Ladakh

Wisdom or Folly?

India needs to build bridges of friendship and cooperation rather than indulge in foolish mis-adventures.

By Amjad Ali Siyal | July 2020

Confidence is good, but overconfidence is self-destructive. In a bid to maintain an aggressive posture through unilateral annexation of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir in violation of bilateral agreements and international norms, India has committed a historical blunder. As a result it has to pay a heavy price in the long run. Then again, it is going to be a part of the bigger picture to contain China against the spirit of the Wuhan Consensus which aims at mutual cooperation. China, constantly irked by annoying Indian behaviour, is forced to respond to Indian follies. India certainly cannot sustain rivalry with China and the champions of Hindutva know it well.

India has proved to be an unreliable state in the international system. By revoking the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir in violation of the UNSC resolutions and bilateral agreements, India has come out as untrustworthy in terms of honouring sovereign agreements, a practice common to Nazi Germany.

Additionally, through the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, the disputed region was divided into two union territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Historically, the disputed nature of the region was accepted by India itself as supported by its request to the UN for intervention and asking for a plebiscite. Moreover, the 1993 Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity Agreement and subsequent protocols between India and China are a testament to the disputed nature of the region. Against that backdrop, it was a blunder on the part of India to unilaterally alter the status of the region without holding talks with China and Pakistan.
Ladakh is contested between China and India. However, after the controversial constitutional amendment to (il)legally occupy the region, India issued new maps claiming Aksai Chin from the Chinese side andAzad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit from the Pakistani side as its part, further vitiating the environment in the troubled region.

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