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Kashmir: ‘Pivoting’ Toward War Between India And Pakistan?


  • Kashmir: ‘Pivoting’ Toward War Between India And Pakistan?
    by Junaid S. Ahmad,  
    This past summer witnessed yet another people’s uprising in one of the longest running military occupations in modern times: the Indian occupation of Kashmir. The callous indifference to decades-old Indian atrocities against the people of Kashmir, including well-documented incidences of torture, disappearances, ‘encounter killings,’ rapes, and outright massacres, ought to put the international community to shame. This, after all, is a ‘conflict’ – a euphemism for a military occupation – that the UN and international law has clearly adjudicated on many decades ago, but Indian recalcitrance, Pakistani fumbling, and international criminal neglect have let the blood of Kashmiris spill uninterruptedly.

    What started out in June of this year as yet another outbreak of Kashmir outrage regarding the killing of a prominent Kashmiri freedom fighter very quickly became a pretext for the Indian elite to convert the issue of oppression and occupation of Kashmir into ‘cross-border’ terrorism from its arch-rival, Pakistan. It was a convenient diversion from the root of the conflict, the military occupation, to one of Pakistan up to its old tricks, sponsoring jihadi terrorists.

    What enabled the Indian establishment to ratchet up its posture was a militants’ attack on its military occupation base in Kashmir, Uri, on September 18th. Without offering any evidence, blame was placed on Pakistan and for the first time (outside of the context of war) since the partition of the Indian Subcontinent into a Hindu-majority India and a Muslim-majority Pakistan, the Indians publicly declared that they had violated the Line of Control – the unofficial ceasefire line – dividing Pakistani and Indian Kashmir, and had sent special forces and helicopter gunships to attack Pakistani ‘militants’ and soldiers on Sept. 28-29.

    The significance of this raid by the Indian military cannot be underestimated. The near unanimity of the Indian political, military, and media establishment to demonstrate Indian military prowess vis-a-vis Pakistan is particularly disturbing and dangerous. Commentators have pointed out the particular hawkishness of the current rightwing BJP regime in regard to such bellicose posturing, but that is misleading.

    The Role of Washington
    But there is a larger, more dangerous geopolitical chessboard on which all of these developments are unfolding. The Indian establishment has always been frustrated by Pakistani support for groups in Kashmir and beyond. What explains the timing of such flagrant demonstration of potentially catastrophic militarism at this point?

    The answer may lie in the reticence of Washington’s response to such a blatant violation of international law by India. Of course, the US and its special forces’ raids and drone strikes in Pakistan are emblematic of the same phenomenon. But this near unanimous endorsement of India’s raids in Pakistani-held Kashmir, from influential individuals associated both with the Bush Jr. and Obama administrations, indicates that the gloves are off now when it comes to targeting, humiliating, isolating, and potentially dismembering Pakistan.

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October 17, 2016 - Posted by | GeoPolitics | , , , , , , , , ,

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