Kashmir after August 5th Decision and its Implications for South Asia

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After World War II, Great Britain's loss of power in the international system had a great impact on the start of the decolonization process (the beginning of the independence movements in colonial geographies and the acquisition of peoples' independence) and expansion of it. India, one of the most important colonies of the British Empire which is known as the empire on which the sun never sets, was also the most important representative and perhaps even the trigger of this process. The Republic of India (hereafter referred to as India) which gained independence from Britain in 1947, also witnessed the birth of another state from its territory. The newly established state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (hereinafter referred to as Pakistan) has maintained a high-tension relationship with India since the foundation. The main cause of this tension has been the dispute over the Jammu and Kashmir region. The controversial region has again become a conflictual geography with the decision of the Indian Parliament on the 5th of August 2019. By this, the autonomous status of the J&K was abolished and Pakistan and India came to the edge of confrontation. The measures and precautions of the Indian government regarding the region has increased the tension not only in J&K but also in India and in Pakistan. This study tries to analyze the Kashmir dispute in line with the recent developments and how the issue effects the regional political dynamics. In the first part of the paper; there will be a short history of the dispute, the claims of the parties, and the place of this dispute in the international system. In the second part, the current situation will be tried to investigate from the foreign policy and regional policies aspect. The general conclusion of the author is that the recent decision on autonomy of Kashmir will have cumulative negative impacts on the stability of the region in coming years.

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Historical Background Jammu Kashmir, which was once written poems for its extraordinary nature and beauty, was one of the largest of the 562 princes on the Indian subcontinent in 1947. These principalities were partly self-governing units, the size of which differed significantly from one another (some were small beyliks, some were much larger lands) and were managed by the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh feudal rulers. All of these principalities accounted for 45 percent of the glorious Indian subcontinent [1. Р. 14]. Another important feature was that it was a critical tool for the concept of “indirect management” in India for the British. Principals’ rulers had the privilege of managing their own in exchange for recognizing and keeping up with the British superiority and power in the rest of the subcontinent. British administrators preferred to live in the capitals of larger principalities and left the rulers in their own places. The family of the monarch who ruled Kashmir are ethnic as Dogra and they are among the upper class Hindus of the Jammu region (according to the caste system). He is a prince named Gulab Singh, the founder of the Dogra dynasty. Many more princes like him were in the area of Ranjit Singh. Ranjit Singh, on the other hand, was a Sikh warrior and founded a small empire in the early 19th century, the capital of Punjab, in the north and northwest of India. Singh ruled this Sikh empire from 1801 to 1839, when he passed away. After Singh’s death, some instabilities and assassinations began to occur within the empire. Despite all this wool crisis, the power was in the hands of the army. At that time, the British wanted to pass their army through the territory of the Sikh Empire for the Afghan War (Anglo-Afghan War, 1838-1942), but the military rejected this offer. After this tension, Sikhs, who want to prevent a possible attack by the British, take action to seize British India. However, in December 1845, Sihler Mudki, crossing the Sutlej River, was heavily defeated on the fronts of Firozpor, Alival and Sobraon. Thus, the British succeeded in capturing a wide area including Jammu and Kashmir. Gulab Singh (who was also one of Ranjit Singh's most trusted military assistants) started to work with the British to weaken and ultimately eliminate Sikh power in the region. In the 1820s and 1830s, Gulab Singh managed to expand his dominance from the south of the Jammu region to the inner and mountainous regions of Jammu, and from there to Ladakh and Baltistan. With the capture of these two pieces, the countries owned by Gulab Singh almost completely surrounded Kashmir from the south and east [2. Р. 69]. The rise of Gulab Singh's new dynasty was further emphasized by an agreement signed with the British in Amritsar, Punjab, on 16 March 1846. Because with this agreement, Gulab Singh was able to get Kashmir from the British (75 lacks rupees, about 750,000 pounds). Another meaning of this agreement is now recognition of the independence of the 'Dogra regime' in Jammu and Kashmir; In addition, the king who went to Srinagar (1.) in the same year was honored with the title of Maharaja (the great king, the king of kings). Also, under this agreement, Gulab Singh agreed to provide his army with support to the British, if needed. It will not be given here all the details of the historical perspective since this paper intends to analyze the Kashmir conflict within the light of recent developments though it will be helpful to provide just a general framework for a better understanding. Although many people think that this issue became a problem during the partition of India in 1947, it has a longer history than this. The origin of the issue goes back to the 1847 Amritsar Treaty. The Situation of Muslims in Kashmir The Amritsar Treaty had been in force for a century, and in 1947 a new era would begin with Gulab Singh's latest heir, Maharaca Hari Singh. When Maharaca Hari Singh came into power in 1947, according to the census carried out by the British in 1941, 77% of the population had an ethnic composition, 20% Hindu, and the remaining 3% mostly Sikhs [1. Р. 16]. At this point, Jammu and Kashmir were not the only princes to which their rulers and other members of the elite class belonged to a different religion. A similar situation was valid for the Kingdom of Hyderabad in south India (where the actors are in the opposite position) and the Junagadh province in western India. Here, Muslim rulers, who were in power, dominated the people, the majority of whom were Hindu. But the main point that distinguishes Kashmir from its other counterparts was the depth of the gap between the elite Hindu class located around the ruling family and the large Muslim population. Prem Nath Bazaz, a journalist and political activist at the time, said: “The poverty of the Muslim masses is terrible. A barefoot Muslim wrapped in shoddy looks like a beggar who is dying of hunger ... most of these people are landless slaves working for landlords who are not at work…” [3. Р. 252-253]. First Political Movements of Kashmiri Muslims Unlike the 1920s, when it was calm, important developments occurred in the 1930s. The first of these is the establishment of a forum in Lahore under the name All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference. This forum started providing scholarships to the young and talented Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir to receive a quality university education in India in the first place. In this way, young people who had the chance to study were the first core of the new generation of political pioneers. Many of them completed their education, especially at Aligarh Muslim University, one of the famous schools in northern India. Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, who was born in 1905 in a village near Srinagar, took the responsibility of leading this activist group [4]. In 1930, Abdullah and his friends established a Reading Room Association in Srinagar. They came together in this association and were thinking about social and political changes. At the same time, a group similar to them had established the Young Men Muslim Association in the south of Jammu. In July 1931, young Muslims wanted to form a delegation to convey their problems / complaints to Maharaja, but this process turned into a revolt in the city center of Srinagar and 21 people died as a result of armed intervention by the police [1. Р. 19]. It can be said that this event constituted a turning point in the history of the political movements of Kashmir. 1947: India’s Independence With the independence of Pakistan on August 14, 1947, and India on August 15, the British rule ended. However, one of the controversial issues in this process was what principalities would be. They were technically free to choose to join any state or remain independent after the end of British rule. However, addressing a crowded principality and a delegation of representatives in Delhi in July 1947, Britain's last Governor of India, Lord Mountbatten, stated that the third option (independence) is a theoretical option. He even asked the princes to decide which state they would join until August 15, if possible. While making this decision, he advised them to focus on two criteria: geographical proximity to India or Pakistan and the will of their people. At this stage, it was obvious that many princes would choose India due to their geographical location. There were problems in Hyderabad and Junagadh, whose rulers were not only Muslim but mostly Hindu. Prince of Junagadh chose to join Pakistan. The problem was resolved when Hyderabad's administrator faced the occupation of the Indian army in September 1948 after a year of distraction. Still, the Indian National Congress Party was trying to complete the process as quickly and smoothly as possible. They even set up a special unit to follow this process. Pakistan had less to lose compared to India, and Mohammed Ali Cinnah made a statement that Kashmir could make a more free choice. More specifically, he said, principals can stay autonomous if they want, or they can be completely independent [5]. The geographical proximity criterion mentioned above facilitated the work and decision of almost all principalities. The only exception was Jammu and Kashmir. Because Jammu and Kashmir had borders both to India and Pakistan. Although this neighborhood was more than Pakistan's western Punjab and Northwest Frontier Province (Northwest Frontier Province) than the eastern Punjab province of India, the situation was still in a complicated state. In terms of the desire of the people, the second criterion, it was thought that the people of Kashmir, whose 77% of the population is Muslim, would take a stand for Pakistan. However, there were some situations specific to Kashmir. One of them was the power and approach of the National Conference. Although Muslim was a busy party, he added non-Muslims to his body many years ago, and their opinions were important at this point. The second was the close relationship of Sheikh Abdullah, the leader of the National Conference, with the leaders of the Conge; this led to predictions that Sheikh Abdullah could decide to join India in some people. But perhaps the most important thing was the presence of a Hindu autocrat, who exceptionally ruled the Muslim people. It was he who had the authority to ultimately decide how to deal with the issue. UN and Kashmir Kashmir has a special importance in that it is one of the first conflicts in the history of the UN. In January 1948, India complained Pakistan to the UN on charges of raising and maintaining the tension in Kashmir. Subsequently, the UN, India and Pakistan decided to establish the UN Commission (UN Commission for India and Pakistan, UNCIP). However, the UN Security Council took a decision on April 21, 1948 since the conflicts were still unheard in the spring. In line with this decision, both states do their best to regain peace, withdraw all their soldiers from Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir, and civilian citizens who came to fight there, and withdraw all their troops from the region in consultation with UNCIP in India; it was only invited to keep the staff needed to ensure law and order. When all this was achieved, the Indian government was asked to establish the Referendum Administration to determine where the people wanted to join in Jammu and Kashmir. However, clashes were ongoing, and UNCIP made a new decision in August 1948 and called India and Pakistan to a ceasefire. Finally, a ceasefire was declared on January 1, 1949, but the ceasefire agreement was signed and put into effect on July 27, 1949. Because the parties have tried to create a situation where they can prevail over the other side by engaging in some minor conflicts. When this was not achieved, they had to sign the ceasefire. With this agreement, a ceasefire line was determined and the UN peacekeeping mission was created. Looking at the table after the agreement; India took almost 63% of Jammu and Kashmir (139,000 square kilometers of 223,000 square kilometers). This part includes the entire Kashmir Valley and most of the Jammu and Ladakh regions. This area is now referred to as Indian Controlled Jammu Kashmir (Indian Jammu Kashmir, IJK). Pakistan took portions of the Jammu region, which borders Punjab and the Northwestern Border Province, a part of Ladakh, and the mountainous parts of Gilgit and Baltistan. This distinction was now set as a ceasefire line. This line’s name was hardly changed until it was changed to Line of Control in 1972. War in 1965 Sheikh Abdullah, who was arrested in 1953, was released in January 1958. However, Abdullah, who was arrested again in the spring of the same year, was subjected to heavy accusations by the Indian authorities, and preparations were continued for his death or life sentence. However, in December 1963, after Hz. Muhammad's hair was lost, the people took to the streets again. With this incident, Nehru asked for a final solution to the Kashmir problem and dropped the charges against Sheikh Abdullah, and Abdullah regained his freedom. After Nehru told Sheikh Abdullah to meet with Pakistan and that he would say yes to a solution they would accept, Abdullah immediately met with Pakistan leader Eyub Khan. On 27 May 1964, when he learned about the death news of Sheikh Abdullah Nehru, who came to Pakistan-controlled Muzaffarabad and was about to address the public, he canceled all his programs and flew to Delhi for the funeral. Nehru's death broke Sheikh Abdullah's hope for a solution [6. Р. 204]. However, resentless Abdullah traveled all over the world and began to seek support, and even after meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, Abdullah was arrested again on his return to his country. The people reacted in the same way and took to the streets. The situation became even more complicated in March 1965, when the Indian Parliament enacted a law stating that Kashmir is a province of India and has the authority to appoint a governor. Interpreting this popular revolt in its favor, Pakistan passed the Control Line in September 1965 and brought its troops into the region. While the Indian army, who was caught unprepared, suffered serious losses, Pakistani leader Eyub Han asked for support from Washington. When Washington asked Moscow to exert pressure on India, the Tashkent Agreement was eventually signed on January 10, 1966. [7] 2.) There was agreed a ceasefire line. After almost five years, this time Pakistan itself faced with a separation. It is not aimed to elaborate on the history of the Bangladesh itself here but to say that at this war, India became also a part of the issue and supported Bangladesh’s leader. At the end of this conflict, Simla Agreement was signed between India and Pakistan on June 2, 1972. With the agreement, both actors accepted that the issue shall be resolved through only peaceful manner. In addition, according to the Ministry of External Relations, Simla Agreement was much more than a peace treaty seeking to reverse the consequences of the 1971 war (i.e. to bring about withdrawals of troops and an exchange of prisoners of war). [8] (3.) Simla Agreement is also important because it had set the Line of Control (which was the ceasefire line in Tashkent Declaration) which has not been changed since then. With this line, now the parts of region is called as Pakistan Administered Jammu Kashmir (PAJK), Indian Administered Jammu Kashmir (IAJK) and the smallest part under the control of China as Aksai Chin. The loss of the east of Pakistan and the declaration of Bangladesh as a new state was an event affecting the whole region. It can be said that the interest of Pakistan in South Asia and Kashmir was partially weakened after the 1971 division [9. Р. 47]. In addition, Tarık Ali states that Pakistan turned towards the Gulf countries in the 1980s and adopted an approach to serve the purpose of maintaining the status quo in the Gulf with its strong army. Of course, the fact that Pakistan turned its attention in another direction created a suitable ground for India to concentrate on Kashmir. Especially in the 1980s, India increased its control and pressure on Kashmir, often declared a state of emergency and did not hesitate to use violence. Those pressures didn’t stay unreacted. At the beginning of 1990, a group of young men launched a guerrilla revolt against the Indian administration in the Kashmir Valley. The organization, which named these movements as the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), explained that their aim was to liberate Indian controlled Kashmir and make it an independent state by combining it with Pakistan-controlled Kashmir [10. Р. 4]. In May 1998, both Pakistan and India conducted their first nuclear explosions which almost a year later resulted in the Kargil conflict [11]. Pakistan entered to Kargil by crossing the Line of Control which again resulted in a direct clash with Indian forces. India also pulled its troops from Srinagar to the region to respond. Although India initially lost some losses, when Pakistan lost its advantage over time, US President Clinton stepped in. Clinton, who met with Nawaz Sharif, asked Pakistan to withdraw all his troops, and nothing was given to Pakistan in return. Pakistan, whose intervention failed, signed the ceasefire agreement and frozen the crisis. During the coming decades, there was not any direct war between the parties but there has been a growing reaction and revolt of mainly young Kashmir people; but the story of Kashmir has totally changed with a critical event in 2019. 2019: A Year of Tension for Kashmir IAJK faced one of the deadliest attacks in its history in February 2019. A young Kashmiri man carried out a suicide bombing targeting a bus full of Indian soldiers driving through the Srinagar highway in Pulwama. As a result of this incident, 46 soldiers lost their lives, more than 30 soldiers were injured. This incident brought the two-nuclear powers to the edge of conflict. The Jaish-e-Mohammad organization claimed the responsibility for the attack [12] This group is categorized as a terrorist organization by India, the UN, the United States of America (USA), and the United Kingdom (UK) while Pakistan does not see. The founder of the organization, Masood Azhar is believed to be in Punjab, the eastern province of Pakistan; however, Pakistan authorities rejects this argument. In an immediate press release, Ministry of External Relations of India emphasizes that the leader of the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Masood Azhar is an international terrorist and has been given full freedom by Government of Pakistan to operate and expand his terror infrastructure in territories under the control of Pakistan and to carry out attacks in India [13]. The explanation of the Jaish-e-Mohammad was met with high tension and anger within Indian conservatives and in the government. Indian Prime Minister reacted immediately saying that those responsible for this attack will pay a very high price [14]. The first concrete step was taken in the 26th of February. Indian Air Force launched an air strike on the so called biggest Jaish-e-Mohammad training camp at Balakot (north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province) in Pakistan. Regarding this air strike operation, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale made a press conference and said that: “Credible intelligence was received that JeM was attempting another suicide terror attack in various parts of the country and the fidayeen jihadis were being trained for this purpose. In the face of imminent danger, a preemptive strike became absolutely necessary. In an intelligence led operation in the early hours of today, India struck the biggest training camp of JeM in Balakot. In this operation, a very large number of JeM terrorists, trainers, senior commanders and groups of jihadis who were being trained for fidayeen action were eliminated. This facility at Balakot was headed by Maulana Yousuf Azhar (alias Ustad Ghouri), the brother-in-law of Masood Azhar, Chief of JeM” [15]. This air strike and speech of Foreign Secretary are important at two ways. The first one is that Foreign Secretary said it was a preemptive strike. This preemptive strike perspective was used as the first time at India and Pakistan relations on Kashmir dispute. The previous wars between India and Pakistan had started with one of the actors taking the first step directly against the other one. Sure, taking into consideration the time of emergence of preemptive strike, it is quite understandable that this perspective was not used in previous wars or clashes. Here it is tried to emphasis the first usage of the preemptive strike for Kashmir issue occurred with this Balakot operation. The second feature of the operation is that this was the first strike launched across the Line of Control which draws the border between IAJK and PAJK since this line was accepted with Simla Agreement as a result of 1971 war. The operation was argued to be a legitimate act according to Ministry of External Affairs of India because they claimed they had the intelligence data anticipating an attack similar to Pulwama. This information, since it is in the field of intelligence, can’t be definitely shared with the media and academia. It has a high potential of being true as much as it has a potential of being a false information; however, the accuracy of the intelligence data is not the concern here. Rather than this, this kind of preemptive strike doctrine may lead a frequent and popular usage not only by the Indian side but also by the Pakistan side. Such a possibility, on the other hand, is extremely dangerous when it is remembered that both actors have nuclear weapons. After the Balakot strike, Pakistan, as claiming to exercise its right of reprisal, acted on 27 February 2019 from within Pakistani airspace, by taking 6 strikes (4 targets). It was explained to be on non-civilian and non-military targets with a clear intention not to cause any damage to life or infrastructure [16]. Indian Air Force responded with another strike on the 27th of February. One day later, this time Pakistan Air Force, by staying within its airspace, shot down two Indian aircrafts and one of the pilots was captured alive [17](BBC, India Pakistan: Kashmir fighting sees Indian aircraft downed, 2019). The captured pilot was Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman and a video of him was shared in which he is seen as blindfolded. Although the pilot’s capture has increased the already existing tension between two countries, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan told the pilot would be released as a “peace gesture” on Friday, March 1 [18] (BBC, Abhinandan: Crowds gather for Indian pilot's release, 2019). This move was welcomed by Indian administration and contributed to the de-escalation of the crisis. On one hand it seemed to be a solved crisis at an international level, it became an internal political material in India. Since India elections were to be held in April and May 2019, the conservative groups transformed this tension with Pakistan in general and pilot in particular into an election campaign issue. His moustache became a way of declaring support to him and BJP and also reacting to Pakistan authorities. It evolved such a point that another guy having the same shape of moustache and also wearing a BJP scarf at his neck was serviced as if he was Abhinandan Varthaman. [19] (4.) He was just a doppelganger. Even the pictures of the pilot Abhinandan were displayed in many Indian towns by the ruling party’s members. At this point, the National Election Committee intervened and urged the parties to refrain from using the photograph or poster of the pilot. Although there is not a concrete academic research on it, it may be argued that Pulwama attack and the following tension between India and Pakistan had an impact on the Indian national election. It is argued on the ground that before the election, Indian economy was facing a kind of price instability mainly for the potato and onion which are the primary production of the Uttar Pradesh state whose large population depends on the agriculture. This was expected to have a serious impact on the voters’ behavior and to lead a defeat of BJP in Uttar Pradesh and similar states where Prime Minister Modi and BJP were quite popular and predominant. [20] (5.) In this environment, the election campaign was turned out to be a security and foreign policy oriented one rather than economy and related issues were focused. As a result, BJP and Modi were the winner of the election by increasing their votes while the opposition lost its supporters vote unexpectedly [21]. The second outcome of the election campaign occurred at the beginning of August. The Indian Parliament took a historic decision and it was the turning point in the history of Kashmir. The details are provided below. The August 5th Decision of the Indian Parliament BJP and Prime Minister Modi was addressing the status of Jammu Kashmir region in their election rallies frequently. The general election was held in India in April and May 2019. During the election campaigns, BJP members and Modi were promising their potential electors that the autonomous status of the IAJK would be cancelled and Kashmir would be part of Indian Union. It is important to note that the state of Jammu and Kashmir comprises three regions: Hindu-majority Jammu, Muslim-majority Kashmir and Buddhist-majority Ladakh. The move came on Monday the 5th of August, 2019. The Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, proposed the abolition of Kashmir’s special status, which is guaranteed under Article 370 in the Indian constitution. This allows the state to have its own constitution and autonomy over all matters except for areas such as foreign affairs, defense, and communication. Along with this resolution, it was also introduced to bifurcate the State into Ladakh as a Union Territory without a legislature, and Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory with an Assembly [22]. With this decision, the provision that prevents people from other parts of India to buy land in Kashmir was also prohibited. This has been interpreted by many academic and experts as a way of opening the channel for Hindus to buy land and flow through Kashmir region so that the demographic composition would be changed to the disadvantage of Muslim population. Such a fear produced panic among Kashmiris and Indian authorities increased their military presence by deploying thousands of military personnel there. The decision of India was criticized by some countries and some leaders beside the internal critics. Among them, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are the most critical. These three leaders spoke about the ongoing societal reaction and tension in IAJK stemming from the August 5th decision at the 74th General Assembly of the UN on 24-27 of September 2019. The leaders emphasized the urgency of humanitarian issues directly related to 8 million Kashmiris. The speeches of Erdoğan and Mohammad didn’t stay unanswered and India declared some restrictions to its trade relations with Malaysia and Turkey. Another reaction was shown as Prime Minister Modi’s prospective visit to Turkey was cancelled. In addition, India sees and mentions that Kashmir issue is an internal issue of India and no other sovereign states should be intervening in it. Since the 5th of August decision, IAJK has been an intense control. As a reaction to it, at least 32 activists of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) have begun a hunger strike at a sit-in protest in the village of Jaskool in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, about 10 km from the Line of Control, Muhammad Rafiq Dar, JKLF spokesperson told [23]. This has been supported by many groups such as journalists, activists, scholars and etc.; however, there were also some support from the USA Congress. For instance, during Modi’s visit for the 74th General Assembly of UN, Alice Wells, the top State Department official for South Asia told the reporters that “We hope to see rapid action - the lifting of the restrictions and the release of those who have been detained.” [23]. After the August 5 decision, Kashmiris have been in an ambiguous situation and a harsh lockdown. While the impact of this event hasn’t come to an end, another critical issue raised in India. It was Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). With the amended law, it will be given citizenship to all immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh except the Muslims. This again created an intense discussion in Indian society. The protests started in Delhi and spread to the many cities and even the universities became center for protests. Although it seems not directly connected to Kashmir issue, the CAA is disturbing the social stability and peace of India mainly by making Muslims feel as the “other” of the society. For centuries, India has been home to many different ethnic and religious identities which actually made India today’s India. This value and gain is the richness of the Indian democracy that should be protected at any cost. Concluding Remarks Kashmir, today, is the most militarized region of the world. The countries part of the issue sees the lands of Kashmir which are under their administration as their natural extension. India and Pakistan usually look to the issue from the national interest perspective and think the region is an indispensable part of their sovereign states. Both attach strategic importance to Kashmir; however, when the current developments are focused on, it is seen that the issue is taking a different shape. It is being made a more internal politics matter for both countries. In 1947, it was India, for the first time, took the issue to the UN but now India declares it is strictly an internal matter of India so that no any other state should be intervening in Indian national affairs. This paradigm shift, from internationalization of the issue to nationalization, seems to be producing more conflict not only within India but also in the region, too. With that, it has the potential of dragging the two nuclear armed countries to the edge of clash. At the same time, the change in status quo of Kashmir issue is extremely dangerous by predicating the actions on the “preemptive strike” doctrine. Taking into consideration that, this doctrine may be used also by Pakistan, it may bring more instability to South Asia. In addition, the preemptive strike doctrine may also pave the way to other regional and global actors for intervening to the issue by legitimizing their action based on this doctrine. Moreover, being aware of the fact that India is consisting of almost 200 million Muslim population, whatever happens in IAJK has a reflection on Indian society, the issue should be tackle with highest sensitivity and care. Unless it is believed to be solved through dialogue and peaceful manner, there will not be a permanent solution of the issue. Notes (1) The cities of Srinagar and Jammu are the capital cities of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the long-standing tradition, the state administration is located in Srinagar in summer and in Cammu in winter.


About the authors

Hatice Çelik

Ankara Social Sciences University, Turkey

Author for correspondence.
Email: hatice.celik@asbu.edu.tr

PhD (Area Studies), Assistant Professor of Department of Asian Studies, Institute for Eastern and African Studies

06050 Ulus Altındağ/Ankara, Turkey


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  20. Including some farmers’ interview please read https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-election-onions-insight/insight-collapse-in-indias-onion-prices-could-leave-modi-smarting-in-election-idUSKCN1OR045 (Accessed on 12.03.2020).
  21. The Guardian. India election results 2019: Modi claims landslide victory. The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/23/india-election-results-narendra-modi-bjp-victory (accessed: 23.05.2019).
  22. The Hindu. Amit Shah moves resolution to revoke provisions of Article 370, bifurcate J&K. The Hindu: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/amit-shah-moves-resolution-to-revoke-article-370-bifurcate-jk/article28819848.ece (accessed: 05.08.2019).
  23. Alzajeera. Kashmir under lockdown: All the latest updates. Alzajeera: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/india-revokes-kashmir-special-status-latest-updates-190806134011673.html (accessed: 27.10.2019).

Copyright (c) 2020 Çelik H.

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