On India’s decision to annex Jammu & Kashmir

Ali Minai in Barbarikon:

India’s decision two days ago to revoke most of Article 370 of its constitution and annex the part of Jammu & Kashmir it holds has sent Subcontinental and transcontinental punditocracy into a frenzy of analysis, interpretation, speculation, and prediction. Several scenarios have risen to the surface.

The most interesting of these, generating a lot of chatter on the Internet – and elsewhere, no doubt – is a conspiracy theory that India’s move is part of a brilliant coordinated strategy between India, Pakistan, and the US to eventually make the LoC an international border with minimal political cost to either government. There are many variations of this theory, but the basic idea is this. First, India moves into its part of Jammu & Kashmir and annexes it, allowing the BJP government to look heroic and turning the LoC into an international border, with a buffer territory – Pakistani Jammu & Kashmir – on the other side. Then, after a suitable interval of making noises and writing plaintive but futile missives to the UN, Pakistan declares that the situation is intolerable and annexes its part, thus making the LoC an actual international border. Uncle Sam rewards Pakistan for this daring act by allowing it to negotiate a favorable settlement in Afghanistan, thus fulfilling Pakistan’s dream of “strategic depth”. Some sort of free cross-border movement is negotiated for Kashmiris on either side of the border. China secures CPEC. Everyone is left happy and dreaming of visits to Oslo.

I think this scenario is extremely unlikely to be true – though it makes for a good movie plot.

More here.

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