ISSN 2330-717X

Divulging India’s Autocratic Economic Policies – OpEd

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Since mid-2021, India has started rigorous struggle to generate economic opportunities through foreign investment and promoting good governance in the IIOJK to change the country’s image of authoritarian and autocratic regime that is depriving Kashmiris from their basic right of self-determination. At regional and international level, India’s image as democratic and secular state tarnished due to the revocation of Article 370 its constitution regarding IIOJK. However, by inviting the international investors especially Gulf States reflects that India is trying to improve its image at regional and international level. India has allocated huge amount for the financial year 2022-2023 that is claimed for economic development in IIOJK. It is vibrant to believe that India is tightening its grip on IIOJK through its economic policies.

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Historically, since August 2019 India’s inhuman military siege of IIOJK have caused $3.5 billion in economic loss to the Kashmiris. Almost five lac Kashmiris have lost jobs since scrapping of IIOJK’s special status in Aug 2019. It highlights that Indian government under the leadership of Modi is systematically depriving the Kashmiris Muslims from their basic rights. Creation of job for non-Kashmiris is also a part of India’s plan to further change the demography of Kashmir region. There is not any sector of IIOJK’s economy that has not suffered losses in the past three years, Modi-led India has resorted to economic terrorism in IIOJK. Indian government has embarked upon an inhuman and un-precedented path to make the Kashmiri people suffer by suffocating them through coercive economic policies.

The long-drawn armed conflict in Indian held Kashmir has claimed thousands of lives and made the economy bleed, and has posed grave threats to the country’s security. Main sectors of the economy of IIOJK have witnessed a steep decline after the abrogation of Article 370. Therefore, due to the communications blockade, curfews, and militant threats, in the past, the economy of Kashmir lost $3.5 billion and more than 90,000 jobs in the sectors of handicraft, tourism and information technology. It is for the first time in the past 75 years that rural Kashmir is facing such a worst degree of economic slowdown. Dozens of Kashmiris have been dismissed from their jobs on concocted charges since revocation of Article 370 illegal confiscations, forced evictions & demolition of properties are part of India’s systematic settler colonialism campaign in IIOJK. 

India has recently economically strangulated the IIOJK by making it mandatory that MBBS doctors would sign the reports in Private Labs. Owners of hundreds of Diagnostic Labs in Kashmir fear they may have to wrap up their enterprises with a fresh rule being implemented in the UT that requires every lab, even those doing the most basic of tests, to have an MBBS doctor on board. It is very difficult for the lab owners to economically afford the MBBS doctors. Indian BJP led regime has been systematically involved in depriving the Kashmiris from their basic rights of respectful survival. India systematically destroying the IIOJK economy and Kashmiri people have almost reached to the level of starvation after India’s 5 Aug 2019 moves.

India is dismissing Kashmiri govt employees as part of its settler colonialism policy to strangulate Kashmiris economically. Indian government in an effort to create job opportunities for non-Kashmiris has resorted to systematic economic exploitation of local Kashmiri population. The innocent Kashmiris are not only denied their right of self-determination but have been living  in difficult conditions as the state of India does not provide them access to basic amenities. The enactment of illegal rules especially which facilitate the non-Kashmiris to settle in the region is a blatant disregard to UN resolution and a grave violation of HRs in IIOJK. The economy of IIOJK is at the brink of collapse and there is no sector of its economy that hasn’t suffered losses in the past three year.

To conclude, for the prosperity and well-being of Kashmiris, India need to involve more Kashmiris in the economic development of IIOJK. India’s democratic and secular image can only improve if it peacefully resolve Kashmir issue according to the wishes of Kashmiri people by implementing the UN resolution. India’s economic policies can only be successful in IIOJK with the involvement of local people, so they could not feel deprive from their basic rights and can claim their right on their own territory. The peaceful settlement of Kashmir dispute is also essential for the prosperity and progress of the south Asian region.

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* The writer is an Islamabad based analyst and can be reached at [email protected].

One thought on “Divulging India’s Autocratic Economic Policies – OpEd

  • April 26, 2022 at 8:18 pm
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    This is a biased article by a Pakistani journalist. No truth in the statements made by her. After removal of special status, terrorism levels have gone down drastically. I would request every reader to watch the movie “The Kashmir files” to know the truth. Also these Pakistanis keep harping about UN resolution. The first condition in the UN resolution is that Pakistan vacates all captured areas (green zone in photo above) before any kind of plebiscite can be held to ascertain the wishes of people in J&K. Pakistan has since 1948 not adhered to that condition. Rather it has changed the demography of J&K through terrorism (by indiscriminate killings of Hindus). The population of Hindus in Pakistan was 14 percent in 1947 and is less than 2 percent now. The population of Muslims in India was about 9 percent in 1947 and is more than 14 percent now. I rest my case.

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