Kashmir: Article 370, Regional Developments, Crimean Similarities & Washington’s Intervention Desired?

 Kashmir has been on my mind. It's interesting to observe the 5 eyes media condemning the move made by India with regard to Kashmir. Condemning stringently and in unity. That's unnerving. Understanding how it is the media manages our perceptions. Always

The Washington Post presentation is quite interesting in this regard.. since Washington Post is pretty tightly wound up with the intelligence community 

“I’ve no idea what is in store for our state, but it doesn’t look good,” Abdullah wrote to his 3 million Twitter followers in the wee hours of Aug. 5. He has not been heard from since.

Who is Abdullah? And is this some social media revolutionary? There have also been fake news items, fake images put forth by the 5 eyes media. And on social media.   BBC and Al Jazeera being two named media outlets promoting 'fake news' and "fake imagery"

India’s Home Ministry was quick to reach out to foreign media outlets such as the BBC and Al Jazeera after footage of large demonstrations emerged on Friday.

New Delhi challenged the authenticity of the videos and called the coverage “fabricated”, despite numerous sources confirming mass protests. (what sources?)

The intelligence services also suggested that the reports may spark further tensions in the hotly-contested region.

Empty street?

The Ministry for Information and Broadcasting, which keeps an eye on international media, flagged four videos and seven reports which they describe as “misleading and fake”.

Both the BBC and Al Jazeera have allegedly confirmed that they can produce the raw videos to back up their reports.

But they haven't done so yet

"All of them are referring to BBC Urdu videos and so far unable to produce the raw footage.”"

Social media revolutions are very problematic. And misleading. They are usually extremely limited in scope- small groups- small protests- but given oversize disproportionate media coverage. Hong Kong is definitely on my mind as I write this. This phenomena has been reported on time and time again here at PFYT's. Call me skeptical. 

Another recent Washington Post Article- Pakistan's Ambassador to the US

"When Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met last month with President Trump at the White House, the American leader said he would help mediate between Pakistan and India on the latter’s 72-year occupation of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region."

Hmmmm.... Trump as a mediator? That's a big red flag.

"In the past, diplomatic support from our allies helped lower tensions.

This is why it is more urgent than ever for the United States to do what it can to prevent India from precipitating another crisis. A long and painstaking U.S.-led reconciliation effort, which has been supported by Pakistan, has brought peace within our grasp in Afghanistan.

The time is now for the United States to make good on Trump’s offer of mediation — not for Pakistan’s sake or for India’s sake, but for the sake of the only people who have not been heard since India gagged them a week ago: the people of Kashmir themselves. 

India is precipitating a crisis in Kashmir. It’s time for the U.S. to step in."

It's time for the US to step in? Yet another red flag.
In fact there is a report on the theme of US intervention here already

India/Pakistan Heats Up- Is Trump/USA Needed to Keep Peace In Asia?
English language signs for the western audience?

 Clearly 5 eyes media is promoting a very specific idea about what occurred in Kashmir. But is it realistic? Pakistan can't really exclaim surprise at this move. It's not a move conjured  out of nothingness, as you will read.

 Valdai Club-

On August 5, 2019, the government of India proposed the reorganisation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, claiming that depriving it of its privileges would end a local conflict that has been going on for thirty years. Nandan Unnikrishnan, Distinguished Fellow of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), discussed the reasons for this decision and its possible consequences in an interview with

To start with some background. India views the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir as Indian territory and believes that Pakistan is illegally controls a portion of it. On 5th of August  the Indian government announced a radical reorganisation of the state of Jammu  and Kasmir. The territory controlled by India is now slated to be reorganized into two Union territories: Ladakh in the northeast, where there will be no legislative assembly, and Jammu and Kashmir, where there will be a legislative assembly. (In the Indian constitution there is a difference between a State and a Union Territory. The latter may have a legislature but is effectively controlled by the central government. So while people of Ladakh may see this reorganisation as an upgrade of their position, for Jammu adn Kashmir this will be a definite downgrade.)
Along with this reorganisation the Indian government suspended the operation of some clauses of the constitution, namely Article 370 and 35(a) that provided the state of Jammu and Kashmir a special status and allowed its residents to enjoy some specific privileges. It is worth noting that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has for decades consistently opposed the extension of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. This was also part of the party’s election manifesto in 2019.

Certainly Pakistani leaders have long been aware of India's stance including it's inclusion in the electoral manifesto

The timing of the decision is probably governed by a confluence of circumstances.

*First, the favourable political balance in the Parliament. The BJP enjoys an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament (Lok Sabha). Whilst it does not have a majority in the upper house of parliament (Rajya Sabha) it is confident that on such an issue it will be able to muster support from other parties and ensure a majority (as it demonstrated). Thus, the approval of the measures is guaranteed. The party is also confident of general public support across the country, except maybe in the state of Jammu and Kashmir itself. Therefore, the BJP probably felt that this should be done as soon as possible, without taking a risk of  a possible fall in popularity due to other external, for example a sluggish economy.

*Second, the passage of such a measure would further consolidate the credentials and the popularity of the party and its leaders. (Something similar to the rise of public support for the government when Crimea was reintegrated into Russia.)

*Third, the likely developments in Afghanistan after the anticipated agreement between the Taliban and the United States. Indian security agencies believe that in Afghanistan is likely to develop negatively from the perspective of Indian security.

An anticipated agreement between the Taliban and the US will develop negatively from the perspective of Indian security?

In fact, substantial number of additional troops were inducted into Jammu and Kashmir shortly before the government announced it reorganisation plans for the territory. This was probably done as much to control any internal protests as well as protect the borders against infiltration of Pakistan-backed fighters.

 Protect the borders from infiltration.. Of course that's long been a problem.

 Statements from Russia regarding India's move (here as well):

 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has said that India and Pakistan should exercise restraint and take measures to control the situation in the Jammu and Kashmir.

"Moscow expects that India and Pakistan will not allow aggravation of the situation in the region due to the change by New Delhi in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia said in a response to questions on Friday.

"We proceed from fact that the changes associated with the change in the status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its division into two union territories are carried out within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of India," the ministry said.

"We hope that the parties involved will not allow a new aggravation of the situation in the region as a result of the decisions."

Russia is a consistent supporter of the normalisation of relations between India and Pakistan.

And yet, Pakistan want's the US to be involved?
My conclusion is... all is not as it seems to be. Or as it is presented. 

Recall in July 2018? Concerns were expressed about Mr Imran Khan?

After Pakistan’s Soft Coup- Imran Khan’s Dangerous Victory  

Which included a couple of predictions:

-Imran Khan has not been empowered to unify the country or to have friendly relations with India. 
-Imran Khan will be sure that Afghanistan becomes still more destabilized. 

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