At present, there are still numerous conflicts in the world that deserve our attention. But none of them, it seems, is forgotten as often as Kashmir, where the oppression by the Modi regime in India has reached a peak these days. A highlight that is hardly noticed.
“What’s going on in Kashmir?“Little people in Germany can answer this question. For decades, the Region has been disputed between India, Pakistan and China. The results of this conflict, which has existed for over half a century, could not be more gloomy. Similar to the Middle East, most of the world’s political institutions, including the UN, had no real interest in solving the problem. The consequences are hatred, militancy, extremism and state terror. The biggest responsibility, especially for the latter, lies with the Indian state, which has made the province of Jammu and Kashmir one of the most militarized zones in the world.
Reporting on the Kashmir conflict varies from country to country. In Pakistan and India, reporting is deeply politicised and emotional. Elsewhere, for example in the German-speaking world, there are small marginal reports due to current developments. The comprehensive problem of conflict is not fully explained or understood.
At this Moment, too, it roams in cashmere. The reason for this is the cancellation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The article has guaranteed the province a special autonomy status. But from now on Jammu and Kashmir will be completely controlled by New Delhi. In addition, there is a planned division of the province into two regions. A serious consequence of this decision was initiated by the right government of Narendra Modi, is the fact that Non-Kashmiris Land and property in the province of purchase. The hindu nationalist, anti-Muslim government of Modi wants to change demography in Jammu and Kashmir and create a Hindu majority there through the new legislative resolution. In addition, there is increased militarisation and the destruction of any resistance. Meanwhile, curtailments were imposed, while television, telephone and Internet were shut down. It is the usual part-and-rule principle, combined with a proper portion of colonialism known from other parts of the world.
For the people on the ground, this step would be fatal, because it would rob their political identity. In addition, of course, he is heating up the already existing conflict massively. The former Status quo in Jammu and Kashmir was that India, the so-called “largest democracy in the world”, imposed an emergency state over the province and made it a massively monitored and militarized piece of Land, the majority of which Muslim residents were completely exposed to reprisals. Last May, human rights organizations from the Region published a comprehensive report, in which it became clear that arbitrary arrests, torture and even murder are part of everyday life. Over 400 cases have been described in detail in the report, but it has been stressed that the number of crimes is much higher.
It is hardly surprising that the brutal policy of the last decades among the people in Kashmir has sown extremism and militancy. In the Region, various militant groups are currently operating, which are associated with Islamism or the so-called jihadism and aim for different goals. Not only because of the presence of those groups, but also due to civil society resistance in Kashmir in General, India has for years been his own “war on Terror” in the Region. It is also not the first Time this year that the Situation in Jammu and Kashmir is seething. Last February, at least 42 members of a paramilitary police force were killed by a suicide attack. It was one of the most severe attacks on Indian security forces. The Pakistan-based Terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the act. In many parts of India there were protests not only, but also hostilities and hunting against Kashmiris.
In India, not only are people in Kashmir at risk, but many Muslims in general feel threatened. This is mainly due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu-extremist BJP, whose fanatical supporters believe that India must be “cleaned” by Muslims and other non-Hindu minorities. “All this is just the beginning of a new wave of violence against India’s Muslims. Fascism and State terror are very much written by the Modi government,“ says Aaquib Khan, a journalist from Mumbai. Khan has been living in Germany for several months. Returning to his home already worries him. “Muslims are now treated like second-class citizens. I too cannot hide my Muslim identity and will soon feel the consequences of it, " says Khan, who thinks about a branch in Germany.
People like Khan make it clear how bad it really is about India. However, the radicalisation of politics and society did not take place from today to tomorrow. Even in this case, it is a process that has been ignored or simply ignored by many. One of the louder, critical voices has been the best-selling author Arundhati Roy for years. They not only criticised modes but highlights the problems of Indian society and the Indian nation-state for years, even in her novels. As early as February, many intellectuals and human rights activists, including Noam Chomsky, had spoken out on the basis of the human rights situation in Kashmir and the reprisals by the Modi government.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered a fiery speech before the UN General Assembly in New York in which he expressed solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Meanwhile, his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi did not lose a word about the conflict that he is currently escalating. Khan not only warned of a possible bloodbath, but also stressed in emotional manners that an armed resistance of the people in Kashmir was comprehensible and he would react in the same way if he were in the same situation.
Imran Khan, once Playboy and Cricket Star, is a charismatic man. His speech was well received on the world stage, especially in the majority of Muslim states. In addition, Khan has appeared as a voice of reason since the beginning of the Kashmir escalation in August, at least alongside the loud, aggressive modes. But the Situation is not as simple as that, which makes clear the constellation of regional and global allies of India and Pakistan.
Geopolitical power games are pre-programmed
Modi’s ideological allies now include the US and Israel, which is not surprising. Both hate Muslims and have murdered several thousands by now. It was only a few weeks ago that Modi visited the states in which the similarities between New Delhi and Washington became clear. Modi and Trump celebrated their partnership and their” fight against Terror”, which is, of course, continued in Kashmir. The two heads of state are regarded as products of the new, right-wing zeitgeist and it is all the less surprising that Modi is now regarded as a kind of Trump of South Asia. In the course of his tenure, Modi’s contacts with the Benjamin Netanyahu government have become more intense. In the last few years, it was not only propaganda trips, where Bollywood starlets took part, but also a very concrete cooperation, for instance in the Form of arms deals. Meanwhile, more and more voices agree that the Situation in Kashmir of that in Palestine is not at all dissimilar.
On the other hand, it is clear that the US is also one of Pakistan’s most important donors. Since the beginning of “War on Terror”, Pakistan received billions of dollars from Washington. Due to the war in the neighbouring country Afghanistan, the Pakistani ally was particularly important for the Americans. Above all, the country’s security apparatus, a kind of State in the state with the infamous secret service ISI at the head, benefits enormously from the funds.
Another actor, far more present in Pakistan than the US, is China. The Pakistani economy has become dependent on the Chinese. In recent years, Beijing has invested in numerous projects. A total investment volume of between US $ 46 billion and US $ 65 billion. Some might claim that large parts of Pakistan are de facto China and Khans predecessors have sold the country more or less. India is also an important trading partner of China, but in the case of Pakistan, the relationship goes far beyond that of a partner, which is also evident “on the ground”.
In regions such as the province of Baluchistan, which has been regarded as a troubled heart for decades, Chinese colonization is openly spoken. In the province there is, among other things, the port city of Gwadar, in which billions were pumped into Beijing because of its geostrategic importance. All this did not happen from today to tomorrow and was accompanied by constant unrest. The people of the Baloch is oppressed for decades by the Pakistani state. Separatist groups, mainly Marxist, repeatedly attack Chinese stations and commit terrorist attacks.
Similarly problematic is the situation in the neighbouring provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, the Pashtun tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Here, too, the Pakistani military and Secret Service prefer to suppress the local Pashtuns and to smash any uprising, even if it takes place in a peaceful manner, as it has happened in recent months. Such circumstances make it clear why Imran Khan’s words in the context of Kashmir seem improbable to many people in his own country.
Local interests always differ from geopolitical interests
In this respect, the role of another state in the Region, Afghanistan, should also be taken into account. The Kabul government is regarded as a close ally of India. This has a certain Tradition, because almost all the Afghan central governments of the last forty years have maintained a friendship with India and an hostility with Pakistan. At the same time, all insurgent groups – whether Mujahideen in the 1980’s or the Taliban to this day – had a close, albeit not always friendly relationship with the same people because of their dependence on the neighbouring state. At the same time the Afghan was in Pashtun nationalism, considered annexed to the above-mentioned border provinces as illegal, has always been a thorn in the side of Islamabad. That nationalism germinated early in the first days of the Afghan Republic in the 1970s, as the first President of the country, Mohammad Daoud Khan, the handle with the Finger in the wound and Pakistan FLV and Pashtun regions as parts of Afghanistan, to be referred to. The Kabul governments, which have been in power since 2001, continue to cultivate this nationalism. President Ashraf Ghani even intervened via Twitter last year when Pakistan’s Pashtuns loudly demonstrated, expressing his solidarity. An act that was regarded by Pakistani officials as scandalous Intervention. The rebel Pashtuns committed to the nonviolent Protest are accused of being agents of the Indian or Afghan Secret Service at the latest ever since. In the internal Afghan debate, however, the same is also accused of the insurgent Kashmiris. The only difference is that they are called Pakistani agents.
Most likely, no one is anyone’s Agent. Much more, there is the fact that a local effort – such as the autonomy or independence of Kashmiris, bellies or Pashtuns-can be beneficial for one actor, and not for the other. India has escalated the situation in Kashmir. The resistance of the local population is comprehensible and predictable. Similar is also in the Pashtun tribal areas. Both escalations have profiteers, and they are not only mostly concerned but always with their own interests in power and not with the fate of the people concerned.