then resolutely advanced into the tribal areas. The fact that she often takes action against unwelcome Pashtun tribes and against human rights activists is a serious downer, however.

India's cashmere coup comes at an inopportune time

To this is Imran Khans Billion Tree TsunamiProject has been expanded to the whole country. Under the governments of the corrupt family parties of the Bhuttos, Sharifs and the Pakistani army, the country's trees were mercilessly cut down: From 1990 to 2010, Pakistan lost an average of 42,000 hectares of forest every year. But instead of helping Imran Khan in times of climate change, the European Union also concludes a free trade agreement with Brazil, although Jair Bolsonaro wants to clear the rainforest even more.

For Imran Khan India's Kashmir coup actually comes at an inopportune time. Instead of concentrating on Pakistan's countless problems and working on easing the situation on India, he now has to play along with the saber rattle. A number of painstakingly drawn up agreements with India have been terminated or suspended.

But what options remain for Imran Khan to respond to Modi's coup? At the Line of Control (loc) both armies are shooting at each other almost every day - the main victims are civilians on both sides of Kashmir.

The U.N. will stay out of it, as their boss Antonio Guterres reported on August 9, in which he referred to the Shimlar Agreement of 1972: India and Pakistan forego mediators from outside on the Kashmir issue. In addition, Antonio Guterees uttered the usual phrase: "We call on both sides ..."

The necessary shock: the recognition of Gilgit-Baltistan as part of Pakistan

If Imran Khan wants to prevent Pakistan from being thrown back by years and re-approaching the jihadists, he has only one option with which he would shock the world in a positive way: the recognition of the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region as part of Pakistan.

The 72,496 km² great Gilgit-Baltistan with its 1.5 million inhabitants is also claimed by India. If Pakistan recognized the region as part of the country, it would also accept the Indian-administered parts of Kashmir as part of India.

That would be a sign to all extremists in Pakistan that the army and government are saying goodbye to them. This decision would also put Narendra Modi under pressure, because Hindu extremists in India are also calling for all of Kashmir to be part of India. Then India's savior would have to show their colors - does he really want a life improvement for the people in all of Kashmir or does he only use the topic to maintain power.

Instead of just changing names like Calcutta in Kolkata, Kashmir could finally shake off the last shackles of the former British colonial rulers. China, which urgently needs Pakistan for its Silk Road project, could then officially invest in Gilgit-Baltistan without fear of tensions with India. In addition, Beijing could offer India that they settle their disputes over Kashmir.

Nobody would miss the USA here

During the exchange of blows in 1962, Beijing occupied three former princely states of Kashmir, the area is now called Aksai Chin. If India accommodates Pakistan, Beijing could accede to Delhi so that Narendra Modi could sell a new deal for the Aksai Chin region as a victory at home. Nobody would miss the USA here.

As it suited their own interests, for decades they declared Pakistan an ally, India an ally. Not to mention the indirect creation of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. To show it to the Soviets in Afghanistan from 1978 onwards, Pakistan was covered by American and Saudi dollars with religious houses in which jihadists were bred, who were used in the fight against the Russians.

Injustices abounded during the partition of India in 1947: Why was Maharaja Hari Singh allowed to decide in Kashmir, and not the Muslim majority, whether to join India or Pakistan?

In Hyderabad, then the largest and richest Princely States of all, it was the other way around. There the avowed Muslim Nizam al-Mulj ruled over a large majority of Hindus - Hyderabad went to India. It was the same with the princely state of Junagadh in Gujarat in 1947. None of this is and was not clean under international law.

Cashmere and the other problems

Cashmere has done so much damage. Large areas of the Indian part of Kashmir are increasingly resembling the conditions in the Gaza Strip. To this day, Kashmir provides the Pakistani army with a reason to keep a bloated army and to be able to establish a state within a state. Like India, Pakistan has a state threatening water problem.

In contrast to Pakistan, India's population growth will be halted in the foreseeable future, but despite economic growth, India has the highest unemployment rate in 47 years. Experts are now predicting that 350,000 jobs will also be lost in the Indian auto industry.

But that's nothing against what the country expects in the agricultural sector. 240 million Indians live directly or indirectly from agriculture. But the agricultural corporations will come, that's for sure: no one in India has yet a plan how the country should support hundreds of millions of unemployed farmers. In the new term of office, too, the Modi government is trying to use its old means: canceling workers' rights and issuing industry one free ticket after the next.

In Pakistan, entire provinces are sometimes still ruled by landlords for whom a worker is a serf. From Gilgit to Srinagar. From Karachi to Kolkata, there are more important things to do for both nuclear nations than to waste resources in the fight for Kashmir while both countries are running out of drinking water.

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