Stories about India

Is our solidarity with Kashmir conditional?

As I drove around Islamabad to reach my office on Defence Day, I saw a myriad of posters around the capital. They all communicated the same message: Pakistan is the bastion of Kashmiri interest; hence, Kashmir belongs to Pakistan. The hashtag ‘KashmirBanegaPakistan’ and retweets from Kashmiris who supported this message flooded my Twitter feed. Some of my friends even posted about their interactions with a few Kashmiris, after which they had concluded that all 14 million Kashmiris wanted to be a part of Pakistan. While the logic did not quite make sense, I could not help but wonder about this ...

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As a German, I am offended by Imran Khan’s comparison of Modi to Hitler

I wholeheartedly understand Imran Khan’s anger in light of India’s decision to revoke Article 370 in occupied Kashmir and plunge the region into chaos. After all, Imran had been advocating vociferously for increased dialogue between India and Pakistan, yet Narendra Modi‘s government did not reciprocate the sentiment. While Modi’s actions in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) undoubtedly deserve to be condemned by the international community, I feel that comparing the Indian prime minister to Adolf Hitler is rather extreme and unnecessary. As a German whose grandparents witnessed the barbaric acts unleashed by Hitler, and as someone who was made to study ...

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Does the road to the Afghan peace process still pass through Kashmir?

One of Donald Trump’s election promises was that he would withdraw American troops from Afghanistan; a promise which led to the president engaging in dialogue with the Taliban in order to ensure a peaceful exit. Zalmay Khalilzad was appointed as the United States’ (US) special envoy for Afghanistan and it looked like Trump may well deliver on what he pledged. This policy objective had offered a window of opportunity for Pakistan to improve its relations with America since it had become evident that the US would require the help of the Pakistan government if they wished to withdraw troops ...

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It was to be expected that the UAE would side with India over Pakistan

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) shocked many observers late last month when it awarded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the country’s highest civilian honour amidst the on-going concern that New Delhi plans to carry out ethnic cleansing against the Muslims of Kashmir after its Israel-like unilateral moves in early August. This development flies in the face of everything that the international Muslim community (Ummah) is supposed to stand for, yet it should have been expected, especially after the Emirati Ambassador to India lauded the de-facto annexation of occupied Kashmir right after it happened for supposedly aiming to improve the economic ...

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Bernie Sanders spoke up about Kashmir, but does it really matter?

We are a nation that rejoices at semantics, not action. You need only look towards the reaction to Bernie Sanders’ statement regarding Kashmir to get a sense of that. Sanders, who is currently one of the candidates vying to become the Democratic presidential nominee, recently spoke at the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in Houston and made some remarks which led to a whole host of reactions. He called India’s actions in occupied Kashmir “unacceptable,” and went onto state, “The communications blockade must be lifted immediately, and the United States government must speak out boldly in support of international ...

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Remembering war hero Air Commodore Rashid Bhatti: an outstanding soldier and father

My dad was not a martyr. I didn’t lose my dad to the country in his death. I lost him to the country in his life. That night, and every day, I stand proud because of that. Pakistan and India have once again come to the brink of war after the revocation of Kashmir’s special status by the Indian government. This follows the recent tension earlier this year, when Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in a dogfight over Kashmir on February 27, 2019, a day after Indian jet fighters carried out airstrikes inside Balakot. Pakistani fighters shot down two Indian planes ...

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How the NRC further widens the religious fault lines in India

What happens when a myth comes face to face with a harsh reality? A nation which has been fed a myth feels betrayed when that lie is finally exposed. The National Register of Citizens (NRC), an exercise intended to compile data about the citizens of the Indian state of Assam, has been chasing a myth.  The original aim of the NRC was to determine which individuals who settled down in Assam after 1971 are illegal immigrants, regardless of their religion. But with time, the NRC became an exercise aimed at weeding out illegal Muslim immigrants who had come in from ...

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BJP is politicising the Kartarpur Corridor and, once again, pinning it on Pakistan

Influential Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ideologue Subramanian Swamy called on the government to suspend construction of the Kartarpur Corridor until Pakistan’s intentions are “set right first”. This proves the veracity of an earlier prediction that India will politicise this project in the aftermath of its unilateral Israel-like moves in Kashmir but try to blame it all on Pakistan instead. India is playing games with the religious sentiments of the Sikhs by politicising the Kartarpur Corridor which is supposed to open in November and facilitate pilgrimages to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib across the border in Pakistan. That shrine is the final resting ...

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Will a 30-minute demonstration every Friday actually help the Kashmir cause?

Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK) has been under lockdown for more than three weeks now. Narendra Modi’s desire to annex the territory was already made clear during his election campaign, and thus many have been asking why Islamabad was unable to pre-empt this. But given that Modi’s move on the geopolitical chessboard caught Islamabad off-guard, the question arises: how should Pakistan respond? Perhaps by rallying on the streets for 30 minutes. In a recently televised address, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he wanted the people of Pakistan to come out onto the streets for half an hour every Fridays in order to stand in solidarity ...

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Kashmir – a land marred by betrayals

The once heavenly abode of the Mughal kings, one of whom famously called it “paradise on Earth” – Kashmir today lies in tatters. It remains divided in bits and pieces. Its people seething in desolation and broken by the latest insult in a long list of insults. Dejected and disheartened by the apathy the world has shown while their political, cultural and religious identity has been assaulted and snatched. It has been 21 days since Article 370 was scrapped and an unprecedented communications blockade was put in place; practically insulating Kashmir from the rest of the world. Close to eight ...

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