Monday, August 5, 2019

[Evolving] #Kashmir2019 : What's happening?



This is an account of how the events unfolded in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in July-Aug 2019.

It all started with the news of troops movement in the valley.
From 10,000 to 28,000 to now 38,000. Not sure what is the number but troops are certainly being moved.

Then came the news of the rumors being spread about the Article 35A and 370.

Thereafter another rumor of trifurcation of the Jannu & Kashmir State in three parts. As rumors have it, three parts would be Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir. Among these, one will be state and two would be union territories.

Aug 2
It all got serious when there was an announcement on Aug 2nd about a Joint Press conference by the Army, JKP and CISF. In the press conference, Armed Forces talked about intelligence inputs about the threat to Shri Amarnath Yatra and the recovery of Land Mines with Pakistan Ordinance Factory markings and of Sniper Rifle with American Make, possibly smuggled/stolen from Afganistan by Taliban.

Till this time, there was no news of Amarnath Yatra being called off.

Then came the big news. Almost as soon as the Press Conference ended, in which Army said they have no information on Yatra being called off, there came the news of press releases saying the Yatra is curtailed and Yatris are asked to return as soon as possible.

For the first time in history, the Amarnath Yatra is cut short sighting Terror Threat.

In the meantime, when all this was happening, there was a huge hue and cry by the local Kashmiri politicians including the likes of Muftis, Abdullas and Gilanis (he calls himself Pakistani).


Aug 2-3-4
The ceasefires, retaliations, and foiling of infiltration bids.
Another thing had happened few days back when US President Trump has poked his nose in Kashmir affairs two times in a couple of days. Firstly, when he was giving joint press bytes with Pak PM Imran Khan, he said that when PM Modi met him last time, the Indian PM asked Trump to mediate in the matter of Kashmir. Of course, this was denied immediately from the highest levels of the Ministry of External Affairs. But Trump again mentioned that he is willing to mediate in Kashmir matter if both parties want while giving a press statement in White House, the residence of US President.

It is being said that this emboldened the Pakistanis to try misadventures in Kashmir and for this many terrorists were readied at the launchpads across LoC.
Indian army killed at least 7 of them (which were part of BAT - Border Action Team of Pakistan that also includes regular soldiers) and have also released photos of 4 of them.

On the other side of border, Pakistan started crying of caliber escalation and accused India of unprovoked firing.

Aug 4-5
In the night of 4th August, news of Mobile and internet services being discontinued in the Valley and even in Jammu has surfaced. This was later on confirmed by official sources later in the night and in the morning of 5th August.

Satellite phones have been distributed to the authorities to keep the things moving.

Aug 5
This could be D-Day.
A crucial Union Cabinet Meeting is scheduled at 9.30am on 5th August. All eyes on Delhi.

Section 144 was imposed last night and early morning in many parts of J&K. The local Kashmiri leaders have been placed under House Arrest.


This piece is evolving and will be updated.
Last update: Morning 9.15am, 5th August 2019.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Narendra Modi's 2019 Swearing In Ceremony Should be Bigger



The background 

Narendra Modi is known to do things in a different way. The same thing happened in 2014 when he became the PM for the very first time. He then invited the leaders of the SAARC Nations for the Swearing-In Ceremony much to everyone's surprise.

In 2019, India has asked Narendra Modi to be at the helm again in a grand fashion. Therefore the grandeur should not be any less when it comes to this time's Swearing-In Ceremony. So how can it be done?

2014 Swearing-In Ceremony | Pic courtesy Wikipedia


Who can be Invited?

Modi has built strong bonds with few world leaders with his unique style of diplomacy. Therefore, at least these leaders should be invited to witness the swearing-in of a 'friend' as the Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy for the second time - not a small feat in a vibrant democracy like India.

The list of these leaders includes but is not limited to Japan's PM Shinzo Abe, Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu, France President Emmanuel Macron, Ex-US President Barak Obama etc. Though Obama looks a bit unlikely as he is not sitting President but Modi thinks in a very different way.

We'll have to wait for a few more days to see what actually happens in the Oath Taking Ceremony this time, but whatever happens, is going to be grand! It is the Swearing-in of the PM of the world's largest democracy!