India Insight

Literature indubitably is the reflection of life and its animadversion as well as paints a realistic picture of society and its institutions. Suchlike is the predicament of African novelist Chinua Achebe’s 1966 novel “Man of the People” which talks of corrupt government leaders ruling an unnamed African country who hegemonize its citizens to amass support for their positive and unacceptable works both. They are prosperous by cause of prejudiced role media plays and absolves them from accountability while it demonizes any kind of opposition. Furthermore they attempt to silence the opposition either with the almighty dollar or the assassinations.

In the novel, the protagonist Odili is disillusioned in 1960 when the Prime Minister refuses to cut off coffee prices proposed by economic experts for the good of the country. Two-third of the cabinet upholds the decision and the one-third who do not, are called names oftentimes. The experts are barred to speak by rapacious ministers and their supporters. The ministers contending the move are served blows by angry mobs and labeled traitors. The mobs are never in mood to listen to any reason for the influence of Prime Minister’s speech. The press plays its part by publishing contorted versions of the opposition’s take on the matter. Rebellious ministers are driven out and Mr. Nanga (another character in the novel) is voted in Member Parliament. He within himself is an epitome of corruption. Together with another minister Mr. Koko, Mr. Nanga bribes Odili and his friend Max to withdraw their newly formed political party CPC from upcoming elections and subsequently Mr. Koko murders Max for he accepts money and continues the campaign. The villagers who aid CPC are penalized by Mr. Nanga’s party with the removal of “Rural Water Scheme” and it’s only after their reassured support, some parts of the scheme return to village. The novel ends with a military coup divulging the corruption of government and initiation of inquiries against its ministers.

What Achebe wrote about in 1966 is a pathway the nation of India noticeably walks upon after 2014 with the rise of Bharatiya Janata Party. Although the party claims zero tolerance towards corruption, many leaders with allegations of corruption against them find it a safe heaven. Besides, the discontinuance of survey which provides the rate of unemployment, opacity in Rafael deal, demonization, dismissal of criminal case of multiple hate speeches against Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, use of tax payer funds for Brahmin only facility by BJP MP in Jammu, bail to VHP leader Atul Vadia accused in Gulberg society massacre, suspension of an IAS officer who checks Prime Minister’s chopper and cases of money laundering against its various leaders are testimonials to the ecumenical corruption in the party. The conspicuous hypocrisy of the government is its adjudication to ban beef at home and top the exporters list each year. The mockery is its very own ministers in eastern India promise quality beef in exchange of their win in elections while it’s avaricious Ministers instigate and venerate their supporters in the northern and central India who lynch people on mere rumors of stealing cows or carrying beef. The victims and each and every one who opposes this barely condemned vicious cycle of violence is labeled a traitor, anti-national, anti-Hindu and asked to go to Pakistan. This fractured political discourse matches exactly to what Achebe talks of in his novel. Either you’re with the hegemonized mobs or an anti-national, a traitor. Nobody has the right to question government or its supporters for whatever they do.

The business Indian media does is exposed by commendable investigation carried out by “Cobra Post” (available on YouTube) which brings to notice the biased and venal nature of Indian media outlets who for a hefty sum are ready to carry soft Hindutva propaganda (manipulating Hinduism) initially to hardcore Hindutva ideology (the ideology of BJP) subsequently on their TV shows and newspapers. Before elections when the works of BJP are to be aired, some media outlets in India broadcast the reign of previous Congress government and their scandals exonerating the ruling party in a way similar to that of Mr. Nanga in the novel who prevents editors from publishing articles critical of their government. The shift in the trend of intial question, from “What work your government is doing or has done?” to “How you manage to do this much work?” asked to the leaders is witness to the fact that the ratings of press freedom in India are not aimlessly touching the ground. The fine example of demonization of opposition is the contortion of election manifesto of Congress by Indian media outlets pointing towards free electricity to Mosques and Churches while deliberately veiling the part of free electricity to Temples and referring to the issue of scholarship to Muslim students for overseas education and deliberately hiding the word “poor Muslim students” and the mention of SC, ST, EBC and OBC students. Not to forget the death threats to Ravish Kumar, Dhruv Rathee and the murder of Gauri Lankesh, all prominent critics of the ruling party accommodate in the cycle of silencing opposition.

Beyond doubt, common Indian masses will find theirselves in the shoe of the villagers penalized in the novel for supporting CPC and not Mr. Nanga’s political party by reason of aggressive and sinister attitude of the leaders of BJP who forewarn voters to vote for them or encounter ceasing of the funds for Panchayats, no jobs, no water to drink and even the shift of sins upon the people who vote against them.

Achebe names not the country in his novel because he seemes to be suggestive of his relevance in the impending era and more than 50 years after the publication, we can say that Achebe’s Africa is modern India. This indeed is a political turmoil in juxtaposition to the situation in Achebe’s novel wherein the leaders hegemonize the citizens, get involved in corruption and create a discourse according to which catechization of government is an anti-national deed and deserves punishment either by the might or mob.

Hariz Aftab is a student of Masters Program in English Literature in University of Jammu and can be contacted at aftabhariz@gmail.com

In conflict resolution, Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) play a crucial role between the states. CBMs help create a conducive environment for resolution of conflictual issues. They, however, are not direct means of conflict resolution. The efficacy of CBMs is not limited to a rival state’s military affairs but it encompasses a broad range of areas ranging from social to cultural contacts to economic affairs between the states. They are a tool to augment the level of confidence and trust between the rival states (Zulfqar, 2013). In the modern day world, CBMs are a broadly acknowledged concept which includes an extensive variety of measures including economic, political and military arenas.  According to the commonly held belief, CBMs initiated during 1970s in Europe in backdrop of confrontations between the West and the East. However, the process of CBMs was already in practice in various different parts of the world but it was not characterized necessarily as such.

For example, CBMs were practiced in the South Asian region since the partition of the Indian sub-continent. The cases in point can be traced from 1949 with the Karachi Agreement in 1949, the pact between Liaquat and Nehru in 1950 known as Liaquat-Nehru Pact, the Indo-Pak Border Ground Rules Agreement in 1960, the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) in 1960 which is said to have remained intact even during wars, the Tashkent Declaration in 1966 which was signed under the good office provided by the USSR and the Simla Agreement in 1972 (Salik, 2010). Zulfqar (2013) adds to this and argues that CBMs are not a new phenomenon between India and Pakistan. Pakistan and India signed various agreements between them to resolve their bilateral problems which they inherited from the partition. She quotes all the events as quoted by Salik (2010) and adds the Rann of Kutch Agreement of 1966 to the list of CBMs between India and Pakistan. She further argues that the terminology of CBMs was not applied to the agreements between the two before Brasstracks Crisis in 1987 which added nuclear dimension in the relationship between India and Pakistan (Zulfqar, 2013).

Confidence Building Measures between Pakistan and India

There are different types of CBMs between the two arch-rival neighboring countries – India and Pakistan. These CBMs can be differentiated in atmospheric and military and nuclear related CBMs.

The Military and Nuclear Related CBMs

According to Micheal Krepon, Co-founder of Stimson Center, the military and nuclear related CBMs between India and Pakistan can be differentiated in three categories: Constraint Measures, Communication Measures and Transparency Measures (Zulfar, 2013).

1. Constraint Measures:

The Constraint Measures may encompass: routine inspection to show compliance with agreements, establishment of demilitarized zones between states and abstaining from military activities (more of skirmishes) in bordering areas between the states. In order to establish a nuclear restraint regime with its neighboring rival India, Pakistan has been putting efforts in this context even before the overt nuclearization of both countries. Pakistan has proposed various proposals over the years including mutual acceptance of safeguards by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), signing of Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1967 simultaneously, creation of nuclear weapon free zone, signing of regional test ban treaty, bilateral inspection of each other’s nuclear facilities and joint declaration to renounce development of nuclear weapons. However, none of these proposals could succeed to get India’s affirmation. Moreover, in 1998, Pakistan proposed establishment of a Strategic Restraint Regime in the region to avoid the risk of nuclear war between the two nuclear powers. It was renewed in 2001 during disarmament conference in Geneva. Like previous proposals, this could also not materialize.

2. Communication Measures:

Communication measures would include creating communication among political decision-makers of the states in conflict and the establishment of hotlines is the most effective arrangement for conflict resolution or crisis management purposes. In 1971, hotline between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India was established and it was decided after the 1990 crisis that the hotline will be used on weekly basis between the DGMOs of both the countries. Besides this, a new hotline was created between the foreign secretaries of Pakistan and India in 2004. It has been observed that hotlines between the two countries remain satisfactorily functional only during the peacetime but during crisis they remain dysfunctional. However, it remained functional during Kargil Conflict in 1999 and the border confrontation in 2001-02 and it remained dysfunctional during Brasstracks in 1988.

3. Transparency Measures:

Transparency measures encompass presence of foreign observers at military exercises, strength of armed forces, arms transfers and arms production, exchange information of military expenditures, verification measures and prior notification of military maneuvers encompassing their extent and scope. In 1988, an agreement was signed between India and Pakistan on prohibition of attack on nuclear facilities and installations. The agreement was ratified in 1991 and in the following year it was implemented. Irrespective of their state relationship, both states would exchange lists of their nuclear facilities and installations. In addition to this, two agreements were signed in 1991 and 1992 which included firstly, advance notice of troops movements, military maneuvers and exercises and secondly, permitting landing of military aircraft, permitting over flight and prevention of space violations.

Atmospheric CBMs

According to Micheal Krepon, atmospheric CBMs are useful in indicating readiness to relations after a severe crisis. They are informal in nature and do not include complex implementation procedures unlike military and nuclear CBMs which require political capital investment by the national leaders of the states. These CBMs can be reciprocal and unilateral. Some examples of atmospheric CBMs will be people to people contacts, humanitarian assistance during natural disasters, cultural exchanges and release of fisherman or political prisoners. Atmospheric CBMs between India and Pakistan were practised during SAARC Summit-2004 in which both countries reached to Composite Dialogue which included discussion of eight areas including Kashmir, Nuclear CBMs, Siachen issue, Terrorism, Sir Creek et cetra. After this composite dialogue sports links were resorted, bus and train services were started and people to people contacts were initiated. Additionally, in 2007, some progress was also made on Nuclear CBMs which agreed to reduce accident risks related to nuclear weapons. An initiative was also taken on antiterrorism institutional mechanism fronts.  

Other than these two categories of CBMS, there are also economic CBMs between India and Pakistan.

Economic CBMs

A new category dealing with investment and trade, economic CBMs have been introduced between Pakistan and India. The prospects of having good economic relations with India have been discussed in Pakistan since the year 2012. A number of CBMs have been initiated over the years beginning with the granting of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) to India (yet not granted), easing non-tariff barriers and opening investment doors and increasing customs cooperation between the two countries. However, India granted Pakistan MFN status in 1996 but it withdrew it in February, 2019 after the Pulwama Attack in Indian Occupied Kashmir.

The Confidence building Measures (CBMs) initiatives between India and Pakistan

The CBMs initiatives between India and Pakistan include pacts, ceasefire agreements, efforts and initiatives, joint commissions and statements, Dialogues and Composite Dialogues (Effendi & Choudhry, 2016).

There have been two ceasefire agreements between India and Pakistan. The first one was of 1949 and the second one took place in 2003. Some of the pacts between India and Pakistan include Liaquat-Nehru Pact of 1950 which was signed to protect rights of migrated minorities  in both countries, Indus Water Treaty (IWT) 1960 to share river waters between the countries, Tashkent Declaration 1965 which was signed to concluded 17-day war, Simla Agreement 1972 signed for the settlement of post-fall of Dacca situation. Hotline between DGMOs was also part of this agreement. Some of the Joint Commissions and Statements include 1982 joint commission which was established to strengthen bilateral relations, joint statement on nuclear issues in 2004, joint statements on drug trafficking, economic cooperation and terrorism in 2004, Delhi joint statement in 2005, 2005 joint statement to start bus service from Amritsar India to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. Some of the initiatives and efforts encompass 1959 offer by Ayub for Joint Defence against the threat from North i.e. China in wake of 1959 Tibet insurrection by China which Nehru rejected, peace plan of 1964 which could not be materialized because of Nehru’s death in 1964, 1976 Smajhota bus Service between Lahore and Amritsar, 1981 no-war pact offered by Pakistan but it was rejected by India because Simla agreement was already a no war pact. There have also been many other efforts and initiatives between India and Pakistan (Zulfqar, 2013; Effendi & Choudhry, 2016).

Despite all these Confidence building measures between India and Pakistan, the relations between the two are far from normalization. Both India and Pakistan have to come together for the regional stability as well as prosperity. The issue of Kashmir is a long awaited dispute between the two which should be resolved as per the UN resolution of 1948 which declared that the future of Kashmir would be decided by the people of Kashmir through free and fair plebiscite. Therefore, India and Pakistan have to take steps to resolve this long awaited dispute. They have to come together for a better future of people of the region as war breads hatred and seeds of hatred ruin the generations.

The concept of self-determination is  a vexing but significant topic in the field of human rights. It is the idea of government by the consent of the governed eternally memorialized in the soaring prose of President Thomas Jefferson in America’s Declaration of Independence. Self-determination which enjoys universal support is celebrated in the United Nations Charter, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and in the United Nations General Assembly resolutions. Article I of the United Nations Charter enshrines as a major purpose the development of friendly relations among nations based on respect for the “principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” Self-determination was a central creed of President Woodrow Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points to end World War I. Self-determination was also the libretto of India in obtaining independence from Great Britain. And as regards Kashmir, self-determination is expressly embraced in United Nations Security Council resolutions as the international law formula for determining the status of the disputed territory.

Kashmir’s legal and moral case for self-determination is equal or greater than that of the United States when it declared independence in 1776 with a population of but 3-4 million. The American grievances against King George III were but trifles compared to the human rights inferno which afflicts Kashmir. The Declaration of Independence protests the maintenance of standing armies, the obstruction of beneficent laws, the denial of trial by jury, and for making the military superior to the civil power. Kashmiris, in contrast, suffer from those same grievances, plus the gruesome human rights violations perpetrated by the Indian army. The people of Kashmir are resisting India’s iron‑fisted military rule to vindicate their international law and fundamental collective human right to self‑determination.  On that score, they are indistinguishable from Kosovar Albanians or East Timorese or Southern Sudanese, all of whom received international assistance to end their human rights suffering and to determine their own political destiny.

Kashmir, a former princely state under the suzerainty of the British raj, achieved independence on August 15, 1947, when Britain renounced its dominion over the territory.  On that date, Kashmir had neither opted for accession to India or accession to Pakistan, and was under no legal obligation to relinquish its independence.  India did not then argue that Kashmir was indispensable for its national or economic security.  Indeed, India championed a resolution in the United Nations Security Council in 1948 mandating a plebiscite in Kashmir conducted by the United Nations to determine its future sovereignty.

It is apparent from the record of the Security Council that India articulated the principle, accepted the practical shape the Security Council gave to it and freely participated in negotiations regarding the modalities involved. However, when developments inside the State of Jammu & Kashmir made her doubt her chances of winning the plebiscite, she changed her stand and pleaded that she was no longer bound by the agreement. Of course, she deployed ample arguments to justify the somersault. But even though the arguments were of a legal or quasi-legal nature, she rejected a reference to the World Court to pronounce on their merits. This is how the dispute became frozen with calamitous consequences for Kashmir most of all, with heavy cost for Pakistan and with none too happy results for India itself.

The time for deceptions is gone. All that is needed is going back — yes, going back — to the point of agreement which historically existed beyond doubt between India and Pakistan and jointly resolving to retrieve it with such modifications as are necessitated by the passage of time. That point of agreement is the one India as well as Pakistan, each independently, brought to the United Nations Security Council when the Kashmir dispute was first internationalized. In fact, the Security Council itself took that point as the basis of the resolutions it later formulated. The point was one of inescapable principle- — that the future status of the State of Jammu and Kashmir shall be decided by the will of the people of the State as impartially ascertained in conditions free from coercion. The two elements of a peaceful settlement thus were, first, the demilitarization of the State (i.e. the withdrawal of the forces of both India and Pakistan) and a plebiscite supervised by the United Nations.

Now, what is urgently needed is an assertion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Imran Khan of the necessity of taking new measures to effect the settlement of the dispute within a reasonable time frame. To that end, India and Pakistan must together prepare a plan for the demilitarization of the State with safeguards for security worked out together. Confidence that a real peace process is being launched between India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership would be inspired by the ending of repressive measures within the Indian-Occupied area by both the federal and the state authorities. If sincerity is brought to the process in place of cheap trickery, the dawn of peace will glow as never before over the region of South Asia and beyond.

Both India and Pakistan have put efforts to manage crisis through Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) over the last seven decades. However, from the contemporary events and soared relations between the two vividly delineate that these two arch rivals have a long way to go. From ceasefire agreements to joint statements and from pacts to composite dialogue, both countries have maturely tried to mitigate the risk of getting into direct confrontation especially after becoming nuclear powers. The relations, however, between the two still remain sour. India openly claims to isolate Pakistan in the international arena and accuses Pakistan of cross-border terrorism. However, India itself is involved in cross-border terrorism inside Pakistan and capture of an Indian Naval commander Kulbashan Jadav from Balochistan – Pakistan is a case in point.

India claims that Kashmir is its integral part and Pakistan is behind the domestically grown resistance within Indian occupied Kashmir. Arundhati Roy in her recent interview said, “Kashmir is not an integral part of India. It has never been an integral part of India. Even the government of India has accepted that in the United Nations.” She is most probably referring to the UN resolution in 1948 which declared that the future of Kashmir would be decided by the people of Kashmir through free and fair plebiscite (The Telegraph, 2001). The plebiscite has not taken place in last seven decades.

Since its inception, Pakistan also claims Kashmir based on its Muslim majority population. Moreover, Tim Marshall (2016) in his book,’ Prisoners of Geography’ writes that in case, Kashmir becomes part of Pakistan, it would deny India opportunities and strengthen foreign policy options for Pakistan. Pakistan’s water insecurity issues would also be resolved. Originating from Himalayan Tibet, Indus River passes through Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir before entering Pakistan from where it runs the length of the country and empties in the Arabian Sea in Karachi.

In recent times, Pakistan has maturely shown restraint to India’s aggressiveness and deescalated the situation especially after the Pulwama Attack in February, 2019. India accused Pakistan of infiltration of extremists even though the attacker was Adil Ahmad Dar a local from Pulwama district of Indian occupied Kashmir. Indian Air Force crossed Line of Control and dropped bombs inside Pakistan’s territory in Balakot on February 26th. Initially, India claimed that the attack was

on a training camp of Jaish-Mohammad and three hundred terrorists were killed in the attack. Pakistan claimed to respond promptly and chased back the IAF jets which in a hurry dropped payloads on trees in which no human life was lost. Pakistan’s claim has also been validated by Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who recently said, “No Pakistani soldier, civilian killed in Balakot Air Strike,” (Reported by The Hindu & Dawn News, 2019). Moreover, on the following day, Pakistan shot Indian MiG-21 and captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman who was returned to India as a goodwill gesture for peace by Pakistan. India also claimed to have shot down F-16 but after the US count of Pakistan’s F-16s, none was found missing which spilt water over India’s claim of downing Pakistan’s F-16.

This shows Pakistan’s inclination for peace and establishment of Confidence Building measures. Pakistan also took steps to establish CBMs with India last year. In November 2018, the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor was laid. Even after these peaceful gestures, the normalization of ties remains a distant dream. However, some analysists and South Asian experts believe that we must wait for the results of current general elections taking place in India.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s warmongering against Pakistan is a hatred card to win the ongoing elections in India. However, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said in an interview, “Perhaps of the BJP – a right-wing party – wins, some kind of settlement in Kashmir could be reached,” (Mahmood, 2019). Therefore, the events in coming few months would be interesting to observe as they would unfold many political arenas for India and Pakistan on confidence building measures as well as on diplomatic grounds.

India is among the top emerging economies of the world; Standard Chartered economists led by David Mann predicted that India likely to surpass U.S to be world’s second largest economy by 2030. Emerging markets (E7) could grow around twice as fast as advanced economies (G7) on average. However, it is imperative for the emerging economies to enhance their institutions and their infrastructure significantly if they are to realize their long-term growth potential.

India presented US$ 60.9 billion for the interim Union Budget 2019-20, $42.7 billion is earmarked for what is conventionally termed as the defense budget. However, India is facing real challenges in other sectors as compare to security. Illiteracy, for instance, the percentage of illiteracy in India is alarming. Every five persons among ten in India are illiterate. The condition in villages is worse than in cities. Secondly, the most widely spread endemic in India is corruption, which must be handled quickly and wisely. Thirdly, there are about 700 million people who have no access to toilets at home. Slum areas do not have toilets. People are thus forced to defecate in open, which causes numerous diseases like diarrhea, cholera, dehydration etc. Additionally, a third of the world’s poor live in India, and 37% of the total population in India lives below the international poverty line; 42% of children who are under the age of five years, are underweight.

India has been sponsoring terrorism, for decades, in Afghanistan and Pakistan, in order to, destabilize Pakistan.  Pakistan’s intelligence agency gathered solid intelligence of India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) nexus. India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) are patronizing terrorists groups to attack soft targets in Pakistan.

Apparently, these acts of terrorism in Pakistan have link with Indian plan to destabilize Pakistan through internal turmoil, along with diplomatic isolation of Pakistan, internationally. However, the deep down look into the matter reveals some astonishing facts which are linked directly to India, the United States of America and Israel alliance. Firstly, India along with other major regional powers, has been trying to carve a niche for herself in the future of Afghanistan. The presence of American troops in Afghanistan will help India play a vital role in the regional politics. Withdrawal of American troops will also restrict the role of Indian agencies in Afghanistan and Baluchistan; Pakistan and China role will be enhanced. On the other hand, Pakistan seeks peaceful resolution of Afghanistan, which would ultimately, Afghan led- Afghan owned. Secondly, Americans see China, Iran and Pakistan as a future threat to her hegemony in the region; American sees India as potential contender to challenge new powers in the region. Thirdly, Israel seeks role beyond Middle East and wishes to engage other powers in South Asia in order to pursue their interest in the region. Israel- Iran animosity is no more a secret to world, Iranian support for Taliban peace talk raised concerns in Tel Aviv; turmoil in the region is in the best interest of the Israel. On contrary, the peaceful resolution of the Afghanistan is in the best interest of the Pakistan, China and Iran while it is opposite for the America, India and Israel. America and India are never a part of China’s vision of one belt one road; both are seeking ways to disturb and delay the investment of China in the region.

India and Pakistan remained involved in wars over seventy years and the looming threats of nuclear war between two neighbours can never be discarded at any time. It is clear to all that, both countries have nuclear capabilities and both countries are among the top countries which are spending high budgeted amount on defense on account of deterrence policy. Instead of resolving conflicts through peaceful dialogue both countries heavily spending on weapons and other war related equipment. Recently, tensions between two countries, after Pulwama attack, went to high level, and both countries violated airspace of each other countries in order to prove supremacy of air force over each other. The point to be noted here; super powers instead of resolving the conflicts between two countries; remained busy in selling weapons to these countries.  Many intellectuals are posing questions to the stakeholders; is war only solution to the conflict? Media of India remained busy in war mongering and media promoted and marketed the narratives of the weapons industry. The poor of both countries want to ask question to both countries what they have done for them to extricate poor from the poverty; they are spending on weapons and remained fully involved in cold war doctrine to destabilize each other. It is time for all and sundry to put question to politicians; they are disguising nation and spending national resources in heinous activities in the name of national interest.

The most disappointing thing in this matter refers to the priorities of both countries; firstly India is involved in the hegemonic plans to subdue rest of South Asia to dictate the governments. The smaller countries of the region are happy to take dictation from India while only challenge that, India is facing, is the resistance from Pakistan. Pakistan is nuclear country and maintains certain level of deterrence in order to keep her sovereignty. Moreover, Pakistan is a Muslim country and Muslims never happy to surrender in front of any power which is not Muslim. Instead of working for the improvement of the people who living in misery, India is actively involved in subduing the Pakistan. Secondly, the Kashmir issue has very much intensity to take both countries into war. Pakistan supports the Kashmiris on human right basis and on the grounds of right to self-determination according to the resolutions of the UNSC. However, India is pursing the policy of violence against the fighters and the situation in the Kashmir is very volatile. India, instead of resolving the issue of Kashmir, peacefully; trying to create insurgency in Baluchistan through intelligence agencies; wishes to divert the attention of world toward the Indian made Baluchistan issue. Now, there is serious question about conflict resolution, is India wants to resolve issues peacefully through negotiation or remain in aloof situation and continue to create violent situation in different parts of the region. The main point to remember here; no country can remain in stable condition and continue to grow economically while having instability and insurgency in the neighboring country. Pakistan is the best example which can be extracted in the recent situation from geopolitics. The dream of India to become 2nd economic power by 2030, will remain a dream if there will be no peace in Afghanistan, Kashmir and Baluchistan. The misery of the poor people will continue to prolong if some serious efforts could not be diverted toward the welfare of the masses.

To conclude the above mention facts, both countries are wasting the prestigious resources for an unappreciated activity which would ultimately end up squeezing the resources of the both nations. Pakistan is the worst affected nation between the two in their undeclared cold war. India got nukes from Russia in order only to threaten its neighbors, especially Pakistan that in turn forced Pakistan also to have the nuclear facility at a very high cost, affecting normal life of Pakistan as scarce resources were diverted from social sectors to create a nuclear regime to take on India, to defend itself from any mischievous attacks. What would be the end result of this cold war? A war or a peaceful resolution of the conflicts?


 

Only US, Russia and China claimed the title of Space Power and now India has joined the list by shooting down a live satellite on the LEO (Low Earth Orbit) in just three minutes using a missile on March 29, 2019. Anti satellites are space weapons designed to destroy or incapacitate satellites for strategic military purposes.

Beginning of Space Race
Space race was triggered with the launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in 1957. As a result, the USA and Russia started developing on their own space industries. Today, countries like Canada, Japan, India and China have started to prove their capacity in the space programmes. The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to make sure that the benefits of space-based services reach the people on the ground.

Space Agencies of the world
There are six government space agencies in the world. They are; the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA), the Russian Federal Space Agency (RFSA or Roscosmos), the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the China National Space Administration (CNSA), and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

What do satellite do?
They take pictures of the sun, black holes, dark matter or faraway galaxies. Scientists use these pictures to better understand the solar system and the universe. Some satellites are uses for communication such as beaming TV signals and phone calls around the world. Satellites also help in GPS technology which helps figure out our exact location.

Will anti-satellites missiles be used in future wars?
Anti-satellite missiles can destroy enemy satellites in times of war in order to prevent the intelligence and communication networks of a country. It can also be used to destroy the spy satellites. The US tested its anti-satellite missiles in 1958 while the Soviet Union did it in the 1960 and 70s. China tested its anti-satellite missile in 2007. Though Prime Minister Modi reiterated the international community that this new capability of India will be used only for its own security and development, Ajay Lele, senior fellow at the Institute for Defense and Analysis, mentioned that India needed to do it “because adversary China has already done it in 2007”. Therefore, India’s Mission Shakthi programme would be seen as a threat mainly by China and Pakistan.

With its 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is called the largest democracy in the world. It is the product of a multicultural history which started around 2,500 BC, with the Vedic period.

The Aryans, a semi-nomadic tribe coming from central Asia, arrived after 1500 BC. In the fifth century, large regions of India were united under the rule of the Mauryas leader, Ashoka. Converted to Buddhism, he spread this religion to his kingdom. Islam was introduced in India as soon as the eleventh century, which led to the Mughal Empire from 1526 to 1761. The Europeans arrived in India from the fifteenth century and the British crown decided to rule this country by itself during a period named the British Raj (1858-1747).

On the 15th of august 1947, India became independent and since this date, she has experienced a democratic governance.

 In 2018, India became the 6th most powerful country economically, with a growth rate of 7%. However, if we look closer at the numbers given by the Oxford Poverty and Human development initiative, using the multidimensional poverty index (MPI), in 2010, 55% of the Indian population live under the poverty line.

According to Christophe Jaffrelot, professor in Sciences Po Paris and specialist in India, the poorest in India come from three categories: the Muslim, the Dalits (officially Scheduled Castes, known as Untouchables) and the Adivasis (the Indian tribes). In 2019 they were respectively 14%, 16% and 8% of the Indian population.

Why are these categories the most affected by poverty? It is partly related to resilience of the caste system in the Indian mindset.

The first foundations of the caste system appeared in the Rigveda, an ancient religious book dated from around 2500 BC. According to Hinduism, at the beginning of the Earth, the main God, called Purusha, gave birth to four categories of people.

The Brahmins, the priests, were born from his head. The Kshatriyas came from his arms as warriors. Then the Vaishyas, the trademen, appeared from his tights, and finally the Shudras, the servants, came from his feet. These four groups are the four castes in India, called Varnas in Hindi.

There was a last group, who didn’t even come from a part of Purusha’s body. They were assigned all the impure tasks like cleaning the road, being butchers, burying the dead. Because the upper caste people could be polluted by them, they were called Untouchables. You can also encounter the term Dalit – ‘son of God’, which was invented by Gandhi.

From centuries, Untouchables have been marginalized, and this reached a paroxysm in the nineteenth century. The British Raj administration made censuses in India, and organized them by castes. As a consequence, the British would give the best positions in the administration to those registered as Brahmins. Robert Deliège, specialist in the Indian society, defends the theory that the discrimination increased during the British Raj, partly because of this.

Therefore, the first Untouchables uprisings began in India as soon as the nineteenth century, but were truly effective only with the arrival of Ambedkar. He was an Indian jurist who had studied in England, and decided to tackle the Untouchables problems, for example the fact that they couldn’t get water from the same wells as other Indians, because of their so-called ‘impureness’. Ambedkar was also one of the fathers of the 1947 Indian Constitution. India owes him its part affirming that any discrimination based on the caste system is prohibited.

However, on a practical level, has the caste system truly disappeared? Sadly, the answer is negative. Discrimination did step back in India, thanks to positive discrimination. Quotas were created in the mid-20th century and assure for the SC (Scheduled Castes, that is to say the Untouchables) and the ST (Scheduled Tribes) a certain percentage of the jobs in the Indian administration. In the Tamil Nadu State for example, these quotas represent nowadays up to 69% of all the administrative positions.

However, the marginalization of the Untouchables is still an issue in India. Despite of the positive discrimination, 70% live in the countryside, and 90% work in unskilled labor, mainly in agriculture.

In the countryside, where the mentality remains patriarchal and conservative, atrocities related to the caste system are still committed. In 2013, Nidhi and Dhamender, a young couple that told their families they wanted to get married, were killed by Nidhi’s family because both of them were from different castes, and the dishonor would have been too important for Nidhi’s mother. This fact, related by the BBC in 2013, is sadly not an exception in India.

According to an article from Times of India published in 2018, these honor killings reached a peak in 2015, with 215 cases in India. They are one of the worst and most visible markers that the caste system is still well implemented in India.

With a younger middle class generation reaching the age to make their voices heard, will India let its caste system slowly go?

The resilience of the caste system in India

With its 1.3 billion inhabitants, India is called the largest democracy in the world. It is the product of a multicultural history which started around 2,500 BC, with the Vedic period.

The Aryans, a semi-nomadic tribe coming from central Asia, arrived after 1500 BC. In the fifth century, large regions of India were united under the rule of the Mauryas leader, Ashoka. Converted to Buddhism, he spread this religion to his kingdom. Islam was introduced in India as soon as the eleventh century, which led to the Mughal Empire from 1526 to 1761. The Europeans arrived in India from the fifteenth century and the British crown decided to rule this country by itself during a period named the British Raj (1858-1747).

On the 15th of august 1947, India became independent and since this date, she has experienced a democratic governance.

 In 2018, India became the 6th most powerful country economically, with a growth rate of 7%. However, if we look closer at the numbers given by the Oxford Poverty and Human development initiative, using the multidimensional poverty index (MPI), in 2010, 55% of the Indian population live under the poverty line.

According to Christophe Jaffrelot, professor in Sciences Po Paris and specialist in India, the poorest in India come from three categories: the Muslim, the Dalits (officially Scheduled Castes, known as Untouchables) and the Adivasis (the Indian tribes). In 2019 they were respectively 14%, 16% and 8% of the Indian population.

Why are these categories the most affected by poverty? It is partly related to resilience of the caste system in the Indian mindset.

 The first foundations of the caste system appeared in the Rigveda, an ancient religious book dated from around 2500 BC. According to Hinduism, at the beginning of the Earth, the main God, called Purusha, gave birth to four categories of people.

The Brahmins, the priests, were born from his head. The Kshatriyas came from his arms as warriors. Then the Vaishyas, the trademen, appeared from his tights, and finally the Shudras, the servants, came from his feet. These four groups are the four castes in India, called Varnas in Hindi.

There was a last group, who didn’t even come from a part of Purusha’s body. They were assigned all the impure tasks like cleaning the road, being butchers, burying the dead. Because the upper caste people could be polluted by them, they were called Untouchables. You can also encounter the term Dalit – ‘son of God’, which was invented by Gandhi.

From centuries, Untouchables have been marginalized, and this reached a paroxysm in the nineteenth century. The British Raj administration made censuses in India, and organized them by castes. As a consequence, the British would give the best positions in the administration to those registered as Brahmins. Robert Deliège, specialist in the Indian society, defends the theory that the discrimination increased during the British Raj, partly because of this.

Therefore, the first Untouchables uprisings began in India as soon as the nineteenth century, but were truly effective only with the arrival of Ambedkar. He was an Indian jurist who had studied in England, and decided to tackle the Untouchables problems, for example the fact that they couldn’t get water from the same wells as other Indians, because of their so-called ‘impureness’. Ambedkar was also one of the fathers of the 1947 Indian Constitution. India owes him its part affirming that any discrimination based on the caste system is prohibited.

However, on a practical level, has the caste system truly disappeared? Sadly, the answer is negative. Discrimination did step back in India, thanks to positive discrimination. Quotas were created in the mid-20th century and assure for the SC (Scheduled Castes, that is to say the Untouchables) and the ST (Scheduled Tribes) a certain percentage of the jobs in the Indian administration. In the Tamil Nadu State for example, these quotas represent nowadays up to 69% of all the administrative positions.

However, the marginalization of the Untouchables is still an issue in India. Despite of the positive discrimination, 70% live in the countryside, and 90% work in unskilled labor, mainly in agriculture.

In the countryside, where the mentality remains patriarchal and conservative, atrocities related to the caste system are still committed. In 2013, Nidhi and Dhamender, a young couple that told their families they wanted to get married, were killed by Nidhi’s family because both of them were from different castes, and the dishonor would have been too important for Nidhi’s mother. This fact, related by the BBC in 2013, is sadly not an exception in India.

According to an article from Times of India published in 2018, these honor killings reached a peak in 2015, with 215 cases in India. They are one of the worst and most visible markers that the caste system is still well implemented in India.

With a younger middle class generation reaching the age to make their voices heard, will India let its caste system slowly go?

Tim Marshall in his book,’ Prisoners of Geography’ writes that in case, Kashmir becomes part of
Pakistan, it would deny India opportunities and strengthen foreign policy options for Pakistan.
Pakistan’s water insecurity issues would also be resolved. Originating from Himalayan Tibet,
Indus River passes through Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir before entering Pakistan from
where it runs the length of the country and empties in the Arabian Sea in Karachi.

In 2016, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that this resource that belonged to India could
not be allowed to flow into Pakistan. The Indian government had threatened to revise the Indus
Water Treaty (IWT) during that time after Pathankot and Uri attacks. India is repeating the
same rhetoric after the Pulwama Attack in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. According to
Hindustan Times, the government of India has announced to divert the flow of this resource entering
into Pakistan which it calls ‘unutilised water’. The government plans to divert the flow into the
Yamuna River in order to improve its availability. Water flow coming from three rivers
Indus, Jhelum and Chenab to Pakistan would be diverted to Yamuna River where Indian
government plans to build a project. Pakistan is entitled to have the water from these three
rivers under the IWT.

This treaty was signed between India and Pakistan on September 19, 1960. The
treaty was brokered by the World Bank. The treaty gave India control over waters of three
eastern rivers, Sutlej, Beas and Ravi. Similarly, it gave Pakistan control over waters of three
western rivers, Indus, Jhelum and Chenab. This treaty is said to have stood even during the
wars between India and Pakistan. However, the BJP government under Modi has threatened in
several occasions to revise the treaty. Moreover, Indus River System Authority (IRSA) experts
complain that instead of using water from only three rivers which India has control over
according to IWT, India is constructing huge water storages on all six Indus basin rivers. This is a
clear violation of the treaty. The treaty, however, allows India to use this resource in non-consumptive
ways from the western rivers. As per the experts, this permits India to use water in a way that
does not reduce downstream water level and does not change the course of the rivers. India is
allowed to tap into 3.6 million acre-feet (MAF) of water only for transport, power and irrigation purposes.

The threat to revise the treaty and stop the flow of water to Pakistan is not only the
violation of IWT but also of the international law. International Law proscribes upper riparian to
divert or stop the flow of waters of rivers to the lower riparian. Therefore, India’s move to stop
or divert flow would be a clear violation of International Law.
The Indian government is definitely leaving no stone unturned to isolate Pakistan
internationally and sabotage its progress domestically. Pakistan is an agrarian state where
agriculture contributes approximately 20 per cent to its GDP and employs approximately 43 per
cent of its labour force. India is deliberately trying to weaken Pakistan’s already struggling
economy and it clearly knows its moves in this regard. However, the current wave of threats to
revise the IWT and isolate Pakistan internationally shows opportunism of Indian government
which is playing the hatred card against Pakistan to win the upcoming general elections. But
this is not it. This resource is more than just a war tool and BJP government in India is making the most
of it.

In 2013, William Sarni and Tamim Pechet wrote a book, ‘Water Tech: A Guide to Investment,
Innovation and Business Opportunities in the Water Sector’ in which they highlighted the
emergence of water cartels in future just like oil and gas cartels in the past. In 2010, the then
Secretary of Indian water resources ministry (retired) U.N. Panjiar had talked about business
opportunities in the Indian water sector. He highlighted opportunities within this sector
covering industry, desalination projects, agriculture, hydropower, storage and home
consumption. In this regard, India has invested billions of dollars in this sector which
includes investments from several banks and domestic companies. India’s such moves
apparently manifest its long-term desires to create a water cartel. Hence, the current war
rhetoric is not just a political gimmick to create hatred against Pakistan to win the elections but
also a deliberated long-term curved business opportunity to create a water cartel.

Launched by America, the war in Afghanistan is at a turning point. People born after September 11, 2001, are now being deployed there. Peace negotiations continue, but with little impact.

Yet, there is one question that has not been answered: What is to be the future of India in the region?

India has played a considerable part in the future of Afghanistan. Many Afghani people watch Bollywood movie. India was the first country to send in construction workers following the 2001 Invasion. The Mughal Empire originated in Kabul, and while many Afghani’s consider the United States to be imperialist country, as they had viewed the Soviet Union, they consider India to be a brother.

But, little has been done on India’s part other than these symbolic gestures. The country has seen what fighting in Afghanistan has done to the British, the Russians, the Americans, and others. Yet India is still interested in the long-term future of Afghanistan, as it relates to their larger  cold-war with Pakistan that since resulted in 4 direct wars between the two states and the standoffs that have flared up routinely since September 11, 2001.

But now the Americans are considering pulling out. But Afghanistan is far from perfect, and the simple truth of the matter is is that the United States has no real concerns for the long-term future of Afghanistan. The United States concern is fighting terrorism, nothing more. India, however, does. And so does India’s arch rival, Pakistan.

When, in 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, the Pakistani government was one of the big three founders of the Afghan Mujaheddin, the United States and Saudi Arabia being the other two. Each of the three nations was involved in Afghanistan for different reasons, and they often clashed. For Pakistan, it was to prevent Soviet-allied India from using Afghanistan as a base to launch a two-front war against Pakistan. After the Soviet Union left Afghanistan and the Communist government of Afghanistan in 1992, Pakistan created the Taliban and intervened in the Afghan Civil War to further their agenda.

Although the Pakistani government backed the United States following 9/11 and has co-operated with the United States by a fighting a war against the Taliban of it’s own since 2004, geopolitical circumstances still favor a Pakistan-Taliban alliance, something that the ISI has most certainly tried to fulfill, such as airlifting several top Taliban officials out of Kunduz before the city fell to the Advancing American forces, and the fact that Osama Bin Laden was conveniently found next to the main Pakistani military training academy in a secure compound.

With the Americans gone and no one to take their place, it could enable the Pakistanis to return Afghanistan under their sphere of Influence.

This means that India is at a moment that will decide it’s future standing in the world. India is already taking the lead in the effort to contain the growing power of the Chinese. They are undertaking efforts to be the next great manufacturing powerhouse, and they have already spent so much effort into ensuring the long-term future of the Afghan people. India may very well be the only nation that can defeat the Taliban. They have the numbers, the war machine, the commitment, and they are not seen as outside intruders by mainstream Afghani society.

India has a choice to make. It can take America’s current role in Afghanistan or it can do nothing. Whatever choice it makes, India will live with the consequences.

 

 

Insurgency began to gain momentum in Kashmir after the elections of 23 March 1987. Syed
Muhammad Yousuf Shah, a candidate of Muslim United Front, was contesting from Amira kadal
Constituency. As the results were declared, the less popular Ghulam Mohiudin Shah of opponent
National Conference was declared as the winner from Amira kadal constituency. The election was
widely perceived to have been rigged. People further lost hope in electoral politics and initiated the
armed resistance in Kashmir against India. India responded to the armed resistance which lead to
various war crimes like gang rapes, murder, torture, disappearance, snatching of civil liberty and
violation of Human Rights. On 26 May 2008, the agreement of Central Government and State
government to transfer 99 acres of forest land to Amarnath Shrine board for Hindu Pilgrims escalated
massive protests and demonstrations largest of which saw more than 500,000 protestors in a single
rally.

Inhabitants do their best to play a role in the decision-making.

The Resistance leadership termed it as a conspiracy to change the demographic structure of
Kashmir. Curfew was imposed to stop protestors from gathering and forces opened fire on civilians
which resulted in killing of 14 civilians. The killings gave rise to another indigenous uprising. The
beginning of the second uprising by local groups and youths lead to massive redeployment of Indian
security forces followed by countless incidents of violence and killings. The death of Burhan Wani, a
commander of armed group Hizbul Mujahideen, gave rise to another uprising which led to protests in
all 10 districts of Kashmir resulting in killing of around 120 civilians. The mobile telephone networks
and internet services remained dismantled to prevent further agitation. Newspapers failed to publish
for five consecutive days due to raids on their offices and printing presses, till they started again on
July 21. The apparently indiscriminate use of allegedly “non-lethal” weapons like pellet guns to control
crowds have resulted in almost 43 civilians having lost their lives so far. Hundreds have been blinded
and a few thousand injured.

United Nations Human Rights Office published first ever report in June 2018 on Human Rights
situation in Kashmir calling for international inquiry into multiple violations. UN High Commissioner forHuman Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said, “The political dimensions of the dispute between India and
Pakistan have long been centre-stage, but this is not a conflict frozen in time. It is a conflict that has
robbed millions of their basic human rights, and continues to this day to inflict untold suffering. This is
why any resolution of the political situation in Kashmir must entail a commitment to end the cycles of
violence and ensure accountability for past and current violations and abuses by all parties, and
provide redress for victims. It is also why I will be urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider
establishing a commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive independent international
investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir. It is essential the Indian authorities
take immediate and effective steps to avoid a repetition of the numerous examples of excessive use
of force by security forces in Kashmir”.

The U.N is not liked by Indians about Kashmir.

In response to the report, India blamed the United NationHuman Rights Council for being prejudiced and building fake narrative. The Official Spokesperson ofMinistry of external affairs of India said “India rejects the report. It is fallacious, tendentious andmotivated. We question the intent in bringing out such a report. It is a selective compilation of largelyunverified information. It is overtly prejudiced and seeks to build a false narrative.

In June 2013, Former Union Minister of external affairs of Government of India, Salman Khurshid
inaugurated a 3 days International conference at the University of Kashmir. While addressing the
gathering of politicians, diplomats and academics, he said, “We want dialogue within Afghanistan that
should be led by Afghans. They must choose their own destiny…We want Afghanistan to be
controlled by Afghans”. But when it come to Kashmir, India has either avoided or denied any attempt
by the International community towards the resolution of Kashmir issue in a democratic way. In India,
it is illegal to exclude Azad Kashmir in its map while in Pakistan; it is illegal to not include Jammu and
Kashmir as a disputed territory. An impartial Plebiscite, if conducted, would out rule all the disputes
and bring all parties to a consensus. Opportunistic Preconditions create an environment of mistrust in
which sincere efforts towards the resolution fail to flourish. India’s refusal to conduct plebiscite,
despite being a democracy with faith in democratic values, continues to be a hurdle in the path of
peacefully resolving a longest pending territorial dispute between the nuclear countries with a
potential to disrupt the peace and stability of entire Asian subcontinent.