India Insight

Residents in Soura neighbourhood of Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir, plant barricades to keep security forces out.

For more than a week, the young men of Soura, a densely-populated enclave in Indian-administered Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, have been taking turns to maintain a round-the-clock vigil at the entry points to their neighbourhood.

Each of the dozen or so entrances have been blocked with makeshift barricades of bricks, corrugated metal sheets, wooden slabs and felled tree trunks. Groups of youths armed with stones congregate behind the biggest obstacles.

Their aim: to keep Indian security forces, and particularly the paramilitary police, out of the area.

“We have no voice. We are exploding from within,” said Ejaz, 25, who, like many other residents in Soura interviewed by Reuters news agency, gave only one name, saying he feared arrest.

“If the world won’t listen to us too, then what should we do? Pick up guns?”

Soura, home to about 15,000 people, is becoming the epicentre of resistance to the government’s removal on August 5 of the partial autonomy enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

The enclave, which has effectively become a no-go zone for Indian security forces, is now a barometer of the ability of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government to impose its will in Kashmir after its dramatic move.

The change, the government said, was necessary to integrate Kashmir fully into India, tackle corruption and nepotism, and speed up its development, which Modi says is the key to securing lasting peace and defeating “terrorism”.

A neighbourhood street is blocked with tree branches by Kashmiri protesters during restrictions in Srinagar [Danish Ismail/Reuters]

In Soura, it is hard to find anyone who supports Modi’s move. Many of the more than two dozen residents interviewed by Reuters over the past week referred to Modi as “zaalim”, an Urdu word meaning “tyrant”.

The constitutional change will allow non-residents to buy property in Jammu and Kashmir and apply for jobs in local government.

Some Muslims in Kashmir say they fear that India’s dominant Hindu population will overrun the lush state at the foot of the Himalayas and that Kashmiris’ identity, culture and religion will be diluted and repressed.

“We feel like we are guarding the LoC here,” said Ejaz, referring to the Line of Control, the highly militarised de facto border between the Indian and Pakistan-controlled parts of Kashmir.

For decades, Kashmir has been a source of friction between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. Both nations claim the region in full and have fought two wars over the territory since 1947.

Residents in Soura say dozens of people have been injured in clashes with the paramilitary police over the past week. It is unclear how many have been detained.

A spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir government declined to answer questions from Reuters.

The Indian government’s Home Ministry did not return calls and emails seeking comment.

The Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) is in lockdown after the government revoked a special status granted to the troubled region.

On Monday, Interior Minister Amit Shah told India’s parliament that the federal government would scrap Article 370, a constitutional provision that grants special status and allows the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir to make its own laws. The order was subsequently approved by the Indian President.

CNBC takes a look at what this means for Kashmir and for the Muslim-majority state’s relationship with India.

What is Article 370?

Article 370 of the Indian constitution carves out a special status to the state of J&K. It also limits the Indian parliament’s power to make laws for the state. In effect, the special status, which is described as “temporary” allows the state of Jammu & Kashmir to have its own constitution, its own flag and take decisions except for any matter that is related to defense and foreign affairs. The temporary provision was included in the constitution on 17 October, 1949. This special status dates back to the end of British rule in India in 1947 when Maharaja Hari Singh of the then colonized state of Jammu & Kashmir signed a Treaty of Accession for the state of J&K to join the Indian side.

Meanwhile, Article 35a, which was added to the constitution in 1954 under Article 370 gives the state of Jammu & Kashmir the right to decide who its permanent residents are. The clause further gives special rights to residents in government jobs, when buying property in the state and for educational scholarships among others.The state defines its permanent residents as those that are “born or settled within the state before 1911 or after having lawfully acquired immovable property and resident in the state for not less than 10 years before that date.”

The law bans non-permanent residents from settling in the state, buying land, and taking government jobs or scholarships.

Why is the Indian government revoking Article 370?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party had pushed for an end to Kashmir’s special constitutional status, arguing that such laws had hindered its integration with the rest of India. India’s government wants to strengthen its influence over its only Muslim-majority region.

In the run up to the most recent elections in May this year, Modi’s Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) had promised a firm policy action to bring peace in the Jammu & Kashmir region. “In the last five years, we have made all necessary efforts to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions and a firm policy. We are committed to overcoming all obstacles that come in the way of development and providing adequate financial resources to all the regions of the state. We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370,” according to the manifesto.

On Monday, Interior Minister Amit Shah introduced the measure in parliament amid massive protests from the opposition as well as regional parties in J&K. Opposition parties have condemned the government’s proposal, calling it “undemocratic.” Shah also said the state will be divided into two union territories – Jammu & Kashmir, which will have its own legislature, and Ladakh, which will be ruled directly by the central government and will have no legislature of its own. A union territory is a type of administrative division in India. Unlike the states of India, which have their own governments, union territories are federal territories governed directly by the main government.

What’s the situation on the ground?

India has deployed tens of thousands of troops across the Kashmir valley in anticipation of a backlash of the revoke. Indian authorities banned public movements, shut down schools and colleges indefinitely and put two former chief ministers of J&K — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — under house arrest ahead of the announcement.

The two leaders took to Twitter to express their disappointment over the decision and warned of consequences. Indian media reports suggest that mobile internet services have been suspended in Kashmir Valley and Satellite phones were being used by security officials.

Critics on Twitter have condemned the move, calling it “authoritarianism.” Indian-author Ramachandra Guha blamed the government for taking action without a proper debate.

What is Pakistan’s response to this?

On Monday, the Pakistan government strongly condemned India for taking “illegal steps” in its decision to revoke special status for Kashmir. This according to Reuters, citing a government statement. The Pakistan government also warned that it will “exercise all possible options.”

“As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

How Kashmir got here?

India and Pakistan’s conflict over the mountainous region of Kashmir dates back to 1947 when both countries became independent from British colonial rule.

The entire subcontinent was partitioned into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, which led to a mass displacement as people migrated from one country to the other. Outbreaks of communal and religious violence killed hundreds of thousands of people in the subcontinent during that time.

Jammu and Kashmir was a former princely state where a large number of people were killed and others were driven away by the violence during the partition. Since then, India and Pakistan have fought multiple wars over the region — both countries claim the region in full but control only parts of it. Many have raised concerns over violence and human rights abuses in both India-controlled Jammu and Kashmir, as well as in Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan region.

This excellent article was originally found on CNBC here’s the link towards the source : https://www.cnbc.com/2019/08/05/article-370-what-is-happening-in-kashmir-india-revokes-special-status.html

America needs a new strategy. The old way is collapsing as new superpowers emerge into the world. In order for the United States to stay afloat, it has to make alliances with those superpowers. One of those superpowers is India.

India has emerged itself as a big power, with the Make In India Initiative seeking to make India a major manufacturing hub, and is emerging as a major hub in the technology sector.

A United States – India alliance is not only good for the economy of the United States, but also for the national security of the United States.

One reason for India’s large economy is because it sits between the routes between the Middle East and the Far East. Ships going through the Suez Canal pass by India on their way to Singapore. West of India is the Middle East, still a hotbed for global jihad activity. North of India is China, a country currently threatening American hegemony in the Pacific Ocean, and under international scrutiny for it’s trade policies and checkbook diplomacy. East of India is Singapore, a major economic power and a country in a region that has received a lot of support.

India is surrounded on three front, and water on the fourth. If India falls, it will fall to these forces, and cause a global chain reaction that will eventually reach its way to the United States.

But there is a more practical reason as to why the United States needs an alliance with India: Afghanistan and the events of September 11, 2001.

The United States invaded Afghanistan to drive out Al-Qaeda, which was granted safe harbor by the Taliban, whose creator and biggest backer is Pakistan, arch rival of India. And Osama Bin Laden was eventually found in Pakistan, next to a key Pakistani military instillation, raising suspicions of Pakistani/ISI collaboration.

The War on Terror has forced Washington and New Delhi together, the rise of China has brought Washington and New Delhi together, the global economy has brought Washington and New Delhi together. And for the future of both powers, they must remain together.

The Indian Ocean region currently faces some of the most challenging and exciting geopolitical transformations in its playground with China and India playing a major role in determining the larger strategic manoeuvres of other regional states and extra regional powers such as the United States. The rise of new and emerging states such as Australia in this Geo-economic space has given rise to new geo-strategies that the nation wishes to increasingly employ, looking back at a region that for a long time had been ignored by the country.

India and Australia, in 2008, signed a ‘Joint Declaration on Security and Cooperation’[1] which wished to bring together the strategic perspectives of both the nation states through a ‘cooperative security framework’. One of the key features of this declaration was increased cooperation in the maritime domain at a strategic level. For Australia, the Indian Ocean region has a prominent place in its strategic calculations, having the longest coastline and largest area of maritime jurisdiction, the emergence of newer nation states within Indian Ocean has made its role greater in the region.

India, on the other hand, focuses on the Indian Ocean Region as being a ‘strategic bridge with the nations in its immediate and extended maritime neighbourhood.’[2] India has since the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, refocused its maritime policy and more particularly within the region. Its increased emphasis on the protection and assurance of ‘safe passage’ in the region comes from two factors; one is China’s increased presence and linkages with other Indian Ocean Littorals and the second, is India’s ambition to be a ‘net security provider’[3] to the region. The nation is also increasingly looking towards expanding its influence in the fast emerging construct of an ‘Indo-Pacific’ region. The ‘QUAD’ (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) was a key enabler in expanding India-Australia partnership, within the Indian Ocean and the ‘Indo-Pacific’.

Geographically, Australia has approximately 86 million square km wide Exclusive Economic Zone along with the surveillance and defence of the AEEZ (Australian Antarctic EEZ) within the region[4]. The nation’s responsibility to provide safe passage and navigation to ships and submarines could be one of the reasons why an increasingly aggressive China within the Indo-Pacific region seems to be of great strategic concern. A brief assessment of Australia’s maritime strategy gives one an understanding of the need of a comprehensive strategic outlook’s for the country to effectively pursue its national interest in the region.

There is however seen, a lack of coordination between national and state level instrumentalities wherein responsibility of Australian policy makers towards its maritime affairs seems to be largely ignored with some analysts calling it ‘sea-blindness’[5]. In 2005, the then Chief Admiral of the Royal Australian Navy, Vice Admiral Chris Richie remarked on the ‘ambiguous place of the seas’[6] in Australian National life, urging for a re-examination of Australia’s land based identities.

India on the other hand is marking the 21st century as the ‘century of the seas’[7] for itself. The Indian Navy is central in promotion of the country’s national interest and security in the maritime domain. The country’s maritime security strategy, under the present leadership seems to be carrying a larger ‘strategic angle’ and wishes to embody an ‘Indian naval vision’ for the region. Former Admiral and Chief of the Indian Navy, R.K. Dhowan remarks on three significant developments in the nation’s maritime security architecture[8]; First is India’s move from a ‘Euro-Atlantic’ to an ‘Indo-Pacific’ focus which seems to have largely repositioned the country’s global economic and military power within the region. Second, is the recognition of ‘new and emerging threats’ in the form of piracy and terrorism which has made India to relook its offshore and coastal security. Third is an acknowledgement on the part of the administration in enabling the Indian navy to perform a more strong and enhanced role in the country’s maritime security.

Australia has been one of the most vocal supporters to India’s ambition of being a ‘net security provider’ to the region. Australia aims to create a deeper maritime relation with India so as to present it as a counterbalancing force against China. The island state wants to avoid itself and the region to get embroiled in a confrontation between US and China and thereby find it picking sides.  The country has been subtly stepping up its security cooperation with India, through extensive maritime exercises such as the ‘Indo-Pacific Endeavour’ which was hosted in March 2019,across the Indo-Pacific region and hosted at states of Vishakhapatnam and Chennai in India specifically[9].

India’s policies towards the Indian Ocean have a global perspective and appeal that could work in Australia’s favour as they continue to deepen and establish more meaningful bilateral security arrangements so as to ensure security of the Indian Ocean. There are however, some challenges to a fruitful maritime cooperation between both the nation states. The increasingly aligned intentions and interests of both the nations have been conducive in establishing a dialogue in academic circles of moving the partnership between India and Australia to a more concrete phase. Australia’s efforts to woo India have been more than evident whereas India still chooses to take measured steps towards enriching its relationship with the country. In 2011, Australia removed its ban on Uranium sales to India after years of its hesitation, showing clear intentions of the nation[10].

The ‘QUAD’, even when seems to have re-energised the spirits of the ‘maritime democracies’ of the Indian ocean states and the ‘Indo-Pacific’ states, has largely been a talking shop giving the reflection of the dialogue having more rhetoric than action. Another challenge for Australia is India’s insecurity as a nation wherein it believes that visibility is vulnerability and therefore feels that by closely aligning itself with US and its allies it may disturb an already delicate maritime chessboard of the Indian Ocean region and trigger the dragon. Apart from this, India also fears that Australia, which has been a strategic ally to the United States for a very long time may eventually isolate India in order to promote US predominance within the Indian Ocean leaving it high and dry.

The two nations therefore have vast opportunities to explore so as to ensure greater maritime cooperation. Joint exploration efforts in the region can be one of the ways by which a stable growth of both the nations’ economies can be benefitted. Participation of both the nations in institutions such as IORA( Indian Ocean Rim Association) and IONS(Indian Ocean Naval Symposium) can also be a catalyst in deepening relations between the two. However, different traditional instincts about security collaboration and a fear on the part of both the states to not instigate China is becoming a major hindrance in an otherwise fated marriage between both the nation states.

 

[1]‘PA5009 India-Australia Joint Declaration On Security Cooperation’, Australia High Commission, November, 2009, See website, https://india.embassy.gov.au/ndli/pa5009jsb.html

 

 

[2]India and the Indian Ocean: A Briefing’, Institute For Defence Studies and Analyses, April,2016, See Website, https://idsa.in/idsanews/india-and-the-indian-ocean_skundu

[3]‘ Ensuring Secure Seas: Indian Maritime Security Strategy’, Indian Naval Strategic Publication(NSP)1.2, Ministry of Defence, October,2015, See Website, file:///C:/Users/hp1/Documents/admin%20material/geopol/semester%20two/maritime/Indian_Maritime_Security_Strategy_Document_25Jan16.pdf

 

 

 

[4]‘Inquiry into Australia’s Maritime Strategy’, Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs , Defence and Trade, The Australian Centre for Maritime Studies, November,2002, see website, http://www.tamilnation.co/intframe/indian_ocean/australia_centre_for_maritime_studies.pdf

 

 

 

[5]Michael Evans, ‘The Third Way: Towards an Australian Maritime Strategy for the 21st Century’, The Australian Army, Commonwealth of Australia Army 2014, See Website, https://www.army.gov.au/sites/g/files/net1846/f/thethirdway_evans.pdf

[6]Ibid

[7]n.3

[8]n.3

[9]Sidhant Sibal, ‘Australia Welcomes India’s Leadership in the Indian Ocean: Foreign Minister Marisse Payne’, DNA India, January, 2019, See Website, https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-australia-welcomes-india-s-leadership-in-indian-ocean-foreign-minister-marise-payne-2706152

[10]Fredric Grare, ‘India-Australia Strategic Relationship: Defining Realistic Expectations’, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March, 2014, See Website, https://carnegieendowment.org/files/india_australia_strat_rel.pdf

 

 

Alwar, Rajasthan, India — “It’s not even been one year. I really miss him,” says Sahila Khan, her head bowed and sitting in a small room that belonged to her father, Rakbar, a Muslim farmer who was lynched by a group of Hindu men in India’s Rajasthan state.
Khan, 28, was killed in July last year and left behind seven children, including 14-year-old Sahila.
Khan and a friend had been walking two newly bought cows through the fields of Alwar in the country’s north, towards their home across the border in Haryana when they were attacked by a group of Hindu men, according to his family.

But it wasn’t an isolated case.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Hindu vigilante groups have killed dozens of people in recent years, many of them Muslims, for allegedly slaughtering or transporting cows — an animal that is considered sacred by many Hindus.

The attacks have sparked concern about the spread of violent Hindu nationalism since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014.

Critics say the presence of a Hindu nationalist government in Delhi has encouraged vigilantism by their hardline supporters against cattle traders, especially Muslims, a minority in India. Even minority groups within the Hindu community, such as lower caste Hindus previously known as “untouchables,” have faced violence from hardline nationalists.

“There is fear. There was one incident and so we fear that there will be another,” said Suraj Pal, a farmer in Khan’s village, Kolgaon.

 

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?