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Kashmir: coming out of silence


EDITORIAL. Editorial. Blocking communications, nearly 4,000 people arrested or under house arrest ... Since New Delhi revoked the autonomy of Indian Kashmir, anger rises. If the situation worsens, the silence of Western democracies could quickly become untenable.

Protests by women in Indian Kashmir denouncing the restrictions imposed by the Indian government on the population in Srinagar on August 16th. DANISH ISMAIL / REUTERS

Editorial of the "World". Move along, nothing to see ! While the Indian Kashmir valley is living under a drastic and unprecedented curfew, isolated from the rest of the world for almost four weeks, Donald Trump told the Biarritz G7 summit on August 26 that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, " felt that he was in control, adding that he did not see the point in getting involved in this crisis.

Emmanuel Macron makes a similar speech, saying after his meeting with Modi, Thursday, August 22, on the sidelines of the G7, that the Indian leader had told him "changes that he had proceeded, which are his full sovereignty in the legal aspects, and its very firm commitment to maintain stability in the region. " The crisis in Kashmir was nowhere mentioned in the joint statement issued by France and India. Mr. Macron, however, told the press that France would remain "attentive to ensure that the interests and rights of civilian populations are duly taken into account in the territories on both sides of the line of control", namely in India and Pakistan.

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News from the region is scarce, suggesting the worst. In 2010, particularly atrocious forms of torture were revealed. Many cases of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions have also been reported since the beginning of the Kashmiri insurgency in the late 1980s.

On the eve of the announcement, on August 5, of the revocation of state autonomy in Jammu and Kashmir, New Delhi imposed a blockage of communications and restrictions on traffic. Nearly 4,000 people have been arrested or put under house arrest, including political opponents who are in favor of joining India.

"Disproportionate restrictions"

Kashmir occupies an important place in India. The pro-independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru was particularly keen on this predominantly Muslim region because he saw in it the singularity of a plural and secular India, in opposition to Pakistan based on Muslim identity.

Autonomy was offered to him in return for his attachment to India after the departure of the British. The fate of the Kashmir Valley is now in the hands of the Supreme Court. This question is indeed within the sovereignty of India. A group of UN experts, however, was alarmed by the "disproportionate restrictions" imposed on the Kashmiri population, which they described as "collective punishment" .

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India justifies its attitude by the fight against terrorism, the development and the standardization of the statutes of the federated States. It accuses Pakistan of dragging Kashmiri militants on its soil to destabilize it. But cross-border infiltrations have declined sharply in recent years, even if they remain deadly. The insurgency is now fueled by frustration and radicalization of spirits in Indian Kashmir. And she is not about to die with the revocation of autonomy, lived on the spot as a declaration of war.

Paris has sided with New Delhi, because India is a strategic partner to counter the Chinese expansion in the Indian Ocean, and an important outlet for companies in the Hexagon, especially in the industry. defense. If the situation continues to worsen, the deafening silence of Western democracies could quickly become untenable.

The world

Source: lemonde

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