Why Pak is demanding reversal of abrogation of Art 370 for resuming dialogue with India

Pakistan fears that Kashmir would lose its Muslim-majority character as new laws have opened floodgates for Indians from other parts of country to buy land and set up their businesses

Ever since Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made an offer to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to hold “serious and sincere” talks to resolve burning issues, including Kashmir, on January 16, there has been a lot of buzz as to how the two countries should resume their long- suspended dialogue to ease the relations. Within a day after Sharif made this offer, during the course of an interview with the UAE based TV network, “Al-Arabiya”, Pakistan PM’s office stated that there cannot be any dialogue with India unless or until Delhi reverses all the decisions on August 5, 2019.

The August 5, 2019 decisions made by New Delhi can be decoded quite easily. The Special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, granted and guaranteed by Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, was scrapped. All the symbols of special status – separate constitution, separate flag and all-powerful state legislature which had the powers to frame its own laws, facilitate or stall the federal laws,- were done away with. Alongside, the special privileges of the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir to have sole right to their land and jobs were also withdrawn. That, in simple words, translated this complicated situation, that the people of Jammu and Kashmir, on this side of the Line of Control were Indianized” in all senses of the words. They were as privileged or ordinary citizens as the people in the rest of the country.

Why Pakistan is insisting on the reversal of the  August 5, 2019 decisions and making it as a condition for resumption of the dialogue with India. The nation that had been calling for the implementation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir, that is, to grant right to self-determination to the people of  Jammu and Kashmir, scaled down its demand to the restoration of the special status and the statehood. There is a method in this. Pakistan was never in favour of Article 370 which determined the constitutional relation between J&K and Delhi until August 5, 2019. Sudden love for  Article 370 of the Indian constitution, are based on its own logics. It fears that Kashmir would lose its Muslim-majority character as the new laws have opened floodgates for Indians from other parts of the country to buy land and set up their businesses.  Pakistan has always counted, the Muslim-majority character of Jammu and Kashmir, as an asset. It had made the similar argument in 1947 while claiming that the state should be part of Pakistan.  The Muslim-majority character of J&K also gives it a  religion-driven argument to highlight Kashmir issue.

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Islamabad, no doubt, has sensed that the Indianization of the Kashmiri Muslims in fullest terms, would leave it with no stakes on Kashmir and it may find edged out of the whole discourse and discussions on Kashmir. It wants to inflict on the growing sense of the Indianness in J&K  The optics have started changing already. It is difficult to discern that all this is voluntary or manifestation of some kind of inner feelings, but the fact remains that greatest symbol of Indian nationalism- the national tricolor, is becoming visible almost everywhere in the Valley. There is no challenge to it. These optics have become more pronounced and profound when contrasted with the past, and also that how the world has come to see Kashmir in the post-Article 370 abrogation. All the fears that Kashmir will be a land red with blood once its special status is revoked have come untrue. People exercised their wisdom, avoided clashes  and saved themselves from death and destruction.

Pakistan is angry over it, and that’s why it is making all sorts of excuses in  suppressing prospects of dialogue with India

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