By David E. Hubler
Contributor, In Homeland Security
The war of words between India and Pakistan over India’s recent repeal of the state of Jumma and Kashmir’s special autonomy may be heating up again.
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On Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan likened India’s August 5 announced change in the law to Nazi ideology. Khan “warned the international community that inaction would be similar to appeasing Hitler,” CNN reported.
In a series of tweets on Sunday, Khan said India’s actions in Kashmir were an attempt “to change (the) demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing.” Khan asked whether the world would “watch and appease as they did Hitler at Munich?”
The change in the law could alter the Moslem-majority region on the border with China by allowing Hindus to resettle there, buy property and establish businesses.
Kashmir Remained on Lockdown over the Weekend
India-controlled Kashmir, one of the world’s most sensitive regions, remained on lockdown over the weekend amid a communications blackout. Landline phone connections, internet and mobile coverage have all been suspended. Shops were shuttered and streets were deserted. Steel barricades and razor wire cut off neighborhoods, according to the Associated Press.
The festivities on Saturday for the Moslem holiday Eid al-Adha were peaceful with “no firing anywhere in the Kashmir Valley,” the Times of India reported.
Additional Indian Troops Deployed into Heavily Militarized Region
“Tens of thousands of additional Indian troops have also been deployed into the already heavily militarized region to head off unrest after the government in New Delhi moved to scrap the region’s special status,” CNN added.
On August 5, Indian Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah introduced bills naming both the state of Jammu and Kashmir and its Ladakh region as separate union territories to be governed directly by the central government in Delhi.
Shah hailed the sudden change in a decades-long arrangement as a “historic decision.” But it elicited negative reactions from both Beijing and Islamabad. The two nations have grown closer in recent years and have separately engaged in heated confrontations with New Delhi.
China and Pakistan Issue Warnings to India
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a press briefing on August 6 that her country was “always opposed to India’s inclusion of the Chinese territory in the western sector of the China-India boundary into its administrative jurisdiction,” She was referring to the Aksai Chin area that was claimed by India but was controlled by China in western Xinjiang and Tibet, Newsweek explained.
“Such practice is unacceptable and will not come into force,” Hua added. “We urge India to exercise prudence in words and deeds concerning the boundary question, strictly abide by relevant agreements concluded between the two sides and avoid taking any move that may further complicate the boundary question.”
According to Newsweek, at a joint session of parliament last Tuesday, Pakistani Minister Imran Khan again denied Indian charges that Islamabad was involved in the February suicide attack thatkilled more than 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama, on the heavily guarded Srinagar-Jammu highway.
“It was a devastating attack — the worst carried out against Indian forces in decades,” the BBC reported.
With the reclassification of Kashmir, Khan warned that “there will be another Pulwama-style incident and India will again accuse Pakistan of having terrorists coming from Pakistan, while we have nothing to do with it.”
Khan went on to say that he “feared such a series of events could escalate into a nuclear war” in which “no one would be the winner.”
India and Pakistan are nuclear powers that have fought four times since being granted their independence from Britain in June 1947, and their subsequent partition into two separate sovereign states.