As Pakistani PM says "we are on the brink of a Nuclear flashpoint," Indian PM Modi reassures Trump
Kashmir has always been strictly a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. Could the great dealmaker help?
September 6, 2019
Narendra Modi gave us a handshake to remember during the G7 Summit that took place in Biarritz, France this weekend. Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi had a meeting with President Donald Trump during the Summit to discuss bilateral trade and the US- Indian relationship. PM Modi was invited to the G7 as a special guest of French president Emmanuel Macron and certainly made his presence felt. He took the opportunity to clear up the air about the recent Kashmir issue.
Kashmir has always been strictly a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan. Any foreign diplomat who is worth their salt, knows about the Shimla agreement of 1972, that clearly outlines any issue to do with Kashmir will be resolved between the two parties involved- India and Pakistan. Any third party involvement will not be welcome or legitimate.
Earlier, Trump had offered to "mediate" between India and Pakistan during his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran khan. Diplomats and political scientists around the world were triggered, as it is well known what the red lines are with any issue around Kashmir. Trump does not have legal jurisprudence to offer any third party mediation and any such mediation will not bear any fruit nor will it be deemed legitimate. So Trump's offer of mediation would have been ill placed. However, what Trump can do and could be doing is to pressure Pakistan to stop its export of terrorism into India and using terror as a diplomatic tool.
During the same meeting with Imran khan, the Pakistani PM ceded that there are currently 45,000 terrorists operating in Pakistan. We can only image how many have not been disclosed. The US gives billions in aid every year to Pakistan for development, which sadly gets diverted to both their terror factories as well as their nuclear proliferation program. For 72 years, it has instigated and lost four wars with India and conducted many terror attacks including on the Indian parliament, cementing its position as the largest state sponsored terror entity in the world.
Prime minister Modi has made it very clear in no uncertain terms that Kashmir will be resolved between the two countries. In fact, Kashmir is truly an "internal matter" for India and the illegally occupied area called POK- "Pakistan occupied Kashmir" is really the only issue up for bilateral resolution.
The state of Kashmir legally and legitimately joined the union of India during the partion in 1947 and has been an integral part of India since then. On August 5th, 2019 the Indian government revoked Article 370- a law that gave "Special status" to Kashmir to have its own flag, anthem and constitution. This was meant to be temporary and transient, to be removed at a suitable future time. It sadly disconnected Kashmir with the rest of India and for 70 years was treated as an isolated state.
With the removal of the article 370, it fully integrates into India. This revokes the status of Kashmir as an apartheid state, where Kashmir being majority Muslim, the non Muslims were treated as second class citizens and refugees in their own home state. It also removed the sexist and racist property and inheritance laws that existed for 72 years, which did not allow non- Kashmiris and non- Muslims to inherit or buy property in the state of Kashmir.
The issue of illegal occupation in the subcontinent does not stop with Pakistan. The Indian region called Aksai Chin, was also illegally occupied by Pakistan and then gifted to China, which now hold ownership of it. India will deal with getting part of this region back from China, but the countries are on good terms and they can work out something without escalating any further. The Minister for External Affairs in India, Mr. Jayashankar recently noted, "India's relationship with China is one of the future. But Pakistan is an unusual neighbor and a peculiar problem. It is the only country in the world that uses terrorism as a diplomatic tool".
Trump noticeable made a U-turn on his original offer of mediation and has agreed that Kashmir is in good hands and will be resolved by these two parties.
This handshake and cheeky backslap to Trump is assertive, confident and indicative of the strong diplomatic ties between India and the USA. It also validates the international community's stance with India in its internal matters over Kashmir, isolating Pakistan just like the UN did a week ago. In a sense, he is saying, "Back off, we got this"!