Pakistan provokes India to war

India provokes Pakistan : The conflict over Kashmir could escalate again

The houseboats on the picturesque Dal Lake in Kashmir are abandoned. Instead of tourists, soldiers are on the move. Where else vacationers take selfies, everything has died out. Internet and telephone connections are blocked, schools, shops and authorities are closed. People prefer to stay at home out of fear. In a few lines on Monday, the Kashmir Valley, which has been disputed for more than 70 years, officially became part of India.

President Ram Nath Kovind published a brief ordinance that was presented to Parliament in New Delhi. This removes Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which previously granted Kashmir a special status. It is one of the most momentous changes since India's independence in 1947. There were riots in the parliament.

Shortly after midnight, India imposed a gathering ban on the Kashmir area under its control. At the same time, paramilitary troops were flown in again after 38,000 additional forces had been stationed in the valley last week. India's move has far-reaching implications - also internationally. Pakistan and India have been fighting over the Himalayan region, which both nuclear powers claim for themselves, since 1947. The unofficial border is the armistice line of 1949, according to which Pakistan controls about a third of the area and India a little more than half of the former principality.

The warring neighbors have already waged three wars over Kashmir. As the majority of the population is Muslim, Pakistan claims the area for itself. India, on the other hand, takes the view that the valley belongs to India because the former prince wanted to join India. All efforts to defuse the conflict have failed. It was only at the end of February that India and Pakistan fought armed conflict in Kashmir.

"Pakistan strongly condemned the announcement by the Indian government," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said immediately. The region is internationally recognized as a controversial area, and no unilateral step by India can change this. The country will support the people in "occupied Jammu and Kashmir" in their right to self-determination. India's decision violates the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council and is "illegal".

The ruling party promised to change Kashmiri status in 2014

In contrast, India's Hindu nationalist government celebrated the move as overdue. Former Treasury Secretary Arun Jaitley said it "corrected a historical mistake". The presidential decision on the constitutional amendment will later be presented to parliament, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has a comfortable majority. In 2014 the party promised to change Kashmiri status and to let the area become part of India.

India's decision to fully integrate Kashmir into India comes against the backdrop of a changing balance of power in the region. In the desert emirate of Qatar, the USA is negotiating a peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan. US President Donald Trump wants to withdraw the American soldiers from the Hindu Kush as quickly as possible and end the conflict that has lasted over 18 years. This strengthens the position of Pakistan, which has good relations with the Taliban.

Recently, Trump said he wanted to help resolve the Kashmir conflict. However, India rejects this. By abolishing Kashmir's special status, India is signaling that it has no intention of negotiating Kashmir and making concessions to Pakistan. However, this will throw the people in Kashmir into chaos. It is to be expected that there will be protests. New attacks in India are also to be feared.

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