Kashmir was long protected by article 370, which allowed Kashmir a certain amount of autonomy and its own constitution, a separate flag and freedom to make laws, while the defence, communications and foreign affairs were controlled by the central government. This was long opposed by PM Modi and the BJP, and India has now taken the provocative step, scrapping article 370, and forcefully placing Kashmir on the same footing as the rest of India. Many in Kashmir believe India wants to change the demographics of the region, to integrate it into Indian society as the government please. As a result, Kashmir will no longer have a separate constitution but will have to abide by the Indian constitution much like any other state and all Indian laws will be automatically applied to Kashmiris, and people from outside the state will be able to buy property there. Since the move, Kashmir has been in a state of panic and unrest, with a recent surge in violence.
2. India kills suspected militants in Kashmir
A suspected militants and a police officer have been killed in a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir in what is believed to be the first clash with insurgents since the revocation of the territory’s special status. Kashmir police said a man who they said was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group, was killed in an operation by security teams in Baramulla, northern Kashmir. This could lead to an escalation of tensions in the region.
3. India accused of shelling Pakistan administered Kashmir
In another alarming sign of escalating violence, India has been accused of shelling Pakistani administered Kashmir, in the midst of hurling of accusations between India and Pakistan accusing each other of ceasefire violations. However, as the 2 countries fight the blame game, the population of Kashmir is suffering at the hand of violence. Furthermore, if the heated confrontation between Pakistan and India continues, more violence could ensue, hence the need of the mediation of an outside body or nation.
4. Restrictions eased by India
However, in a move that signals de-escalation from India, The Indian government has eased some restrictions in Indian-Administered Kashmir, which has been in lockdown for more than two weeks. It has given some respite to the people of the capital Srinagar, as well as to journalists trying to report on the decision to strip the region of its autonomy. However, many believe that as a result of the eased restrictions, violence in the regions has increased as more Kashmir residents have realized the situation.
5. Imran Khan refuses talks with India
Highlighting how far the tensions have come over Kashmir, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said there is ‘No point talking’ to India about Kashmir, as well as ruling out seeking further dialogue with India over Kashmir, expressing his frustration with New Delhi over the issue. “There is no point in talking to them. I mean, I have done all the talking. Unfortunately, now when I look back, all the overtures that I was making for peace and dialogue, I think they took it for appeasement. There is nothing more that we can do.” This is not a positive sign and underlines the tense situation in Kashmir that could result in violence.