Firstly, 10000 extra soldiers were sent to Jammu and Kashmir last week, then another 28000 troops were mobilised for the state and now, the J & K government has asked Amarnath Yatris to cut-short their program and return immediately. It’s also been reported that the Indian Army and Indian Airforce has been asked to stay on high alert.
Such a readiness or preparedness without any open threat from Pakistan raises the eyebrows of many and gives rise to a lot of speculation. In the meantime, Donald Trump reiterated that he would be glad to mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir if Prime Minister Modi agrees, although it’s bit U-turn from him when in front of Imran Khan Trump said that Modi asked his mediation.
Omar Abdullah of the Jammu And Kashmir National Conference is apprehensive that the Narendra Modi government may abrogate article 370 and/or Article 35-A. PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti started threatening on possible/probable revocation of article 35-A. Some claim on social media that Narendra Modi may unfurl the tri-colour in Srinagar this Independence Day. The point is that speculations have no leg to stand on and everybody has their own guess. I will try to do a calculated guess about what could be cooking in Kashmir at present.
The point to be noted is that before the start of Amarnath Yatra, 40000 troops were deployed to tackle any terrorist activities, like every year. Thus, the present deployment of 38000 troops doesn’t sound like extra reinforcement for anticipated terrorist attacks. Yes, there was a seizure of arms and ammunitions carrying Pakistan Ordinance Factory stamps along the route of Amarnath Yatra, but such seizures are common every year at this point of time.
Encounters with separatists are also commonplace in the valley resulting in the Indian security forces neutralising them, sometimes suffering injuries or even losing some soldiers. Thus, the extra-deployment of troops doesn’t sound logical especially when the home minister asserts that the Kashmir situation is improving. Then what’s the issue?
Let us discount some of the speculations outrightly. Firstly, I don’t believe Narendra Modi is going to unfurl the tri-colour at Srinagar on 15th August because his address at the Red Fort has become a ritual. Every year, he addresses the public and mentions his next goals for India.
Narendra Modi addresses the public through ‘Mann ki Baat’ on apolitical matters and addresses us on Independence Day regarding the country’s future plans as Prime Minister of India. I don’t think he will miss this and go to Srinagar.
Is Narendra Modi planning to abrogate article-370 and 35-A? Considering the strong muscular policy, it could happen. What will be the effect? The same three and a half districts will again be disturbed as it happens regularly. In my opinion, abrogating those contentious articles could yield more positive results in the coming days and might be beneficial for BJP in the upcoming assembly elections. However, I don’t think Narendra Modi will take such actions until the matters are sub-judice. Both Article-370 and Article-35 A are in the Supreme Court.
Now the question arises, what’s the fuss happening in Kashmir now? I will take a calculated guess based on some reported developments. Recently, Farooq Abdullah met Prime minister Narendra Modi, after which, Abdullah gave an opinion that article 35-A should be made gender-neutral but not by the Central Government, rather by the J&K assembly.
Based on this, I think, Narendra Modi is going to tell the nation that the central government will submit an affidavit favouring abrogation of article 370 and 35-A. The point must be noted that I don’t think he will abrogate but inform the SC of the intent of the government. Let’s not forget what Narendra Modi said on triple talaq during his speech at the red fort in 2017 on the occasion of independence day.
Once he announces the government’s intent on article-370 and 35-A, apart from separatists, the regional parties might also create disturbances. Perhaps that’s why the additional forces were deployed and Amarnath Yatris were asked to return so that they won’t be a liability post-August 15th. In my opinion, this would also disturb Pakistan and bring the issue to the world’s notice for possible third-party mediation. It may do something that might lead to a war, at least in the eyes of the international community, who are wary of a war between two nuclear-powered nations.
That’s why perhaps the army and air force was put on high alert?
Well, the above is just a guess but then it fits the narrative. I may be horribly wrong on my speculation but chances are also bright that I may be correct. If there’ any lacuna in my logic, will you let me know?