- IT’s Input
- Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
- Akshai Chin
- What after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir?
- Will China counter India on Aksai Chin issue?
- Indo-China agreement of 1993 and 199
- India’s statement on bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir
- Is it the right time to do so?
- Way Forward
[RSTV The Big Picture] Jammu & Kashmir Bifurcation and beyond
For IASToppers Video Summary Archive, Click Here
- The government recently revoked some provisions of the Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and proposed bifurcation of the state into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
- Union Home Minister of India has asserted in the Lok Sabha that Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Aksai Chin are part of Jammu and Kashmir.
- There has been a long-standing demand for giving Union Territory status to Ladakh which was fulfilled by the current government.
Pakistan Occupied Kashmir:
- Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) is that part of Jammu Kashmir state of India which has illegal occupation of Pakistan.
- Pakistan had invaded it in 1947. Pakistan has divided POK into 2 parts i.e. Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
- The Gilgit-baltistan region and the Azad Kashmir (Mirpur-Muzaffarabad region) both of them combined together are called as the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
- In 1963, Hunza-Gilgit, Shaksgam Valley, region of Raksam and Baltistan was handed over to China by Pakistan.
- A valley of Baltistan region of Ladakh Province, Shaksgam was controlled by Raja of Shigar until 1971 when Pakistan abolished the Raja government system.
Why is PoK important?
- The location of PoK is at strategically important point. It shares borders with several countries.
- The Punjab and North-West Frontier Province
- Provinces (Khyber-Pakhthunkhwa) in Pakistan to the west
- The Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan in the north-west
- Xinjiang province of the China to the north
- India’s Jammu and Kashmir to the east
- Aksai Chin is the disputed border areas between India and China located in east of India-administered Ladakh.
- India claims Aksai Chin as the easternmost part of the Jammu and Kashmir while China claims that Aksai Chin is part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
- The line that separates Indian-administered areas of Jammu and Kashmir from Aksai Chin is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and is concurrent with the Chinese Aksai Chin claim line.
- In 1962, China and India fought a war in Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh. But in 1993 and 1996, the two countries signed agreements to respect the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
What after the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir?
At Line of Actual Control (LAC):
- There is ample of historical evidence to show that the Aksai Chin region was part of J&K. As of now, the military invasion of this region is not an option for India, however, India should keep the diplomatic pressure on.
- In 2014, Prime Minister of India said that it is important to maintain the peace and tranquility across the Line of Actual Control as both India and China are actually trying to get their economies ahead.
- Hence, from 2014 to June 2017, there was no major conflict on border. However, in June 2017, Doklam standoff took place in which China attempted to extend a road from Yadong further southward on the Doklam plateau. India does not have a claim on Doklam but it supports Bhutan’s claim on the territory.
- In April 2018, India-China Informal Summit took place at Wuhan, China. In this summit, it was emphasized that strategic communication to military of each country need to be passes in order to maintain peace on border.
Will China counter India on Aksai Chin issue?
- China, at the moment with all its own problems including the trade war that’s going on and with the internal dissatisfaction against Xi Jinping’s policies, will not intervene directly in the issue of J&K.
- The conflict between China and India will only lead to major pause to trade and it will only benefit third parties.
At Line of Control (LOC):
- Post abrogation of Article 370, India should aim to regain the POK region from the illegal occupation of Pakistan.
- As per the Shimla agreement, both the countries decided to respect the line of control. However, Pakistan violated that in 1999 when they carried out the Kargil incursion.
- From that time, the whole world started looking on Pakistan as a terrorist State. India’s stand at that time to not to cross the LOC strengthened India’s position.
- This image of Pakistan will indirectly benefit India and in future to regain its territory.
- When looking at trade, Gilgit-Baltistan and Kargil & ladakh have many similarities in terms of trade, languages etc. Hence, whenever the Pakistan will disintegrate, it will be the people of Gilgit-Baltistan who will first shows the willingness to join India.
- However, Pakistan has already started China-Pakistan economic corridor in Gilgit-Baltistan and further have been trying to integrate Gilgit and Baltistan into the Pakistan.
- Hence, it is required for India to be aware of Pakistan’s move at the LOC.
Indo-China agreement of 1993 and 199
- The Indo-china agreements on the line of actual control are in terms of the disputed boundaries that India has and basically in terms of maintaining tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- The LAC means exactly that it does not mean the border and in fact both sides have said that it does not represent the border.
India’s statement on bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir
- Before scrapping Article 370, India had already told P5 countries as well non-permeant members of UNSC about the its move.
- The bifurcation of J&K is done for improvement of governance and the issue is an entirely an internal matter as far as India is concerned.
- The bifurcation was done to promote social and economic development in Jammu and Kashmir and as a union territory, India will be doing it much better.
- Earlier, Indian laws in terms of reservation, women’s rights and human rights were not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir which keep them away from development.
- With the youth of Kashmir entering into the politics and indicates bright future to the Kashmir, it will revert back to a full-fledged state.
- Moreover, by scrapping article 370, the political linkages between, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, National Conference and Pakistani ISI will break as J&K’s administration will come directly under the central government.
- This will lead to the peaceful and clears way for the development of Jammu & Kashmir.
Is it the right time to do so?
- In the wake of China pushing India to resolve Kashmir issue and Pakistan reaching closer to the United States and increasing their activities along LOC, it is said that it is the perfect timing to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir.
- After removing Article 370 and 35 A, this is the right time to show that what is possible in terms of improving the development and bringing peace in that region.
- Moreover, it is the best time because the government has a huge majority in Lok Sabha with a large number of regional parties supporting them.
- Few years ago, a survey was carried out by International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), London within POK, which showed that majority of people of this region prefers to join India.
- Shakespeare quoted that ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads to great fortune.’ In other words, it was the perfect time for India to scrap Article 370.
- The decision removing discriminatory provisions and to integrate Jammu and Kashmir completely into India will positively impact the region and help them to join into mainstream of development.
- In nutshell, the main challenges for India after scrapping Article 370 and 35 A, is to make development in Jammu and Kashmir as well as bring peace to the region.