At 75, India’s Kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

at 75, india’s kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

FILE- Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near the India-Pakistan border fencing at Suchet Garh in Ranbir Singh Pura, Jammu and Kashmir, India, Jan. 23, 2020. For decades, India has tried to thwart Pakistan in a protracted dispute over Kashmir. But in the last two years, policy makers in New Delhi have been increasingly turning their focus to Beijing, in a significant shift in India’s foreign policy as the nation celebrates 75 years of independence. (AP Photo/Channi Anand, File)

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — For decades, India has tried to thwart Pakistan in a protracted dispute over Kashmir, the achingly beautiful Himalayan territory claimed by both countries but divided between them.

That relentless competition made Pakistan always the focus of New Delhi’s foreign policy.

But in the last two years, since a deadly border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Kashmir’s Ladakh region, policy makers in New Delhi have been increasingly turning their focus to Beijing, a significant shift in policy as the nation celebrates 75 years of independence.

at 75, india’s kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

FILE- Newly graduated soldiers of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry take oath during their commencement parade at a military base on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, March 9, 2019. For decades, India has tried to thwart Pakistan in a protracted dispute over Kashmir. But in the last two years, policy makers in New Delhi have been increasingly turning their focus to Beijing, in a significant shift in India’s foreign policy as the nation celebrates 75 years of independence. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin, File)

India’s ever-growing economy, which is now vastly larger than Pakistan’s, combined with Beijing’s increasingly assertive push for influence across Asia, mean that “New Delhi has increasingly grown Beijing-centric,” said Lt. Gen. D.S. Hooda, who from 2014 to 2016 headed Indian military’s Northern Command, which controls Kashmir, including Ladakh.

Kashmir has suffered insurgencies, lockdowns and political subterfuge since India and Pakistan gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947, and has been at the heart of two of the four wars India has fought with Pakistan and China. The three countries’ tense borders meet at the disputed territory, in the world’s only three-way nuclear confrontation.

at 75, india’s kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

India at 75 The Kashmir Challenge

Starting in the 1960s, India was an active member of the Non-Aligned Movement, a grouping of over 100 countries that theoretically did not align with any major power during the Cold War. Despite disputes with neighboring Pakistan and China, India’s nonaligned stance remained a bedrock of its foreign policy, with its diplomats focused mainly on upending Pakistan’s claim to Kashmir.

“Kashmir was in a way central to our foreign policy concerns,” said Kanwal Sibal, a career diplomat who was India’s foreign secretary in 2002-2003.

But the current military standoff between India and China over their disputed border in Ladakh set off a grave escalation in tensions between the two Asian giants. Despite 17 rounds of diplomatic and military talks, the tense standoff continues.

For decades, India believed China did not represent a military threat, said Hooda, the former military commander. But that calculus changed in mid-2020 when a clash high in Karakoram mountains in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley set off the military tensions.

at 75, india’s kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

India at 75 The Kashmir Challenge

“Galwan represents a strategic inflection point,” said Constantino Xavier, a fellow at the Centre for Social and Economic Progress, a New Delhi-based policy group. It “helped create a new Indian consensus about the need to reset the entire relationship with China, and not just solve the boundary issue.”

at 75, india’s kashmir challenge shifts foreign policy focus

FILE – An election worker walks with a voting machine on his way to a nearby polling station on the eve of the eighth phase of voting for the Indian parliamentary elections in Leh, near the India-China border in Ladakh, India, May 6, 2014. Since a deadly border clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in the Ladakh region in the mid-2020, policy makers in New Delhi have been increasingly turning their focus to Beijing, in a significant shift in India’s foreign policy as the nation celebrates 75 years of independence. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Soldiers from the two sides fought a medieval-style battle with stones, fists and clubs, leaving at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead.

The fighting came a year after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Kashmir of its statehood, scrapped its semi-autonomy, and clamped down on local politicians, journalists and communications.

The government also split the Muslim-majority region into two federally administered territories — Ladakh and Jammu-Kashmir — and ended inherited protections on land and jobs.

The government insisted the moves involved only administrative changes, part of a long-held Hindu nationalist pledge to assimilate overwhelmingly Muslim Kashmir into the country.

Pakistan reacted with fury to India’s changes, asserting that Kashmir was an international dispute and any unilateral change in its status was a violation of international law and U.N. resolutions on the region.

But the main diplomatic challenge to New Delhi’s moves in Kashmir came from an unexpected rival: China.

Beijing scathingly criticized New Delhi and raised the issue at the United Nations Security Council, where the Kashmir dispute was debated — again inconclusively — for the first time in nearly five decades.

India’s line of argument remained consistent: To the international community it insisted that Kashmir was a bilateral issue with Pakistan. To Pakistan it reiterated that Kashmir was an Indian internal affair. And to critics on the ground, it stubbornly asserted that Kashmir was an issue of terrorism and law and order.

Initially, New Delhi had faced a largely peaceful anti-India movement in the portion of Kashmir it held. However, a crackdown on dissent led to a full-blown armed rebellion against Indian control in 1989. A protracted conflict since then has led to tens of thousands of deaths in the region.

Kashmir turned into a potential nuclear flashpoint as India and Pakistan became nuclear-armed states in 1998. Their standoff attracted global attention, with then-U.S. President Bill Clinton describing Kashmir as “the most dangerous place in the world.”

Many Indian foreign policy experts believe New Delhi was successful over the decades in blocking foreign pressure for change in Kashmir, despite deep sentiment against Indian rule in the region.

Now, New Delhi policymakers face the fundamental challenge of a China that is exerting more power in Asia and supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.

Pakistan “now operates in a more complicated political role as a partner of Chinese power,” said Paul Staniland, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. “This gives it some clout and influence.”

With geopolitical rivalries deepening in the extended region, Kashmiris have been largely silenced, with their civil liberties curbed, as India has displayed zero tolerance for any form of dissent.

China’s rise as a global power has also pushed India closer to the U.S. and to the Quad, a new Indo-Pacific strategic alliance among the U.S., India, Australia and Japan that accuses Beijing of economic coercion and military maneuvering in the region upsetting the status quo.

India’s old nonaligned stance, rooted in the Cold War era when rivalries were playing out thousands of miles (kilometers) from its borders, has come to an end. The entire region has become a focus of geostrategic competition and great power rivalry close to India’s borders.

“We recognize the need to hedge against China to curb its ambitions by making it known that there is a new line of security that is being built against any aggressiveness by China, which is at the core of the Quad,” said Sibal, the former diplomat.

With the Quad now central to discussions among India’s strategic thinkers, New Delhi has massively ramped up infrastructure along its long, treacherous and undemarcated border with China. Beijing views the Quad as an attempt to contain its economic growth and influence.

“This is how we are sending a signal to China that we are ready to join with others to curb you,” Sibal said.

___

Follow Aijaz Hussain on Twitter at twitter.com/hussain_aijaz

News Related

OTHER NEWS

2 convicted felons charged after cops find loaded guns in vehicle during traffic stop in North Chicago

Alex B. Agee, 45, of North Chicago, and Tytianna Henderson, 25, of Zion. Two people, including one who is recovering after being shot earlier this year, were arrested after police ... Read more »

HBCUs: The Hidden Racial Scam.

(ThyBlackMan.com) For many of you who don’t know the history of HBCUs, you see them only as progress. And yes many of them have turned out awesome African Americans who ... Read more »

Mother of 3 convicted of killing ex-Chicago Bears player's pregnant girlfriend pushes for new trial

Police question Marni Yang two months after Rhoni Reuter’s murder “I absolutely did not see a problem with going in and sitting down and talking with them,” Yang said about ... Read more »

Atacan embajada de Francia en Burkina Faso tras golpe

En esta imagen de un video emitido por la televisión estatal RTB, el portavoz del golpe de Estado, el capitán Kiswendsida Farouk Azaria Sorgho, lee una declaración en un estudio ... Read more »

129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match

129 dead after fans stampede to exit Indonesian soccer match Panic at an Indonesian soccer match after police fired tear gas to stop brawls left 129 dead, mostly trampled to ... Read more »

Defunded is the surprise Bob Baffert winner in the Awesome Again Stakes

It was not a surprise that Bob Baffert won the Grade 1 $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes. After all, he had four of the eight horses in Saturday’s race. What was ... Read more »

Ian, Fiona shattered hopes for a quiet hurricane season. What's next?

Hurricane Ian put much of Florida on alert Monday as it moved over the northwest Caribbean and Cuba on Monday September 26, 2021 The Atlantic hurricane season was off to ... Read more »

Ruptured oil pipeline off California approved for repairs

Ruptured oil pipeline off California approved for repairs A federal agency has given a Texas oil company approval to repair a pipeline that ruptured a year ago and spilled tens ... Read more »

'I'm Just Buzzing To Get My First [Chelsea] Goal' Conor Gallagher Gives His Post-Match Thoughts

Conor Gallagher scored his first goal in Blues colours this afternoon and he discussed the late thunderous strike after the game. Chelsea beat Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon to move ... Read more »

Federal judge upholds Georgia election law in challenge brought by Abrams

Federal judge upholds Georgia election law in challenge brought by Abrams ATLANTA — A federal judge upheld Georgia’s election laws in a ruling issued Friday evening in a blow to ... Read more »

127 soccer fans, police killed at match in Indonesia

MALANG, Indonesia  —  Clashes between supporters of two Indonesian soccer teams in East Java province killed 125 fans and two police officers, mostly trampled to death, police said Sunday. Several ... Read more »

Officials: 125 soccer fans, 2 police trampled to death at Indonesia soccer match

Officials: 125 soccer fans, 2 police trampled to death at Indonesia soccer match This story was updated at 8:35 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. MALANG, Indonesia — Clashes between supporters ... Read more »

'Left his brain at home' - Media criticise 'overrated' Spurs player alongside Royal

Some members of the press have criticised defender Cristian Romero for his display as Tottenham Hotspur fall to a 3-1 north London derby defeat to Arsenal. The Lowdown: Spurs taste ... Read more »

Taulia Tagovailoa keeps his poise and leads Maryland past Michigan State

Taulia Tagovailoa keeps his poise and leads Maryland past Michigan State As the Maryland football program gradually rises from the doldrums of the Big Ten, Taulia Tagovailoa, more so than ... Read more »

Muere alto ejecutivo petrolero ruso tras caer por ventana

MOSCÚ (AP) — Ravil Maganov, el presidente de la junta directiva de la mayor compañía petrolera privada de Rusia, cayó por la ventana de un hospital y murió, de acuerdo ... Read more »

Manchester United Predicted Lineup To Face Manchester City

Manchester United face Manchester City in the Manchester Derby on Sunday, here you can find our predicted lineup. View the original article to see embedded media. Manchester United will be ... Read more »

A national TV audience was sickened by what happened to Tua Tagovailoa | Michael Arace

The ratings for Amazon Prime’s first two Thursday night NFL games exceeded expectations, which is to say that this billion-dollar streaming experiment is working out for Big Tech and America’s ... Read more »

College Football Game Makes Stunning Decision For The Second Half

SYRACUSE, NY – NOVEMBER 09: General view during the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Louisville Cardinals at the Carrier Dome on November 9, 2018 in Syracuse, New York. ... Read more »

Tractor-trailer crash closes I-79N

Tractor-trailer crash closes I-79N KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — A tractor-trailer crash at the 7-mile marker of I-79 has closed northbound lanes for, “an undetermined amount of time,” according to ... Read more »

Clemson football gets brutal Bryan Bresee news ahead of NC State game

October 1, 2022 Clemson football received a troubling injury update on DT Bryan Bresee ahead of their game against North Carolina State, per Larry Williams. — Larry Williams (@LarryWilliamsTI) October ... Read more »

Greg Schiano, Ryan Day Get Into Heated Exchange After Fake Punt

Watch Schiano run all the way across the field and get in Ryan Day’s face. Who knew there would be some drama in a 49-10 game? With the Buckeyes completely ... Read more »

Endorsement: Caroline Menjivar for state Senate

Voters in the San Fernando Valley’s 20th state Senate District face this choice: Be represented by someone with a consistent record of public service or someone who has only dabbled ... Read more »

Estputnik II Is An Electric Drag Racing Bike That Will Make You Trip

Estputnik II Is An Electric Drag Racing Bike That Will Make You Trip We’re not sure if the inspiration for this build had anything to do with Sputnik II, the ... Read more »

Here's Why Mammoth Lakes Is One Of Autumn's Best Getaways

Here’s Why Mammoth Lakes Is One Of Autumn’s Best Getaways Quick Links Fall In Love With Mammoth Lakes Things To Do In Mammoth Lakes (Autumn Edition) Where To Stay In ... Read more »

Rutgers cheap shot leads to tempers flaring against Ohio State

Rutgers cheap shot leads to tempers flaring against Ohio State This would be a case of a questionable decision leading to a foolish choice. Ohio State was delivering its commonplace ... Read more »

NFL, NFLPA ‘Anticipate Changes' to League's Concussion Protocol

The modifications reportedly could go into effect as early as Week 5 Read more »

No. 2 Alabama loses QB Bryce Young, beats No. 20 Arkansas

Alabama receiver Kobe Prentice (80) breaks away from Arkansas defenders, Khari Johnson (19), Chris Paul Jr. (27) and Myles Slusher (2) on his way to score a touchdown during the ... Read more »

Gonzalo Pineda comments on Josef Martinez Atlanta United future

Martinez seems unhappy in Atlanta. | Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda says he remains unsure about Josef Martinez’s future at the club. Martinez is an ... Read more »

Jimmy Carter Celebrates 98th Birthday With Family, Friends and Baseball

AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool, File Jimmy Carter, already the longest-living U.S. president in history, turned 98 on Saturday, celebrating with family and friends in Plains, the tiny Georgia town where ... Read more »

The 30-30-30-10 Budget Rule for Budgeting Your Money

Budgeting With the 30-30-30-10 Budget Rule If your financial life is a mess, creating a budget can be the best thing for you. A budget can ensure you pay your ... Read more »

California's gas-powered vehicle ban will be 'difficult' to meet, Toyota's president says

Toyota, the best-selling auto brand in California, has recognized the state's authority to set vehicle emissions standards under the U.S. Clean Air Act. Read more »

These 2 Bugs Could Be Invading Your Homes This Fall – Some in Large Numbers

Doug Taron, curator of biology and vice president of research and conservation at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, told NBC Chicago spiders might be a "a little bit noticeable" right now Read more »

Oklahoma is in deep trouble (College football winners and losers)

Oklahoma is in deep trouble (College football winners and losers) There were enough questions coming into the season to think this wasn’t going to be a vintage Oklahoma team destined ... Read more »

Electronic records from Trump White House staff are missing, National Archives reports

WASHINGTON —  The National Archives and Records Administration informed lawmakers that a number of electronic communications from Trump White House staffers remain missing, nearly two years since the administration was required ... Read more »

How to watch USC football vs. Arizona State: Live stream online, TV channel, betting odds

Heisman hopeful Caleb Williams and the undefeated Trojans return home for a Pac-12 battle with Arizona State View the original article to see embedded media. USC is up to No. ... Read more »

Rachel Nichols Says She Was ‘Spied On’ in Her Hotel Room For Hours By ‘At Least’ One ESPN Colleague

Former ESPN sportscaster Rachel Nichols said on Showtime’s All the Smoke podcast this week that the leaked audio resulting in her exit from the sports network was obtain by someone ... Read more »

Arsenal vence a Tottenham en derbi londinense

Gabriel Jesus, izquierda, y Granit Xhaka festejan el segundo gol de Arsenal a Tottenham en partido de la Liga Premier inglesa en el Emirates Stadium, Londres, sábado 1 de octubre ... Read more »

Bad Bunny retoma sus raíces urbanas con el respaldo incondicional de miles de fans enardecidos

Para alguien que no sea un seguidor incondicional de Bad Bunny, verlo dos veces durante un mismo año sobre un escenario puede sonar excesivo. A fin de cuentas, y a ... Read more »

WATCH: Liberty WR Jaivian Lofton Makes Absurd One-handed Touchdown Catch

Getty Images Liberty’s Jaivian Lofton just raised the bar. The junior wide receiver made a jaw-dropping catch during Saturday’s game against Old Dominion that’s already being dubbed the catch of ... Read more »

The ‘Black Tax’ Is Bulldozing Our Finances

(Photo: Jianan Liu/HuffPost UK) You’re reading Gen:Blxck, a series exploring Black culture, history, family and identity through the generations. If you’ve done so much as glimpse at a news broadcast ... Read more »
Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network