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Kashmir quandary and Modi’s strident politics

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By: Mishal Batool

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy establishment is keen for a new era of realism, which is to raise a greater realism to develop an effective grand strategy for a leading power. PM Modi launched his ’forward’ policy in August 2019, by revoking the nominal ‘autonomous status’ of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK), in violation not only of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the Simla Agreement with Pakistan but also the 1993 and 2018 understandings with China. He also converted Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh into separate Union Territories and issued maps showing Chinese Aksai Chin to be a part of Indian Ladakh and AJK and GB to be parts of India. These actions were severely condemned and rejected by both Pakistan and China. But India did not take them seriously at all.

Kashmir is a small territory but the fact that it is rich with lakes and meadows and beautiful mountains, makes it a valuable piece of land for both the sides fighting for it. The conflict was low-key till now, but there have always been ceasefire violations and border skirmishes from both sides claiming it as their possession. The UN even has stated as it could be the most militarized zone in the world.

Unfortunately, much more vigorous apprehensions have arisen as a result of the changed Kashmir status on the Indian side. Previously, according to the clause of Article 370, it guaranteed the autonomy of the Kashmir state and also prevented citizens of any other state from buying property in Kashmir. But in the recent events when the Indian government revoked this Article, all hell broke on Kashmiris.

In a........

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