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Global Times: India Needs To Provide Economic Support To Resolve Crisis over Jammu and Kashmir

Aug. 19, 2019 (EIRNS)—India cannot solve its problem in India-controlled Kashmir without new economic policies for Kashmir, Global Times reporter Hu Weijia insists an article in that newspaper today. Without commenting on India’s strategic reasons for taking over direct administration of the Indian-controlled part of Jammu and Kashmir, Hu focuses on what more is needed.

She writes, “India has been following the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons, but its Defense Minister Rajnath Singh hinted on Friday [Aug. 16] that the doctrine may be open to change.” Pakistan responded Saturday that its army was “fully prepared” to face any challenge India might present, according to Press Trust of India (PTI). Officials cited security concerns, Hu reported, when India revoked Kashmir’s Muslim majority state’s autonomy. “It is understandable that Indian officials highlight security concerns,” but, Hu states, “New Delhi focuses too much on security and military measures to resolve Kashmir-related issues,” and relying “solely on military and security tactics will change the status quo in Kashmir and escalate tensions in the disputed region,” she writes.

She maintains there are “big defects in India’s policy toward Kashmir, which doesn’t include economic support. Coercive policies are doomed to fail if they focus only on military and security controls but neglect the economy.”

The most important aspect of policy for Kashmir should be to bring development opportunities to local areas, especially Muslim communities, instead of squeezing them out of the mainstream social stratum. This would reflect China’s poverty-alleviation policies toward local areas which, in the context of the country’s rapid economic development overall, have enabled it to lift hundreds of millions out of rural poverty.

Hu also criticizes India for imposing a communications blackout on Kashmir, saying India is moving in the wrong direction. She concludes:

“Economic and political measures are always two sides of the same coin when it comes to solving social problems, so neither can be neglected. If India offers no economic solution but simply poses a military threat, the Indian government will face resistance from the Muslim community in Kashmir. The situation may continue to deteriorate, but hopefully the two nuclear-armed rivals can remain calm amid escalating tensions.”

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