Pakistan has raised apprehensions that India has deployed missiles in held Kashmir. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has written a letter to the UN that India is planning to launch an attack on Pakistan to divert the word’s attention from its human rights violations.
These moves are deeply concerning and can impact regional security. Indian military forces have removed fencing in several areas along the LoC. The foreign minister has stated that credible intelligence regarding extraordinary movements along border areas suggests India has deployed the supersonic cruise Brahmos missiles.
Indian army chief Bipin Rawat gave the discerning message that the situation along the LoC can escalate at any time. Pakistan’s civil and military leadership have given a unanimous message that such rhetoric is an attempt to divert attention from India’s own problems. Pakistan has warned that it would give a befitting reply to any misadventure.
In the meantime, protests have erupted across India over a controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill. The draconian law grants citizenship to all religions except Muslims. Thousands of people have protested saying that the law is unjust and violates the right to equality enshrined in the secular Indian Constitution. The move is the latest attempt by the fascist Hindutva government to marginalise the Muslim community.
The Indian government has dismissed the protests as insignificant but imposed internet bans in several areas. These tactics are similar to ongoing communication blackout in Kashmir. The internet blackout in the embattled state is now the longest ever imposed by a democracy. There have been a widespread crackdown and mass detentions as the region remains under lockdown for over four months.
India cannot accept criticism of its policies and has been using its economic might to challenge other countries. The Indian foreign minister abruptly canceled a meeting with US Congress legislators after his demand to exclude a member critical of India over Kashmir was refused. Indian-origin congresswoman Pramila Jayapal is sponsoring a resolution urging India to lift the communication and internet freedoms in Kashmir.
There is no indication when the curfew in held Kashmir will be lifted. Under such circumstances, India would want to divert attention from its own problems. Pakistan’s fears about Indian ill-intentions might just come true.