Modi meets with Kashmir leaders two years after the cancellation of regional autonomy

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) met with senior Kashmir politicians on Thursday to discuss the restoration of democracy in Muslim-majority areas in order to seek to divert criticism of the country’s human rights record and improve relations with Pakistan.

India’s powerful interior minister, Amit Shah, said that participants discussed holding elections and restoring the status of a country that was separated from Jammu and Kashmir two years ago.

“Everyone expressed their commitment to democracy and the constitution,” the Shah wrote on Twitter after the meeting. “We are committed to ensuring the full development of J&K.”

But Kashmir politicians, including three former chief ministers who were imprisoned or under house arrest during the 2019 crackdown, said they will continue their struggle for return. National autonomy, Including through India’s court system.

An Indian official said on Thursday: “The agenda is first to establish communication channels with mainstream national leaders and bring them back to the democratic camp.”

If Kashmir’s momentum is to be maintained, the restoration of Kashmir’s democratically elected government is of vital importance to India. Secret talk With Pakistan. Neighboring countries with nuclear weapons fought three wars in the mountains.

Islamabad is Irritated In August 2019, New Delhi abolished the political autonomy guaranteed by the Kashmir Constitution.In order to suppress dissent, Kashmiris are strictly blocked; mobile phones and Internet service is suspended Over the past few months, hundreds of political activists have been imprisoned.

The Modi government’s new reconciliation method reflects increasing strategic pressure, including Tensions with China Analysts expressed concern about the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Since last year, India has deployed more than 50,000 soldiers in Ladakh. Deadly border conflict Last year with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. Little progress has been made in the negotiations with Beijing on the issue of mutual withdrawal of troops.

Jawaharlal Nehru University International Relations Professor Habimon Jacobs said that New Delhi is now more interested in the normalization of relations with Pakistan, which is reflected in the fact that it jointly announced a high degree of militarization in Kashmir in February. Ceasefire on the border.

Jacob said: “India feels a bit restricted from all directions at this point.” “It is wise to release the pressure on Pakistan.”

Sushant Singh, a senior researcher at the Policy Research Center, said that New Delhi’s reconsideration of its tough Kashmir strategy reflects its “fear of the threat of conspiracy on the two fronts.”Also reflects Pressure from the U.S.When preparing to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, it is eager to see the tension in the region ease.

“Modi’s hand was almost forced,” Singh said. “In recent months, India has been facing real pressure on human rights and other issues.”

Dean Thompson, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs, testified before Congress this month that Washington urged India to “return to normalcy as soon as possible” in Kashmir.

New Delhi claims political reforms in Kashmir Will bring development To the area. But Siddiq Wahid, a Kashmiri scholar, said that residents worry that Modi’s latest move is only a public relations exercise, not a real attempt to reconcile.

“The question is,’Is it all for optics?'” he said. “If it were optics, it would not be satisfactory.”

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