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INSIGHT: Modi Bringing Israeli Model to Kashmir

The Indian government “is underestimating the patience and silence of the public and the international ramifications”

The gradual encroachment on Kashmiri rights and growing prospect of colonization could set the region on fire, says an opinion piece.

According to the writer, “the Indian government is underestimating the patience and silence of the public and the international ramifications of riding roughshod over the aspirations of the people of Muslim-majority Kashmir and pushing them to the margins as secondary citizens with an uptick in massive human rights abuse”.

“Today, a pathway is being paved for replicating the Israeli model of occupation and colonization of the West Bank in Kashmir towards disempowerment and dispossession of the locals, particularly Kashmiri Muslims, to exercise hegemonic control through new settlers.

This makes peace in South Asia extremely vulnerable. In all probability, the transition to demographic change will not be as smooth. A desperate struggle for self-preservation within Kashmir and the heightened level of tensions between India and Pakistan – two nuclear powers – will throw up an explosive situation. The present standoff between India and China also has the potential to escalate and add fuel to the fire.

Sometime in late November last year, a serving Indian diplomat in the United States, while addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Hindus, averred that “Kashmiri culture is Indian culture; it is Hindu culture” and espoused the Israeli model of West Bank settlements as the way forward. Though the Indian government did not officially support this policy of apartheid, it also conveniently did not distance itself from the remarks made by its serving envoy in his official capacity.”

Several independent observers feel the Hindu right-wing groups are openly calling for changing demography of Kashmir and integrationist politics. These anxieties have existed in occupied Kashmir for decades.

These observers say there has been uptick in these anxieties as the lockdown of the Himalayan Valley continues –more than 300 days since August 2019.

Dubbed The Paradise on Earth, the Himalayan Valley region is also called the Third Pole (because of the glaciers) and the Water Tower of the region.

It’s also ground zero of climate change, some observers contend.

“I fear that the Valley could be gobbled up by the current occupiers,” said a Pakistani envoy based in Europe when asked to comment on the opinion piece.

A Pakistani defense official posted in the Middle East said, “we have to fight for Kashmir. We won’t be served on a platter”. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorized to comment officially.

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