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Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] J&K and the world

Post revocation of Article 370, India’s diplomatic response must be at multiple levels. One is the legal dimension which are important. India must present a solid legal brief about its actions, since there is little international understanding of the complex historical evolution of Kashmir.
By IASToppers
August 14, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Past Example
  • What should be the response of India post revocation of Art. 370?
  • International influence
  • Conclusion

 J&K and the world

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Introduction

  • After revoking Article 370, Pakistan raised a political offensive against India’s decision to alter the status of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • In this situation, the diplomatic objective of India is to get the rest of the world to live with the new reality in Kashmir, if not accept it.

Past Example

  • When India did its first nuclear test at Pokhran in 1998, the international community put various sanctions on India.
  • These sanction were lifted after ten years in 2008. This shows that the major decisions taken by India, that affects international community, can have adverse effects.

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 What should be the response of India post revocation of Art. 370?

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  • India’s diplomatic response must be at multiple levels.
  • One is the legal dimension as legal arguments are important.
  • India must present a solid legal brief about revoking article 370, since there is little international understanding of the complex historical evolution of Kashmir.

Role of United Nation

  • The first international reaction of Pakistan on Jammu & Kashmir issue is to ask support of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). However, neither Pakistan nor India’s concerns are adequately addressed in UNSC.

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  • Great powers of the world are unlikely to agree on the Kashmir question and India’s task is to simply prevent such an agreement.
  • However, this does not mean India’s engagement with the UN and multilateral agencies is unimportant.
  • Some multilateral activity can be quite useful. For example, the recent Indian campaign at the UN on designating Masood Azhar as a terrorist has been good at highlighting Pakistan’s role as a safe haven for violent extremism.
  • Even more valuable has been India’s engagement with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which has increased the pressures on Pakistan to stop support for terrorism.

 

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International influence

India should concentrate on the Bilateralism with the major powers to the current dynamic in the Indian Subcontinent. These might include the five permanent members of the UNSC.

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China

  • China is a party to the dispute on Kashmir twice over.
  • The border between India and China in Ladakh is disputed.
  • China also occupies a piece of Kashmir that Pakistan ceded to it in 1963.
  • Hence, China is certainly part of India’s Kashmir problem.

Russia

  • Earlier, Russia helped India at the UN on Kashmir issue. India too has stood by Russia when it is in some difficulty such as in Crimean issue of 2011.
  • In recent times, Russia cam closer to China and is often tempted to take judgement favouring neither India nor Pakistan.
  • However, Russia has come out recently in support of India’s Kashmir move.

France

  • Over the last two decades, France has emerged as a reliable strategic partner for India.
  • In recent years, it has played a key role in the FATF as well as the UNSC on terror-related issues.

Britain

  • When it comes to Kashmir and Pakistan, there is speculation that Britain played a key role in changing the relations between US and Pakistan positively.
  • As Britain defines its post-Brexit global strategy, India must encourage Britain to take into account its long-term interests in India and end its persistent ambiguity on Kashmir.

US

  • US has the most important role in shaping the international reaction to the developments in Kashmir.
  • For nearly two years, it’s been the intense pressure from US that has forced Pakistan to oppose the terrorism.
  • However, at the same time, the decision of US to quit Afghanistan seems to support the Pakistan for increasing pressures on Kashmir.
  • Hence, for US, it is be impossible to find a way to secure the interests of India and Pakistan, especially since the India-US bilateral relationship has acquired much greater depth over the last two decades.
  • Traditionally, Pakistan has influenced the opinions of Britain and Europe in favour of itself.
  • On the other hand, India has influenced the opinions of US over the years. However, small section of Pakistani people living in US made to US parliament, which might influence US decisions.

Conclusion

  • The real test for Indian diplomacy, including with the US, comes when India lifts the massive security blanket over Kashmir.
  • The removal of temporary tight security force from J&K can result in an inevitable escalation of the conflict with Pakistan and the intensification of great power interest in Kashmir.
  • That is when India’s strategies for internal security, territorial defence and diplomacy will have to act in unison.