India ruins peace prospect

February 3, 2019

The United Nations has accused India of widespread human rights violations in Kashmir in its recent report. Intensifying a crackdown on freedom fighters in Indian Occupied Kashmir before the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit has intensified unrest there. Modi government’s more aggressive policies in the troubled area as part of his reelection campaign has incited backlash from locals and has raised fears of fresh instability in a powder keg region already prone to frequent eruptions of anti-Modi slogans. Modi, still vulnerable from December’s narrow escape in his home state Gujrat election is beginning to campaign for another five-year term as prime minister and hoping to advance his party’s particular interpretation of a more coherent and unified polity part of his election campaign strategy is to embrace a tough approach to the insurgencies within India and burnish his credentials as a candidate firm on security. Taking a hard line is one way to do so. That’s especially applicable in Indian Occupied Kashmir, where Indian soldiers have been engaged in a violent crackdown against. Intensifying the military’s crackdown in such a troubled area is inherently risky. It heightens the possibility of more draconian security policies carried out on the pretext of “counter-terrorism”. Clashes between Indian troops and Kashmiris have increased recently. A rare ceasefire announced by New Delhi in May last year to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan didn’t last long. Civilian deaths and the house arrest of prominent Kashmiri leaders continue to mount. For decades, the entire valley has been plagued bythe Indian occupying forces’ suppression. Modi’s most recent maneuver has brought more trouble. The BJP’s move is an act of panic, caused by the coming general elections to control the state. The ruling party characteristically resorts to what many call “muscular” policies that the United Nations has singled out as human rights violations. These include excessive force against protesters, unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests, and sexual attacks, detention of families and children as well as enforced disappearances, according to the UN. Now, the Modi’s government unconstrained by any moderating tendencies has become emboldened and resort to more of the heavy-handed tactics that have aggrieved Kashmiris, but the New Delhi’s hard-line approach has not been able to dent the expanding of local uprising, which increasingly includes men, women and youth from middle-class backgrounds. The Modi government’s temptation to physically liquidate Kashmiris will only worsen the situation. Still, New Delhi isn’t seen changing tactics anytime soon. Because Modi is positioning himself as a candidate dedicated to fixing the nation’s “security troubles” ahead of 2019 elections. This means he will revert to a tougher approach against the Kashmiris. Besides, the Modi’s moves also threaten to derail the prospect of peace talks with Pakistan.

 

The Modi government’s temptation to physically liquidate Kashmiris will only worsen the situation.

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