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Kashmir Remains an Extremely Dangerous Flash Point for War

Aug. 13, 2019 (EIRNS)—Monday Aug. 12 was the first day of Eid al-Adha, an important Muslim holiday, and Kashmir remained under lockdown, “with Indian paramilitary soldiers lining roads, concertina wire spooled across road intersections and the capital’s key mosques shut down and circled by soldiers before dawn,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Kahn continued to blast the Indian move of unilaterally ending the autonomy of Kashmir—which has been disputed for decades by India and Pakistan—saying “the current government in India is acting like Hitler’s Nazi Party,” and that India’s policy “will lead to suppression of Muslims in India and eventually lead to targeting of Pakistan.” Khan referred to what is going on in Kashmir as “ethnic cleansing,” and tweeted that the “ideology of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop.”

China is also not happy with what India did. Xinhua published an editorial commentary which warned that Kashmir has been “a flashpoint of two wars and a spate of armed conflicts between India and Pakistan over the past 70 years,” and that all sides must “avoid an explosion of the Kashmir powder keg.” Xinhua stated that “When the South Asian subcontinent gained its independence after World War II, the British colonialists left behind them the Mountbatten Plan and a divided region, the root cause of turmoil and violence.”

All of this affects China directly, the article went on.

“New Delhi’s policy shift further complicates its boundary issue with China as its move to change the status of Kashmir includes the formation of Ladakh, where the western section of the China-India boundary is located, as one of the Union territories. Beijing has made it clear that its position remains unchanged that China is opposed to India’s inclusion of the Chinese territory into its administrative jurisdiction. And China will not recognize the legitimacy of India’s action to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law.”

In the midst of the crisis, India’s Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar traveled to Beijing for high-level meetings on Aug. 11-13, including with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice President Wang Qishan. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had been in Beijing just days earlier.

Wang Yi was sharp with his Indian counterpart, protesting that “India’s move doesn’t conform to the agreement between Beijing and New Delhi in upholding peace and tranquility along the border between the two countries,” according to China Daily. Jaishankar claimed India’s actions do not affect its border relations with China, and that “India is looking forward to the second informal meeting between the leaders of the two countries in India this year and is willing to make sure the meeting is a full success,” according to Xinhua.

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