India has asked Pakistan to review downgrading of diplomatic ties when Pakistan asked Indian High Commissioner to go back to India. Trade relations with India have been suspended. Pakistan has decided to mount a strong diplomatic offensive and take the matter to world capitals and also to the UN, among other steps. The most recent wave of tensions began after India sent 10,000 more troops to what is by now one of the most militarized regions in the world. Almost 700,000 Indian soldiers are deployed in India-Held Kashmir (IHK). Along the Line of Control (LoC), there was a fresh surge in hostilities between the nuclear-armed neighbors. By canceling Article 370 of the Constitution, the Indian government has given people from the rest of India the right to buy property in occupied Kashmir and settle there. The constitutional provisions, which have been revoked were introduced decades ago and included reserved government jobs and college placements for residents, in an effort to keep the state from being overrun by people from the rest of India. Kashmiris as well as critics of India’s Hindu nationalist-led government term the move as an endeavor to change the demographics of Muslim-majority Kashmir by Hindu settlers. No unilateral step by the Government of India can change the disputed status of IHK, as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions. The decision is acceptable to the people of IHK and Pakistan. The Indian move is in violation of international resolutions. This move has been slammed by the Indian opposition parties. Even the Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ruled that Article 370, granting special status to the state, has assumed a place of permanence in the Constitution and the feature is beyond amendment, repeal or abrogation. The issue of IHK is internationally recognized as a disputed territory, therefore India’s trickery by attempting to localize the issue through amending its constitution cannot fool the international community. There is justifiable resentment in Pakistan over the Indian maneuver in Kashmir. It was discussed again during the Imran-Trump meeting in July. US President Donald Trump talked about the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s asking for mediation over Kashmir. But, India has imposed lockdown in Kashmir and put Kashmiri leaders under house arrest. Restrictions on movement and assembly are also imposed. The actions came after the Indian government moved additional troops to the region, followed by an exceptional order asking tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave the Himalayan Valley. Turning IHK and Ladhakh into union territories proves that India had lost hope.
Kashmiris that used to support India earlier are also in jail or under house arrest. Immediate solution to Kashmir issue is now a test case for the international community.