The Washington Post’s foreign affairs editor wrote (Washington PostThe American government said that the government of India has made Kashmir more dangerous even for other religious minorities. He said Hindus and Sikhs had been targeted, leading to another mass exodus of minorities for the first time since the 1990s.
Muhammad Zeeshan believes that Kashmir’s slide into sectarian violence coincides with the geopolitical turmoil in its neighborhood, where it is surrounded by 3 nuclear powers in one of the most dangerous hotbeds of tension in the world.
To the east, India and China are building military infrastructure after the two Asian giants struggled to resolve a simmering border dispute that escalated into unprecedented violence last year.
To the West, the Taliban’s successful consolidation of power in Afghanistan has bolstered Pakistan, India’s longtime archenemy which in the past has been accused of using Afghan militant groups to fight a proxy war in Kashmir.
The withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan will allow the Pakistani army to redirect its focus towards the border with India, with Islamabad’s allies controlling power in the new Afghan regime.
Civil society organizations in India say as many as a third of Hindu and Sikh minorities who returned to Kashmir in the 2000s have left. Many families – out of the 800 who stayed during the same period – started leaving. Unemployment reached about 18% as the economy continued to falter
Since the start of the violent chaos this month, civil society organizations in India say that up to a third of Hindu and Sikh minorities who returned to Kashmir in the 2000s have left. Many families – out of the 800 who stayed during the same period – started leaving. Unemployment reached about 18% as the economy continued to falter.
The writer pointed to the abolition of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2019, Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which granted Kashmir special autonomy to govern and prevent immigrants from buying land in the region.
He recalled that when Modi rescinded Article 370, his government had promised that the decision would allow Hindu and Sikh refugees to return. Modi said investment would flow and the economy would take off.
The author considered the decision to look less like a deliberate political plan and more like an attempt to appease the arrogance of Hindu and nationalist voters. Rather than building on previous governments’ efforts to improve communication between Kashmiris and the rest of India, Modi decided to target the most politically important symbol of Kashmiri identity, at a time when inter-communal relations were already suffering. The writer concluded his article that Modi’s decision in August 2019 had made the bad situation much worse.