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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Ethnic tension deepens in Indian-administered Kashmir

Nearly three years after the Indian government’s decision to remove the semi-autonomous status of Indian-administered Kashmir, tensions continue to rage in the region. South Asia Terrorism Portal In the last three years alone there have been over 500 deaths, including about 100 civilians. In response to the growing unrest, the ruling BJP party has redoubled efforts to transform Kashmir, including further reform of the political system. as reported by diplomatThe Delimitation Commission’s new proposals advocate redefining electoral boundaries and increasing the number of assembly seats in the region based on geographic area and access, in a process some allegation favors over Hindus. Muslims in the Kashmir Valley have opposed these changes, seeing it as yet another attempt to marginalize Muslims. The BJP’s platform enjoys popular support among many Indian Hindus, however, ethnic tensions have been deepening in the region.

,[The] Mehbooba Mufti, the last chief minister of Jama and Kashmir state, said, “Muslims’ majority community will be divided and completely deprived.” al Jazeera, “It is part of the same agenda. They have left us powerless by attacking our identity, our lands, our jobs. Now, we are being denied politically.”

The BJP general secretary in the region dismissed these fears and rejected the claim that the reforms were based on religious grounds, arguing instead that “the commission has proposed seats in a scientific manner. Population is not the only criterion”. , but there are other factors such as accessibility.”

Kashmir’s geographical location, one of the world’s most militarized regions and sandwiched between two competing nuclear powers, makes it a powder keg. The past few years show that the Indian government has failed to de-escalate the tensions in Kashmir rather than reinforce the notion of division between Muslims and non-Muslims. international crisis group Reportedly, Kashmiri youth feel that armed resistance is their only option, explaining the increasing participation in insurgent groups. Many of these groups have been accused of having links with Muslim-majority Pakistan, which also claims the region. The actions of the government and the insurgents are having a detrimental effect not only on Kashmiris, but also on India-Pakistan relations.

The status of Kashmir has long been a matter of dispute between the two countries, as the Maharaja of Kashmir decided to join Hindu-majority India instead of Muslim-majority Pakistan, despite Kashmir’s Muslim-majority population. This prompted an outbreak of conflict, and subsequent peace efforts proved weak, with further violence erupting in 1965 and 1999. Today, Kashmir is divided between an Indian-administered segment and a Pakistan-administered segment, and remains a source of tension between New Delhi and Islamabad. Recent years have seen a decline in bilateral relations between the two countries and an increase in nationalist rhetoric by both sides.

In this context, India’s suspicion of Muslim Kashmiris and perceptions of their pro-Pakistan views have prompted a change in the new policy and means that their policies are unlikely to change significantly in the near future. The lack of close ties between Pakistan and India also means that a settlement on the status of Kashmir is unlikely. Thus, the increased integration of Kashmir by the Indian government is set to continue, and unless relations between India and Pakistan change, lasting peace may be difficult to achieve.

World Nation News Desk
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