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Air of terror in Kashmir as more Indian troops move into the valley

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News Analysis |

As much as 10,000 additional troops have been deployed inside Indian occupied Kashmir, leading to the air of rumors and consequently terror among the population of the valley. People, fearing a conflict due to excessive movement of troops, have begun to stock ration and medicines in case of emergency.

The tension was even felt by former Chief Minister of Indian Occupied Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti who tweeted, “There is a sense of unease and panic in Kashmir. Nobody has a clue about what is to come but an ominous feeling of impending doom hangs in the air. In such a surcharged atmosphere, public anger has been diverted towards Kashmiris.”

Governor of Indian occupied Kashmir, Satya Pal Malik explained inducing additional troops into the valley as a measure to enhance security amid coming state elections. “There is no need to panic. A six-member team of election commission of India is coming to [occupied] Kashmir and we need to discuss these security parameters with them and we want to hold timely elections and want to show the team that we are capable of holding elections on time,” Hindustan Times reported Malik’s statement.

The current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir is a clear example of blatant use of force against Kashmiris and oppression which they are subjected under Indian occupation.

But apart from the increased movement of troops, which has even sparked protests in several parts of Kashmir, the Hurriyat leadership has also been house arrested which is read as a counter move before hearing of Article 35 A in the Indian supreme court.

What is Article 35 A?

It is the only thing which has kept Kashmir’s demographic significance as a Muslim majority region and helped prevent to change the dynamics via excessive migration of Indians into the territory, Article 35 A incorporates special status of Kashmir within the constitutional framework of India as it inhibits granting the status of “Permanent Residence Status” to people coming from other parts of India.

It also prevents outsiders from acquiring property in Kashmir along with denying property rights to women who have been married to people outside Kashmir. The article has been on the agenda of Indian Supreme Court since 2014, but due to the sensitive nature of the issue, a verdict has not yet been reached.

Read more: We are peace loving, but won’t be intimidated, COAS tells India

Indian central government has continued for adjournment of hearing time and again which is expected this time around as well. After Pulwama attack, the security situation is already precarious inside the valley as several security force personnel have been gun down by Kashmiri resistance fighters. At such a volatile time, it would not be in the interest of the Indian government to allow further deterioration of the situation which could spark protest all over Kashmir.

More than Just Controlling the Situation

Other than the Governor of Kashmir’s elaboration regarding the movement of troops, there have been reports of heavy artillery movements through the valley. Several people have shared images on social media of big guns, some of them covered, being towed with heavy-duty military trucks.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi cooperation with the investigation into Pulwama attack, now the ball is in India’s court to decide the fate of people of both the countries.

After continuous hostile environment followed by Pulwama attack, and violation of working boundary along the Sialkot sector, an adventure on Line of Control cannot be ruled out. People living on Pakistan’s side of Line of Control are increasingly becoming anxious as the chances of escalation are quite high. Pakistani troops on the LoC are already on high alert and battle-ready in case of any bold move from the Indian side.

The current situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir is a clear example of blatant use of force against Kashmiris and oppression which they are subjected under Indian occupation. In case of a confrontation between India and Pakistan, Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control are most vulnerable with the imminent loss of life and property.

Read more: Post-Pulwama: Kashmiri spirit and Indian instability, both on rise

Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi cooperation with the investigation into Pulwama attack, now the ball is in India’s court to decide the fate of people of both the countries.


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