Violence in Kashmir has considerably reduced in the Valley ever since the Indian government scrapped Article 370 which had given special status to Jammu and Kashmir, said Kashmiri activist Javaid Trali.
Trali was speaking at a webinar organized under the University Dialogues series hosted by Democracy News Live with a panel of international experts on Asian security.
“We look forward to some positive movement to the situation here,” he said, adding that the Indian government must now start the political process.
Satoru Nagao, Fellow Hudson Institute, said restoring peace in Kashmir (like India’s Northeast) is an important issue because it is only then the infrastructure can improve and “a country like Japan can help”.
The webinar was held to mark the situation emerging in the past one year following the scrapping of Article 370 on August 5 in Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian government.
Eyck Freymann (PhD candidate at Oxford), Satoru Nagao (Fellow, Hudson Institute), Burzine Waghmar (Member, SOAS South Asia Institute) and Javaid Trali (Kashmiri activist) participated in the webinar.
Titled “Cogitating Kashmir: Towards representation, inclusive international consensus”, the panel discussed the prevailing domestic and international trends marking one year of New Delhi’s abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution.
The panel was unanimous in its view that the past two decades saw a growing acceptance of New Delhi’s Kashmir policy, besides being a key partner in the global quest for a rules-based order.
The regional challenges notwithstanding, it was acknowledged that New Delhi’s blueprint to transform Jammu and Kashmir’s politic-economic situation needs to be encouraged.
On August 5, 2019, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government scrapped Article 370 and 35A that accorded the special status to the state and bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
Article 370 had allowed Jammu and Kashmir to have its own constitution, flag and right to handle its own laws except on matters that impact national security.
The Modi government also scrapped Article 35A, which had allowed the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and also provided special rights and privileges to those permanent residents, through the presidential order.