World, Asia - Pacific

India’s Kashmir move may produce dire results: Experts

Kashmir part of panel discussion on South Asian politics in 21st century at Bosphorus Center for Asian Studies

Burak Bir   | 06.08.2019
India’s Kashmir move may produce dire results: Experts file photo

ANKARA

New Delhi’s move Monday to revoke a constitutional provision that had granted special status to Indian-occupied Kashmir could have serious consequences, experts said at a panel in Turkey’s capital.

The Bosphorus Center for Asian Studies (BAAM) hosted a panel titled ‘South Asia in 21st Century International Politics: Pakistan and India’s Role in Middle East, Afghanistan and Kashmir’.

Senior journalist Iftikhar Gilani and Umer Karim, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, gave speeches about South Asian politics and recent developments in the region moderated by Nazmul Islam from the institute.

Touching on India's scrapping of the special provision granted to the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir, Gilani said it is fraught with huge consequences for the entire region.

"There will be fear of a change in the demographic profile of Jammu and Kashmir that will sow more despair among the people and a sense of deprivation and disempowerment will be engrained further.

"When you discredit moderates, you will encourage radicals. When you reduce humanity to a spectacle, you create a dehumanized society," he said, referring to possible negative results from the “wrong" decision.

He added that diversity, federalism and pluralism are the strengths of India, which should not force unity and cultural nationalism.

‘Kashmir without Kashmiris’

Karim also noted that India’s latest move will have negative consequences.

"It will only create further instability in the region and will further escalate tensions between the two sides," he said.

He noted that India wants Kashmir without Kashmiris.

Karim also referred to U.S. President Donald Trump's mentioning of the Kashmir situation in his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan as a ‘victory’ for Pakistan.

Since 1947, Jammu and Kashmir has enjoyed special provisions to enact its own laws. The provisions also protected its citizenship law, which disallowed outsiders to settle in or own land in the territory.

The Himalayan region is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought wars in 1948, 1965 and 1971, two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

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