SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
Since British India’s partition in 1947, Kashmir, a mountainous valley bordering Pakistan and India, has been a center of the dispute between the two nuclear-armed nations. The British decided to split their former colony into two nations at the moment of the partition: Pakistan, with a Muslim majority, and India, with a Hindu majority. Both countries try to steal and occupy parts of Kashmir with military forces.
An uncomfortable stalemate has persisted for centuries, broken by occasional army incursions, terrorist attacks, and crackdowns by the police. But recently, the Indian government decided to integrate permanently into the remainder of India the land it controls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration abolished Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, a 70-year-old regulation that gave autonomy to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, including the Jammu region of the Hindu majority and the Kashmir Valley of the Muslim majority. The government also launched a bill to separate the autonomous region and split it into two sections, both under the central government’s immediate command. Shortly after the partition of British India, Article 370 was added to the Indian constitution to offer independence to the former princely country of Jammu and Kashmir until its fate was decided. It restricted the authority over the land of India’s central government. An associated provision gave state legislators the authority to decide who could purchase property and be a permanent resident.
Although it was intended to be temporary, Article 370 states that it can be repealed only with the consent of the legislative body which drafted the constitution of the state. That body was dissolved in 1957, and last year the Supreme Court of India ruled that Article 370 was thus a permanent part of the constitution. The government of Modi disagrees with India’s president on this regard.
Now, keeping in view the current situation it is of utter importance to critically observe the game-changing moves been played by India upon this issue and how it is taking Pakistan and China in spectrum.
CPEC is urgently needed by Pakistan and China. CPEC is the express ticket for Pakistan to develop its infrastructure and maintain economic growth. For China, CPEC is the convey connection between West China, the Middle East, and Africa, where China has increasing policy goals
The US-China new cold war offered an opportunity for Indian Prime Minister Modi to decline: to alter the game for China and Pakistan in Kashmir. New Delhi ended Article 370 of the Constitution back in August, claiming its authority in the disputed region of Kashmir. Moreover, India called on China and Pakistan to cease activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) linked to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) this week. As Raveesh Kumar, representative for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last week “We reject the link to Jammu and Kashmir in the joint declaration published by China and Pakistan following the latest visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister, J&K is emblematic of India. India has continuously expressed skepticism to both China and Pakistan over the projects in the so-called China-Pakistan Economic Corridor on India, which has been illegally occupied since 1947 by Pakistan.”
CPEC is urgently needed by Pakistan and China. CPEC is the express ticket for Pakistan to develop its infrastructure and maintain economic growth. For China, CPEC is the convey connection between West China, the Middle East, and Africa, where China has increasing policy goals. That really can explain why $46 billion was entrusted to the project by Beijing.
The issue is that India asserts that CPEC passes through Pakistani areas. That makes it, to put it mildly, a lumpy road – Pakistan and India are still fighting for these regions ‘ control. It is among the major concerns for CPEC operations in the region to progress slowly. Upon closer inspection, CPEC activity in Pakistan has so far been restricted to the restoration and preservation of the Karakoram Highway, constructed in the 1960s. However, India voiced opposition to new condominium projects, including railways and pipelines. The issue for China is that the only other viable path would be through the Badakhshan aortic arch of Afghanistan for highway, rail and pipeline links to Pakistan and its ports. This is practically impossible due to Afghanistan’s political uncertainty and diplomatic alliance with India and the US. Nevertheless, the latest developments by India in Kashmir could ruin both countries ‘ plans, particularly for China, which has numerous boundary conflicts with India.
In its CPEC initiative with Pakistan, China is likely playing it safe with its latest reference to Jammu and Kashmir.It is noteworthy that here China is taking a slow but steady strategy. In the South China Sea, China was rather assertive, but the Himalayas is another story. Primarily, in regards to the conflict over Kashmir with Pakistan, India is also disputing Chinese sovereignty on its shared frontier in several parts, including the Aksai Chin area adjacent to Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh on the Tibetan frontier. The Chinese and Indian governments, therefore, have a mature relationship but are keenly conscious of the danger of any intensification.
Furthermore, in Southeast Asia, China cannot “bully” India, the way it bullies other countries. In this situation, it is unlikely that India will be intimidated. India is not only a big nuclear power but also an economic competitor, particularly as Global companies change supply chains from China because of U.S. trade sanctions.
And that is why, rather than challenging India, China should pacify. “The Chinese government considers that substantial infrastructure development advances in the Pakistan-controlled region of Kashmir would lead to major conflicts with India, including probably a suspension of diplomatic relations. Conflict confrontation in the region would also have the effect of pushback on China through its effect on the global economy. This leads me to suspect that at this stage, China is unlikely to push the issue.