Why can't India support Balochistan?

The dangerous ongoing Kashmir conflict concerns everyone

The crisis between the nuclear powers India and Pakistan is about the mountainous region of Kashmir, as it has been for 71 years before

Actually everything seemed to turn out as expected. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had his "military strike" in Balakot, Pakistan and was able to claim through his army that he had killed 350 Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) fighters.

The JeM claimed responsibility for the attack on February 14 in the Pulwama district of Kashmir, in which 45 Indian soldiers were killed. The Pakistani army could claim that the Indian planes only shot into the "forest". But then the events got out of hand: The Indians said they had shot down a Pakistani F-16, the Pakistani army an Indian MiG-21 and they also captured the pilot.

It seemed clear that suddenly both soldiers had taken the action in their hands and were rocking each other - as they have been doing for years and almost every day Line of Control Shooting: Civilians on both sides are usually harmed.

Tense calm

There is currently a tense calm, but also because the Indian press can be far more critical than in the unofficial military dictatorship of Pakistan, Modi is under immense pressure: Since the Pakistani army is leading the Indian pilot around like a dancing bear, Modi could feel compelled to Military follow-up elections in May / June.

After the attack in Pulwama, Imran Khan had a way of defusing the crisis if he had done everything he could to extradite Masood Azhar - the leader of the JeM. In 1999, Azhar was released from Indian custody by an airplane hijacked and has since been responsible for numerous attacks in India.

The fact that the Pakistani army supports terrorist organizations like the JeM is considered certain - even the Pakistani ex-general Musharraf makes no secret of it.

The current crisis between the two nuclear powers is of course again about Kashmir, as it has been for 71 years. The former principality of Kashmir fell to India after the partition of India, despite the Muslim majority. Since 1948 there has been a UN resolution that says that the people of Kashmir should vote for themselves who to join. India prevented this vote in its part of Kashmir.

The Case of Kashmir and Pakistan's Dealing with Minorities

But the case of Kashmir is not that clear. A look at Balochistan shows how the Pakistani army deals with independence supporters. 1973-77 they bloodily suppressed an uprising there and still suppresses the population to this day. The fact that the Indian army has been supporting the insurgents for a number of years in retaliation for Pakistan's support for Islamists is highly likely.

The Pakistani Army in East Pakistan did even worse. When the people there resisted an uprising against the prevalence of West Pakistan in 1971, the Pakistani army massacred up to three million people, mostly students and intellectuals. India came to the aid of the Muslims of East Pakistan - Bangladesh was born.

The fact that Imran Khan is the only well-known politician who has so far apologized for the atrocities committed by the Pakistani army in what was then East Pakistan shows that he is a man to talk to. However, he is currently caught in a game that is too big, the rules of which are still determined by the Pakistani army. Khan would have committed political suicide at home had he extradited the terrorist Masood Azhar to India.

A look at the Hindu or Muslim minorities in Pakistan also reveals that Pakistan is the last country on earth that has the right to speak for the people in the Indian part of Kashmir. The majority there now no longer wants a connection to Pakistan, but rather independence. But India cannot allow this.

The Pakistani military has been supporting Islamist fanatics in Kashmir since 1989 - and they would take over the reins immediately after independence. In view of the fact that the Buddhist-Hindu majorities in the Kashmiri regions like Ladakh do so, this would be irresponsible.

Secret services, the military - and the population

In addition, there is a political left in India that stands up for the Muslims in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir and that the Indian government demands regional self-government for the Muslims of Kashmir. The fact that three rivers in India have their source in Kashmir also makes independent Kashmir currently impossible.

However, there is a silent solution and it is in Gilgit-Baltistan, in the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir:

Just as unnoticed and quietly as the Gilgit Scouts defeated Prince Hari Singh's troops in the winter of 1947 and surrendered the region, then called Northern Areas, to Pakistan, just as quietly the Gilgit-Baltistan region has been part of the Kashmir conflict up to now. Most of the ordinary Pakistani people in the south, raised to be Kashmiri champions as early as childhood, have no idea of ​​the existence of this mountainous region.

Despite ethnic conflicts - because the Pakistani authorities forced the settlement of Sunnis from the south - there were never any major anti-Pakistan movements there. On the contrary, the people here finally want Pakistan to recognize their region as part of the country. The moment the Pakistani government did so, they would recognize the Indian-administered parts of Kashmir as part of India

Gilbert Kolonko, The solution to the Kashmir conflict lies in Gilgit-Baltistan

But because at least 20 Pakistani secret services in Gilgit-Baltistan ensure that the anger stays within your own four walls, you can only find out the true feelings of the majority in local conversations: "I can no longer hear the word Kashmir. We, completely Pakistan, have to pay for their dreams. We have nothing against India, we listen to the same music, love cricket, tea and the same food. When our government finally builds a friendly relationship with India, our Kashmiris can always be their brothers 'in Jammu Kashmir. The Indians can vacation with us and we with them! "said a 40-year-old in Gilgit to me - on behalf of many others whom I have spoken to on numerous trips to the region.

It is currently up to Imran Khan to convince his military to finally break with the Islamist militants, because they will try to add fuel to the fire with further attacks in India and Pakistan.

But China could help Khan to exert covert pressure on the Pakistani army. After all, Beijing, with its billions in investments in Pakistan, has an interest in peace in the region and, of course, it also needs India's 1.3 billion market for its products.

Dangerous games: USA and Europe

The US, on the other hand, is playing a very dangerous game. Disappointed with the lies of Pakistan and the growing influence of China, they now bet on the Indian map. But instead of relying on moderation in the background, it is likely that they encouraged Modi to attack Balakot - in the hope that this would bring China and India even further apart.

The "pseudo-holy" Europeans can be left out in a solution like most international conflicts: The French are currently delivering Rafale fighter jets to India and, like Germany, only have the usual phrases: "We call on both sides ..."

The fact that Germany continues to be one of the largest arms sellers in the world makes the phrases meaningless. It is impossible to imagine if India had already been in the possession of the French Rafale and had militarily pushed Pakistan into a corner.

Narendra Modi has all the cards in hand, even without putting military strikes under pressure, because Pakistan is not only economically on the ground, but it has severe water problems, which are increasing day by day at this time of the year.

The dispute over the water

The Red Cross in Pakistan sounded the alarm at the beginning of February: In the southern provinces of Sindh and Balochistan, around 500,000 people are threatened by a (predicted) drought - the next rain is not expected until July.

In addition, the country could "run out" of water by 2025. A study by the Council of Research for Water Resources (PCRWR) recalled the state of the existing water reserves: polluted water is the reason for 60 percent of all infections in Pakistan.

For example, the Indian government has threatened to block the flow of three eastern rivers to Pakistan - water that India has given Pakistan so far because it belongs to India according to the Indus Waters Agreement (IWT) of 1960.

But if Narendra Modi withholds the part of the water allocated to Pakistan because of the elections, the Pakistani military would for their part have a reason to divert attention from the country's self-inflicted problems and to strike militarily in India, directly or indirectly through terrorist groups.

Measures against the escalation

Even the serious newspaper The Dawn, with what is probably the bravest female journalist in Asia, has to put on patriotic glasses with its current reporting: Not only 130 murdered journalists since 1990 show why.

Since 1978 at the latest, the majority of the population has been kept in a fairytale world of religion and conspiracy theories by the country's military and political leaders. Imran Khan is different, but he can't help it at the moment because the vast majority of the population still lives in fairy tale land.

The only hope that remains is that more people will understand how much the escalation of the current India-Pakistan crisis could also affect their lives in America or Germany. So far there are "only" thousands of vacationers who are stuck because Pakistan has closed its airspace.

But even a war with 100 nuclear warheads between India and Pakistan would give the earth a nuclear winter.

There is still only this one earth and to support Imran Khan in the renewal of Pakistan in matters of education and health would make more sense than the sale of weapons to increase the gross national product.

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