If India Is Following the Israel Model in Kashmir, Pakistan Must Follow The Iranian Model – Pak Writer
Many analysts have criticized the Indian Government for following the Israeli model in Kashmir with Pakistan being at the forefront. What is the so-called Israel model in Kashmir that India is apparently following?
EurAsian Times stumbled-upon an OpEd which claims that with over 700,000 Indian soldiers stationed in Kashmir valley, the people of the region are being ruled by the might of the Indian military establishment. The day, army leaves, Kashmir could witness a massive rebellion and agitations.
Since the commencement of militancy in the late 1980s, around 100,000 people, as per the OpEd, have been killed with over 7,000 cases of forced disappearances and thousands blinded and crippled by pellets and live ammunition.
As EurAsian Times reported, India, last year, abrogated the contentious Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir. Indian home minister Amit Shah announced that the country would be abrogating a special clause in the constitution regarding Kashmir, welcomed by a thunderous applause in the Parliament and country-wide jubilation.
In so doing (with the abrogation of Article 370), the OpEd states that India turned from an administrator to a coloniser, just like Israel, which also seeks to accomplish an absolute control of the state and its subjects.
For decades, the report claims that the RSS has been calling for the withdrawal of Article 370 from Kashmir and rebuild a Hindu India. In the 1980s, the BJP began campaigning with the pledge of majoritarian rule.
This included ending the “privileges” enjoyed by Muslims – even if they were and remain the poorest and most undeveloped community in India. It also included promoting Kashmir, home to countless shrines and temples, and part of Hinduism’s magnificent past in the region.
Part and parcel of this attempt has been the ramping up of the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage. As Mona Bhan, a professor at Syracuse University, a native Kashmiri Pandit and married to a Kashmir Muslim writes – in Resisting Occupation in Kashmir, the past decade has seen New Delhi renovate temples to further “tie Kashmir to India through spiritual and religious connections”.
“The type of ‘democratic’ state represented by Israel is the ideal model the Hindu nationalist movement, led by the RSS, seeks to establish in an Indian variant,” Sumantra Bose, professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science, writes.
More importantly, it also paves the way for a full settler-colonial project in Kashmir with the next stage likely to involve Hindu-only enclaves, much like Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Though over 500,000 Kashmiri Pandits left Kashmir in the 1990s in fear of their lives as the militancy intensified, Kashmiri Muslim leaders have regularly called for their return. Kashmir does not have a history of communal tension between Muslims and Hindus like the rest of the county. OpEd claims that the attempt to bring Pandits and other Indians back as settlers is seen as a provocation.
After the Indian government issued a gazette notification very recently regarding the Jammu and Kashmir domicile laws, Pakistan, as expected, has denounced the decision, calling it a strategy to change the demography of the volatile region.
As reported by the EurAsian Times earlier, a person residing in Jammu and Kashmir for at least fifteen years will now be eligible to be a domicile of the union territory, according to the new rules.
The OpED writes that just like Israel, the Modi-government has been designating the problems in Kashmir as a religious issue and conveniently ignoring the roots of the political dispute and exaggerating the role of Islamic extremism and thus justifying the military crackdown.
As New Delhi sees it, changing the demographics in Kashmir, just the way Israel has done, would evade the political aspirations of Muslim-Kashmiris and resolve the seemingly unmanageable Kashmir problem forever. It would also secure Modi’s legacy.
As a blogger in Pakistan Defence writes, if India is following the Israel model in Kashmir, Pakistan must follow the Iranian model of Iraq and Syria.