The problem in Indian Kashmir is an ideology that interferes with the idea of Nationhood. A part of Kashmir is already forcibly occupied by Pakistan. Indian Kashmir has three distinct regions.
The problem is confined to the green portion on the map, which wants to secede from India and join Pakistan. The white portion is already under Pakistani occupation.
The overwhelmingly Muslim population in the valley (green) which constitutes more than half (56%) of the population of all three regions put together, and hence the largest number of assembly seats, believes Islam constitutes a nation. By this is meant that Muslims everywhere, regardless of their geography are bound together by a brotherhood that takes precedence over all other considerations. Because of this they reject their ethnic roots as Indians.
According to 1981 census (which position has now changed in the valley) Muslims constituted 95% of the Kashmir region, 30% of the Jammu region and 46% of the Ladakh region. On the whole 75% of the Indian state of J&K is Muslim.
Secondly they (in the valley) believe they are a nation apart where only believers in Allah have a right to live on their land. The POK part of Kashmir (white) was already ethnically cleansed of all minorities in 1947 when the country was partitioned.
“On Jan, 04, 1990, a local Urdu newspaper, Aftab, published a press release issued by Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, asking all Pandits to leave the Valley immediately. Al Safa, another local daily repeated the warning.These warnings were followed by Kalashnikov-wielding masked Jehadis carrying out military-type marches openly. Reports of killing of Kashmiri Pandits continued to pour in. Bomb explosions and sporadic firing by militants became a daily occurrence.
Dead Bodies Of Pandits Massacred at Wandhama on Jan, 25, 1998.
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The problem in Indian Kashmir arises from the tenet of the Quran that says Muslims are superior. This is unacceptable to Indians under the constitution of India which says all are equal in law. Pakistan has already enacted Islamic laws that put minorities under great strain. Indian Kashmiris also want to be governed by the Sharia law which gives subordinate status to non-Muslim residents of which there in any case barely 5000 or so left in the valley.
Indians believe Kashmir is very much a part of India. Look at the map below:
“The Indian peninsula and vast plains are bounded by the ocean on three sides and the land stretches to the highest peaks of the Himalayas in the north. The vast sweep of the land ends in the East with the mountainous border with Burma. In the West, just past the Indus, the mountains come downwards towards the ocean again forming a natural boundary.”
You will notice Bangladesh and Pakistan also form part of the Indian subcontinent which has common culture.
“The culture’s distinctive nature evolved precisely because the unique geography facilitated it. The large mountains and bodies of water separated it from surrounding cultures to give it its distinctiveness. The low barriers to movement within this land mass ensured an ease of access to build a coherent whole. This ensured that the exchanges that took place within this large separated petri dish were much deeper and longer lasting than those that took place with those from without. Hence was created a unique and diverse civilization.”
The Indian subcontinent comprises one single unit including Nepal and Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. Kashmir has always been a part of it.
The Sikh Empire (1799–1849) included Kashmir:
The demand for secession is the problem because Kashmir has always been a part of India.
“The story of Mahabharata shows a remarkable degree of pan-Indian context and inter-relationships, from Gandhari, the wife of Drithrashtra who came from Gandhara, (spelled as Kandahar in present-day Afghanistan), Draupadi from Panchala (present day Jammu and Kashmir), all the way to Arjun meeting and marrying the Naga princess Uloopi on a visit to Manipur in the east (from where he gets the `Mani‘ or Gem). Interestingly, Arjuna is said to have gone on a pilgrimage to the holy places of the east when this happens, showing the current North-East was very much linked in this. Finally, Krishna himself is from Mathura and Vrindavana (in UP) though his kingdom itself is in Dwarka (Gujarat).
“And this unity as nation has been with us far before the idea of America existed. Far before the Franks had moved into northern France and the Visigoths into Spain, before the Christian Church was established and Islam was born. They have been there before Great Britain existed, before the Saxons had moved into Britannia. They have been there while empires have fallen, from when Rome was a tiny village to when it ruled an empire that rose and collapsed.
“Thus the Arabs and Persians already had a conception of Hind far before the Mughal Empire was established. If we suggest that their conception of Hind was derived only from their contact with Sindh in western India, why would the British, when they landed in Bengal, form the East India Company, unless the conception of the land of India (a term derived from the original Hind) was shared by the natives and the British? They used this name much before they had managed to politically hold sway over much of India, and before they educated us that no India existed before their arrival. Why would the Portuguese celebrate the discovery of a sea-route to India when Vasco de Gama had landed in Calicut in the south, if India was a creation of the British Empire?
If Muslim Kashmir can learn to live harmoniously with the rest of India, as Indian citizens there is no problem at all. It is the two nation theory that is the problem in Kashmir.
On Tuesday, 9 April, 2019, 5:57:31 am IST, Riaz Haq wrote:
"Post-#Pulwama, the #Indian media’s discourse has routinely ignored that the #Kashmiri context is one of structural violence emanating from an occupation, leaving it ripe for churning out more extremists like Adil Dar. " #Pakistan #Balakot #Modi #Kashmir https://www.pri.org/stories/2019-04-08/elections-loom-indias-modi-vows-end-terrorism-kashmir-more-military-force
“India uses exceptional violence as well as nationalist propaganda around Kashmir and presents it as a Pakistan-sponsored Islamist problem and the media in the country is mostly complicit with it,” says Nitasha Kaul, an assistant professor of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster in London.
Kashmir has been a disputed territory following the partition of India and Pakistan into independent states in 1947. Since then, three of the four Indo-Pakistani wars have been fought over this ideological slab of Himalayan real estate.
Despite international accounts of ongoing human rights violations, the Indian government has failed to recognize its decades-long occupation and suppression of Kashmiris as a root cause of extremism.
Controlling the narrative
The day following the Pulwama suicide attack, India withdrew Pakistan’s Most Favored Nation trade status. Then, Pakistan denied India’s “kneejerk” accusations of involvement and recalled its ambassador as tensions mounted.
Modi, facing pressure to maintain the upper hand as he heads into elections, responded to public indignation by ordering pre-emptive “surgical strikes” on alleged terror camps in Balakot, inside Pakistani territory, on Feb. 26.
Pakistan retaliated the next day by downing two aircraft that encroached into its airspace and captured Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. For a fleeting moment, tit-for-tat incursions appeared to draw New Delhi and Islamabad into a reckless bout of one-upmanship.
In a gesture of de-escalation, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan offered the IAF pilot’s release on March 1, and Varthaman was hailed as a national hero.
When it comes to reporting the conflict, the international media have “bought into the idea that this is an intractable territorial conflict between India and Pakistan and so long as the prospect of war between the nuclear-armed neighbors recedes, their focus on the suffering of Kashmiris seems largely nonexistent,” Kaul says.
The issue is that both India and Pakistan see Kashmir as an integral part of their national identities, which results in a “classic case of the forgetting of tremendous and long-enduring human suffering and of privileging of territorial statist narratives," according to Kaul.
This has led to Kashmir being distilled through purely a nationalist lens. “Much of the Indian media’s attitude towards Kashmir can be summed up in one line: Your history gets in the way of my national interest," Indian Kashmiri novelist Mirza Waheed told The World.
The imposition of the 1990 Armed Forces Special Powers Act, or AFSPA, bestowed Indian forces with broad powers to kill and arrest Kashmiris with impunity, resulting in human rights violations carried out during counterinsurgency operations, coupled with wrongful detentions without court orders under the 1978 Public Safety Act, which Amnesty International has denounced.
The period of the early 2000s did little to tackle the fundamental question of independence. New Delhi’s military occupation remained firmly embedded and infiltrated the everyday life of Kashmiris.
In the last three years alone, the Kashmiri death toll has reached over a thousand, with 2018 being the deadliest of the past decade.