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Did China Act Hastily In India-Pak Row Over J&K?



China does not have a case for taking the matter to the United Nations Security Council, it being an internal decision taken by the Government of India. Articles 370 and 35 A became applicable to Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) by a sovereign decision of the Indian parliament several years after the cease fire as also the UN Security Council Resolution. There was no external pressure on India to do so. Its revocation by the government in August 2019 was equally a sovereign decision of both houses of parliament in New Delhi approved by an overwhelming to-third majority, it being India's internal matter no matter how anyone looks at it.
As it happens Pakistan violated the UNSC resolution very early on when it unilaterally ceded a portion of the Northern Areas, being disputed territory claimed by India, to China. The transfer of Shaksgam Valley to China amounted to permanent alienation of the territory ceded to a country outside the subcontinent.

Inexplicably China joined Pakistan to move the UNSC on the revocation of Article 370 by India. The intervention can be seen as a necessity delinked from the dispute. The reason is that it is constructing major infrastructure projects through the disputed territory. It has also reportedly sent in thousands of troops, thereby threatening the security of India (J&K) in an attempt to permanently alter the status of the territory. Therefore, its self-ingestion in the dispute can be reckoned to be mala fide
On its part China has demographically swamped the territories it occupied. In Xinjiang it is reducing the Uighurs to a minority. The same goes for the Tibetans. It has curtailed the movement, religious freedom and liberty of these people in a brutal manner. So far most Muslim countries and many other countries in the world have refrained from criticizing China from incarcerating over a million Uighurs in camps.

Pakistan has accused India of opening the doors for large number of Indians to come and settle down in J&K. They are referring to a future possibility. As to how it plays out only time will tell in keeping with the guidelines that the government might decide upon. In the case of Pakistan POK over the years has been settled with ex-servicemen. The original inhabitants are fast being reduced to a minority. For example there are reckoned to be more Mirpuris in Bradford in UK than in POK. As to the apprehension of ethnic cleansing of Muslims that might take place in the Valley, it is incorrect. India has an independent judiciary. Not so in China and Pakistan. Many will remember that Mrs. Indira Gandhi one of the most powerful prime ministers of India was unseated by a judgment of the Allahabad High Court.

How can Pakistan even dare to utter the words 'ethnic cleansing' when talking of others? Recall that when partition of India took place the Hindu population of Pakistan was twenty-five percent. Today it should have naturally grown to 50 million out of Pakistan's population of 200 million or thereabout. What happened to the missing Hindus over generations? Raped? Killed? Converted? Kidnaping of nubile girls for marrying to elderly Muslims? At the same time in India the Muslim population has grown to over 180 million. There has been a Muslim Chief of the Air Force. Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam was one of the most revered presidents. They continue to excel and occupy important positions in education, administration and other fields.

For India and the region, especially Russia, Central and East Asia the worry resulting from what many would believe was a hasty step could become a setback to the growing India-China ties after Wuhan in the follow up meeting scheduled between the two leaders at Varanasi in India in October, later in the year. It is to be wondered whether China's actions have resulted from the cumulative effect of the pressure that the US President has been putting incrementally on China. Does the recent unrest in Hong Kong that does not seem to be coming under control add to its predicament? India has so far refrained for criticising China for its actions in Tibet and Xinjiang. So have the majority of nations. That is likely to change.

Meanwhile, at the instance of Pakistan and China the SC discussed the matter in a closed-door-session on 16th August 2019. The events of the day at UN Headquarters in New York have been extensively covered by the electronics and print media. Reflecting on the takeaway the following aspects become worthy of note. Pakistan's representative at the UN and their Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that they had succeeded in internationalizing India's action. The difficult position that the Pakistan PM and his country are mired in is well-known. What else could they say, although realization would have dawned early on that more than 98 percent of the countries of the world had declined to back them. They can put any construction on it for internal consumption; even the Chinese backed them in the UN most reluctantly. China's initial reaction referred only to Ladakh. The decision to take the matter to the UN was unlikely to have had much support. Many in Beijing would have felt that the country had unnecessarily alienated India and put the growing relations under strain. India's permanent representative at the UN Syed Akbaruddin said that China and Pakistan had passed off "national sentiments as the will of the international community". His fielding of the questions that he agreed to take when the other two representatives had declined to do so was masterly. It has won him accolades from many quarters.




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