Lebensraum in Kashmir

The tailor-made plot on the part of New Delhi is to influence the ballot outcome of the disputed state

August 19, 2022

Demographic alterations in Occupied Kashmir are on the cards. The tailor-made plot on the part of New Delhi is to influence the ballot outcome of the disputed state. The purpose is to demean the ongoing struggle for independence. The local Election Commission says that around 2.5 million new voters in the occupied territory will be registered, and most of them are non-natives. This is happening because India has not been able to quell the uprising and silence the Kashmiris who are demanding their right to self-determination as promised by the UN. Thus, tweaking of ground realities and influencing the polls are meant to hoodwink the world opinion, furthering the impression that all is well in the insurgency-laden state.

The dispensation in Delhi under the Hindutva mindset is somehow convinced that it could get away with iron tactics. This power intoxication is pushing India into communal conflict, and has literally devastated its secular mosaic. The annulling of Kashmir’s special constitutional status on August 5, 2019, by the BJP government as it arbitrarily abrogated Article 370 and 35A was treason by any standards. It’s high time the international lawfare sat in judgment to thwart this nefarious intrusion into people’s lives at the peril of their existence. Allowing the non-Kashmiris to vote in the UN-recognised disputed region is tantamount to an international violation, and retrospectively must draw instant retribution.

With around 2 million new pseudo voters, at the whims and wishes of a flawed legislation, the existing number of voters will be over 10 million. Incidentally, the held valley is patrolled by one million Indian soldiers, who are free to opt for extrajudicial killings, abduction and midnight knocks. Human rights abuses are the order of the day, and Kashmiris are no less than a confined community under an open-air concentration camp. Kashmir is not only a bilateral dispute between India and Pakistan, but also an unresolved riddle of the world community. Tampering with demographic and territorial realities will have adverse consequences for the region and beyond. The constitutionalists in India, and elsewhere, should take a call and assert their moral writ to deter a Lebensraum in the making.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2022.

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