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Did Pakistan's Call for Attention on Kashmir Fall on Deaf Ears Throughout the Year?

© AP Photo / B.K. BangashPakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks to The Associated Press, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 16, 2020
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks to The Associated Press, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, March 16, 2020 - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): On 5 August 2019, the Indian parliament revoked Article 370 of the constitution that gave temporary special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The state was put under a complete lockdown along with a complete communications blockade to prevent any public backlash against the move.

In his continued efforts to highlight the plight of Kashmiris on the Indian side, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan marked the one-year anniversary of the revocation of Article 370 with an address in Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir's (AJK) assembly on Wednesday. 

Activists of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shout slogans during a protest in Hyderabad, India (File) - Sputnik International
India Decides to Revoke Article 370 on Kashmir's Special Status in Unprecedented Move
In the past one year, Khan has tweeted 58 times targeting policy adopted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Kashmir. He also mentioned the “subjugation of Kashmiris” and took the matter to the United Nations Security Council. However, the tweets on the situation in Kashmir have gone from weekly to monthly. Last year, Pakistan vowed to exercise every option at its disposal to counter India's move to abrogate the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

Khan Did Not See It Coming

However, India’s Modi-led government’s “masterstroke” was not even anticipated by Khan or any other world leaders a year ago when New Delhi deployed thousands of additional troops, shut down mobile Internet, asked pilgrims and tourists to return, banned public meetings, closing down educational institutions, and placed more than 500 political leaders, including three former state chiefs, under house arrest.

​Unaware of India's forthcoming action in Kashmir, Imran Khan had suggested accepting US President Donald Trump’s mediation offer on Kashmir, which Trump made after the G20 summit. 

© AFP 2023 / SAJJAD HUSSAINA security personnel stands guard on a street during a lockdown in Srinagar on August 11, 2019, after the Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy
Did Pakistan's Call for Attention on Kashmir Fall on Deaf Ears Throughout the Year? - Sputnik International
A security personnel stands guard on a street during a lockdown in Srinagar on August 11, 2019, after the Indian government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy


Deal With It Yourself, Say World Leaders

Khan’s effort to garner the attention of the world at the UNSC yielded no results, as a closed-door meeting at the request of China was an exchange of arguments and reports. However, Chinese envoy to the UN Zhang Jun, expressing concerns, urged all parties not to take unilateral action that could further aggravate the situation.

While the Pakistani prime minister continued to bring up human rights in the valley amid the complete lockdown, a 27-member delegation of European Union parliamentarians visited Kashmir and expressed satisfaction over the progress.

​However, much to Khan’s disappointment, an EU member said that the international delegation “fully support India in its efforts for lasting peace and end of terror". Henri Malosse, a member from France said, “Pakistan is funding terror groups” in Kashmir; but at the same time, he favoured India and Pakistan talking to resolve their differences on the issue. 

Even the US, which had earlier offered mediation on the matter, said that the two countries can solve the issue on their own.

The only countries supporting Pakistan in its quest have been China, Malaysia, and Turkey. Expressing anger over the lack of support from Muslim countries on Kashmir, Khan accused them of remaining tight-lipped over economic relations with India. He made an effort to point the focus at the Delhi riots in February, where he termed Modi’s government as a threat to Indian Muslims.

​Predictions Gone Wrong

Imran Khan even predicted a bloodbath in the valley following the end to the curfew, as Kashmiris would continue to fight for their right to self-determination. However, the voices of independent Kashmir are coming to an end, as the face of Kashmir’s separatist movement for around three decades, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, recently announced his resignation from the political alliance formed to advocate for Kashmiri independence.

​Other political leaders from the Valley, such as former state chief Omar Abdullah, has asked for the reinforcement of the status of state to Jammu and Kashmir, which was made union territory after the revocation of its special status.  

Moreover, data released by the Indian government has revealed a decrease in the number of stone-pelting incidents in the valley and an improving law and order situation. Post 5 August 2019, out of a total of 1,391 incidents, 1,109 incidents (80 % of the total) were reported during August, September, and October.

 A view of Neelum River in Keran, Neelum Valley, where Indian Kashmir is on the left side while Pakistani Kashmir is on the right - Sputnik International
End to Terrorism Nowhere in Sight in Kashmir as Anniversary of Revocation of Article 370 Nears

Law and order incidents fell from 370 per month to the current rate of 28 per month. The Indian government has also claimed that post 5 August 2019, recruitment of local youths to terrorist organisations has fell by 42% (from 172 to 100).

Khan expressed his discontentment over the world in discourse on Kashmir. While protests in Hong Kong over its autonomous status were continuing to make headlines, the Pakistani prime minister urged the international media to focus on Jammu and Kashmir as well.

India Holding Its Ground

India has not only dismissed Imran Khan’s statement, it has even claimed the Pakistani side of Jammu and Kashmir and the Gilgit-Baltistan to be part of its territory. It first began with the weather bulletin on the region, later its External Affair Ministry asked Pakistan to “vacate all Indian territories under its illegal occupation”.

Recently, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that soon people in “Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)” will demand to be part of India. New Delhi has not paid heed to comments or reports from other countries on Kashmir.

In March, India's External Affairs Ministry rejected a joint declaration issued by the Chinese and Pakistani presidents that referenced the contested Kashmir region, saying it was an internal issue.

India and Pakistan have been in conflict over Jammu and Kashmir since independence in 1947. Both the countries claim parts of the region as their own territory while the valley has seen demand for self-determination for three decades.

Both South Asian countries have fought three wars over the issue. The relations deteriorated with the abrogation of Article 370 last year. While Pakistan accuses India of oppressing Kashmiris, India has claimed that it is because of infiltration from across the Line of Control that the situation hasn't improved in Kashmir.

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