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Modi Took Control of Kashmir 2 Years Ago—and Got Away With It

2 0 0
03.08.2021

Two years after the Indian parliament revoked the autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seems to have succeeded at bringing the region under its direct authority. When India first made its move, it startled the world and led to fears of a rise in violence in the valley and a potential open conflict with Pakistan, the nuclear-armed state that claims sovereignty over Kashmir in its entirety. New Delhi also worried about the diplomatic fallout with the West as Pakistan joined China in pressuring India through the United Nations Security Council.

But there has neither been a war with Pakistan nor eruption of large-scale violence in the valley. Even condemnation from the international community has been cautiously worded and limited. As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited India last week, Kashmir was not a major issue even if spoken about behind closed doors. For the first time in a long time there is peace on the de facto border between India and Pakistan, cross-border infiltration has paused, and militancy has dipped. According to the latest data from the Indian government, the number of terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir fell by 59 percent last year, compared to the year before, and by 32 percent up to June this year compared to the same period last year.

Two years after the Indian parliament revoked the autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government seems to have succeeded at bringing the region under its direct authority. When India first made its move, it startled the world and led to fears of a rise in violence in the valley and a potential open conflict with Pakistan, the nuclear-armed state that claims sovereignty over Kashmir in its entirety. New Delhi also worried about the diplomatic fallout with the West as Pakistan joined China in pressuring India through the United Nations Security Council.

But there has neither been a war with Pakistan nor eruption of large-scale violence in the valley. Even condemnation from the international community has been cautiously worded and limited. As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited India last week, Kashmir was not a major issue even if spoken about behind closed doors. For the first time in a long time there is peace on the de facto border between India and Pakistan, cross-border infiltration has paused, and militancy has dipped. According to the latest data from the Indian government, the number of terrorist incidents in Jammu and Kashmir fell by 59 percent last year, compared to the year before, and by 32 percent up to June this year compared to the same period last year.

Indian tourists, meanwhile, flocked to the lakes and breezy mountains as the country grappled with one of the worst outbreaks of the coronavirus. They were blocked from traveling abroad and spurred to look to Kashmir. While tourism witnessed intermittent spikes even before the revocation of Kashmir’s special status, the crowds this year illustrated a........

© Foreign Policy


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