Author: Yelena Biberman
Affiliation: Skidmore College, (Saratoga Springs, New York), a fellow at Modern War Institute at West Point, and nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center (Washington, D.C.)
Organization/Publisher: Modern War Institute at West Point
Date/Place:February 11, 2021/USA
Type of Literature: Report
Number of Pages:21
Keywords: Kashmir, Pakistan, China, India, US, Joe Biden, Indo-Pacific, Nuclear flashpoint.
In this report prepared by a fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point, the author navigates how Washington will deal with the UN-recognized Kashmir dispute in its foreign policy on South Asia. However, the report completely annihilates the UN-granted right to self-determination which has been agreed to by India, Pakistan, and the international community to seal the political fate of Kashmiris. Think tanks and political observers based in Washington DC have mostly set out a foreign policy framework for the US rather than taking into account the historic realities of conflicts and disputes. Kashmir is a victim of this duplicity. The author links India’s so-called peace deal on Kashmir to the US strengthening its role in the Indo-Pacific region where Washington is joining its allies to counter China while withdrawing from Afghanistan. She sees striking such a deal in the next four years under President Joe Biden as ensuring democratic freedoms and human rights, rather than being a travesty of justice. Both Afghanistan and Kashmir are cases of occupation. The rebels fighting in Indian-occupied Kashmir are fighting occupation and are not linked to global terror groups. Manipulation of a genuine armed resistance is genocidal for a genuine struggle like those of Kashmiris. The author also discusses China’s interest in Kashmir, linking it to the larger Belt and Road Initiative’s flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). She argues that Beijing wants stability in Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of Jammu and Kashmir which existed before 1947, for the CPEC that runs into Pakistan. She also touches upon the excitement among people of Indian-occupied Kashmir about China’s expansion in the Himalayas, more recently in the Ladakh area, which the besieged people see as a hope. It was due to Chinese help that Pakistan secured three sittings with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) since August 05, 2019, when India annexed the disputed region. However, the author neglects to discuss the role of the UNSC over Kashmir which calls for a free and fair plebiscite to decide where the entire Jammu and Kashmir should go – India or Pakistan.
By: Riyaz ul Khaliq, Non-Resident CIGA Research Associate