Pakistan’s Clash With India Worsen Further (Revelation 8)

Tensions erupt in Kashmir after eight left dead (Image: GETTY)

Pakistan-India CRISIS: Tensions erupt after eight left dead in horrifying Kashmir clashes

PAKISTAN and India tensions erupted once again after eight people were left dead in violent clashes over the controversial area of Kashmir.

By Joel Day 01:55, Fri, Aug 16, 2019 | UPDATED: 02:25, Fri, Aug 16, 2019

Pakistan’s army has said at least three Pakistani and five Indian soldiers have been killed after an exchange of gunfire took place near the Kashmir border. India’s army had allegedly opened fire over the fortified line of control, killing three soldiers, before Pakistan returned fire killing five. Delhi has, however, disputed the claim, denying it took place. Writing on Twitter, Major General Asif Ghafoor, spokesman of Pakistan armed forces, said: In efforts to divert attention from precarious situation in IOJ&K, Indian Army increases firing along LOC.

“Three Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat. Pakistan Army responded effectively.

“Five Indian soldiers killed, many injured, bunkers damaged. Intermittent exchange of fire continues.”

The showdown came as Pakistan held a symbolic “black day” of protest to coincide with India’s independence day on Thursday.

The day was initially set to ease tensions in the region following an imposing curfew set by the Indian government, where Kashmiri’s experienced a total media shutdown – being without access to landlines, mobiles, or internet.

A Kashmiri woman seen walking past Indian troops (Image: GETTY)

Talking to Al Jazeera, Mr Ghafoor claimed that three civilians had also been caught up and killed in the border war on the Pakistani side.

An Indian army spokesperson was soon to counter the claims, assuring that there were “No casualties. This assertion is wrong”.

The skirmishes come during a period of mounting tensions between Pakistan and India after New Delhi revoked Kashmir’s special status last week.

Advancing on this, India mobilised thousands of troops and arrested high-profile political figures in Kashmir.

READ MORE: India-Pakistan tensions to ‘explode’ as Khan ready to deploy Jihadis

New Delhi has denied Pakistan’s claims (Image: GETTY)

India Independence Day: Police confiscate protestor’s dagger

One of whom, Omar Abdullah, was a descendant of a prominent political Kashmiri family and former chief minister of state.

Both Pakistan and India are nuclear-armed, leading global powers to fear things could get out of hand.

The bad-blood goes back to 1947, when India and Pakistan won independence from Britain, but Kashmir gained special independent status.

Ever since, the two nations have battled over ownership of the region, resulting in decades of political and religious tension.

Why India is not a Nuclear Horn of Prophecy (Daniel)

India says committed to ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons for now

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has stuck to its commitment of ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons but future policy will depend on the situation, the defense minister said on Friday, which analysts said introduced a level of ambiguity in a core national security doctrine.

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh leaves after a meeting at the house of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s house in New Delhi, India, August 5, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

India declared itself a nuclear weapons power after conducting underground tests in 1998 and long-time rival Pakistan responded with its own tests shortly afterwards. Since then, nuclear experts say the rivals have been developing nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.

In a visit to Pokhran in western India, the site of the nuclear tests, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tribute to late former prime minister and revered leader of the ruling Hindu nationalists, Atal Behari Vajpayee, for making India into a nuclear power.

“Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’.

India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.”

At the time of the tests, India said it needed a deterrent against nuclear-armed China but it has also long been concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities.

COMMENTS AIMED AT PAKISTAN?

Shekhar Gupta, a political commentator and defense expert, said the government appeared to have an open mind on the issue of ‘no first use’ of nuclear arms and the comments could be aimed at Pakistan, which has said previously it needed to develop small nuclear weapons to deter a sudden attack by India.

“Rajnath Singh is measured and not given to loose talk or bluster. He isn’t signaling a shift, but an open mind on the NFU (No First Use) inherited from Vajpayee’s Nuclear Doctrine,” he said on Twitter.

Tensions between the two countries have increased following India’s move to revoke autonomy in the disputed region of Kashmir, the cause of two of their three wars. In February, Indian and Pakistani fighter jets clashed over the territory.

Vipin Narang, a nuclear affairs expert at MIT in the United States, said that Singh’s comments were a sign the policy on ‘no first use’ could change in the future.

“Make no mistake: this is by far the highest official statement—from the Raksha Mantri’s (Defence Minister) mouth directly—that India may not be forever bound by No First Use,” Narang said on Twitter.

Additional reporting by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Neil Fullick

More Skirmishes Before the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

Five dead as Pakistan, India exchange fire in Kashmir: officials

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan: Five people died in firing along the de facto border in disputed Kashmir Thursday, the Pakistani military and local officials said, as tensions between nuclear-armed rivals Islamabad and New Delhi soar over the Himalayan region.

Skirmishes are frequent across the so-called Line of Control (LoC), but the latest deaths in two separate incidents come after Pakistan warned it was ready to meet any Indian aggression over Kashmir.

“In efforts to divert attention from precarious situation in IOJ&K (Indian-held Kashmir),Indian Army increases firing along LOC. 3 Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom). Pakistan Army responded effectively,” the Pakistani military said in a statement.

It also claimed that “5 Indian soldiers (were) killed, many injured, bunkers damaged. Intermittent exchange of fire continues,” without specifying further where the incident took place.

An Indian army spokesman told the Press Trust of India late Thursday that the Pakistan claims were “fictitious“, adding that the army was on high alert to deal with any “misadventure” by Pakistan.

Separately, two civilians were killed and one injured by the Indian troops along the LoC in Rawalakot district in Pakistani-held Kashmir, a senior local official there told AFP.

The official, Mirza Arshad Jarral, said intermittent exchanges of fire between the two militaries had been going on since morning.

The former princely state of Kashmir was divided between Pakistan and India on their independence from Britain in 1947.

They have fought two of their three wars over the territory – though none since both countries acquired nuclear weapons.

Tensions skyrocketed following India’s shock move to revoke the autonomy of its portion of the disputed Himalayan territory last week.

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the local legislative assembly of the Pakistani-administered Kashmir in Muzaffarabad.

He vowed the time had come to teach Delhi a lesson and promised to “fight until the end” against any Indian aggression.

Khan has likened India’s moves in Kashmir to Nazi Germany, accused them of ethnic cleansing, and appealed to the international community to take action.

Islamabad has also expelled the Indian ambassador, halted bilateral trade and suspended cross-border transport services.

However, analysts said the actions were unlikely to move Delhi.

Earlier this year Pakistan and India came close to all-out conflict yet again, after a militant attack in Indian-held Kashmir in February was claimed by a group based in Pakistan, igniting tit-for-tat air strikes. — AFP

Hair Trigger to the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

Hair-Trigger Nuclear Alert Over Kashmir

India and Pakistan, where people starve in the streets, waste billions on military spending because of the Kashmir dispute. Now some of India’s extreme Hindu nationalists warn they want to reabsorb Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even Sri Lanka into Mother India.

Two of the world’s most important powers, India and Pakistan, are locked into an extremely dangerous confrontation over the bitterly disputed Himalayan mountain state of Kashmir. Both are nuclear armed.

Kashmir has been a flashpoint since Imperial Britain divided India in 1947. India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and conflicts over majority Muslim Kashmir. China controls a big chunk of northern Kashmir known as Aksai Chin.

In 1949, the UN mandated a referendum to determine if Kashmiris wanted to join Pakistan or India. Not surprisingly, India refused to hold the vote. But there are some Kashmiris who want an independent state, though a majority seek to join Pakistan.

India claims that most of northern Pakistan is actually part of Kashmir, which it claims in full. India rules the largest part of Kashmir, formerly a princely state. Pakistan holds a smaller portion, known as Azad Kashmir. In my book on Kashmir, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ I called it ‘the globe’s most dangerous conflict.’ It remains so today.

I’ve been under fire twice on the Indo-Pak border in Kashmir, known as the ‘Line of Control,’ and once at 15,000 feet atop the Siachen Glacier on China’s border. India has over 500,000 soldiers and paramilitary police garrisoning its portion of Kashmir, whose 12 million people bitterly oppose often corrupt and brutal Indian rule – except for local minority Hindus and Sikhs who support it. A bloody, bitter uprising has flared on against Indian rule since 1989 in which some 42,000 people, mostly civilians, have died.

About 250,000 Pakistani troops are dug in on the other side of the ceasefire line.

What makes this confrontation so dangerous is that both sides have important tactical and nuclear forces arrayed against one another. These are mostly short/medium-ranged nuclear tipped missiles, and air-delivered nuclear bombs. Strategic nuclear weapons back up these tactical forces. A nuclear exchange, even a limited one, could kill millions, pollute much of Asia’s ground water, and spread radioactive dust around the globe – including to North America.

India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is a Hindu hardliner who is willing to confront Pakistan and India’s 200 million Muslims, who make up over 14% of the population. In February, Modi sent warplanes to attack Pakistan after Kashmir insurgents ambushed Indian forces. Pakistan shot down an Indian MiG-21 fighter. China, Pakistan’s closest ally, warned India to back off.

Modi is very close to President Donald Trump and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, both noted for anti-Muslim sentiments. Modi just revoked article 370 of India’s constitution that bars non-Kashmiris from buying land in the mountain state, and shut down its phone and internet systems.

The revocation means that non-Kashmiris can now buy land there. Modi is clearly copying Israel’s Netanyahu by encouraging non-Muslims to buy up land and squeeze the local Muslim population. Welcome to the Mideast conflict East. China is also doing similar ethnic inundation in its far western, largely Muslim, Xinjiang (Sinkiang) region.

In an ominous sign, Delhi says it will separate the high altitude Ladakh region (aka ‘Little Tibet’) from its portion of Kashmir. This move suggests India plans to chop up Indian Kashmir into two or three states, a move sure to further enrage Pakistan and thwart any future peace settlement.

There’s little Pakistan can do to block India’s actions. India’s huge armed forces outnumber those of Pakistan by 4 or 5 to one. Without nuclear weapons, Pakistan would be quickly overrun by Indian forces. Only massive Chinese intervention would save Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Kashmir, the world’s longest-running major dispute, continues, threatening a terrible nuclear conflict. Making matters worse, both India and Pakistan’s nuclear forces are on a hair-trigger alert, with a warning time of only minutes. This is a region where electronics often become scrambled. A false alert or a flock of birds could trigger a massive nuclear war in South Asia.

India and Pakistan, where people starve in the streets, waste billions on military spending because of the Kashmir dispute. Now some of India’s extreme Hindu nationalists warn they want to reabsorb Pakistan, Bangladesh, and even Sri Lanka into Mother India.

Previous Indian leaders have been cautious. But not PM Modi. He is showing signs of power intoxication.

Pakistan and India Move Closer to Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

On July 26, 2019, Indian army soldiers keep guard the near a war memorial during Kargil Vijay Diwas, or Kargil Victory Day, in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The soldiers were part of an advance force sent to Kashmir before the Indian government revoked the region’s statehood. | Mukhtar Khan / AP

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan move closer to war after Kashmir annexation

Sweta ChoudhuryAugust 8, 2019

Kashmir is back on a knife edge with the Indian government’s outrageous unilateral decision to scrap article 370 of the Indian Constitution that has given Indian-administered Kashmir its special status since May 14, 1954.

This catastrophic and unconstitutional decision taken under right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership will have far-reaching consequences and spark civil unrest that could easily escalate into a new era of armed conflict between India and Pakistan.

According to several government officials, the decision to remove Kashmir’s special status was partly due to the lack of foreign investment in the region which badly affected its economy, while terrorism and extremism thrived.

But is it sensible to put at risk the lives of millions of Kashmiris for economic gains?

An Indian activist holds a placard during a protest against the Indian government’s move revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019. India’s Hindu nationalist-led government has used a presidential order to revoke the special constitutional status of Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state. It also had a bill passed to downgrade Jammu and Kashmir into a union territory instead of a state and turn a third region of the state, Ladakh, into a separate union territory. | Altaf Qadri / AP

Kashmir is the only state in India with a Muslim majority and the laws under articles 370 and 35(A) in Indian-administered Kashmir grant the state’s residents unique political and economic rights, including permanent residence cards and property rights, which means only they have the right to own and, therefore, buy property in the state—allowing the region to retain its Muslim majority.

This, of course, has always been a source of conflict between the Muslim-majority valley and the right-wing Hindu BJP party that now governs India. Many Kashmiris, many of whom have joined armed revolt against Indian rule since 1989, suspect that this is a ploy to extend BJP’s outreach in the region, encourage Hindus to migrate to the valley and overturn the Muslim majority on the Indian-administered side.

Demographic change would lead to the BJP taking total control of the valley. Hindu nationalism is on the rise in India and the re-election of Modi for a second term is only driving the nation towards more anti-Muslim hatred. The decision to revoke article 370 is nothing but a cowardly stint to feed the party’s Hindutva base that will only lead to more death and destruction in the valley.

Undermining and trivializing the decades-long struggle for independence will lead to further religious and political radicalization in the valley and lead to a new era of insurgency in Kashmir and beyond, allowing foreign actors, including Pakistan and other Islamic fundamentalist groups, to fuel the separatist movement in the region. The diplomatic ties between India and Pakistan are pretty weak as it is, and this unilateral decision to annex part of Kashmir valley will only further weaken these ties.

Although in this instance India is the prime aggressor, both India and Pakistan are equally complicit in their crimes against Kashmiris since 1947—and as a result, a portion of the valley is also under dispute with China.

Three major wars have been fought between India and Pakistan since their independence, two of which have been fought over Kashmir.

The catastrophic Kargil war, which took place exactly two decades ago, led to the deaths of over a thousand soldiers on both sides and many more thousands injured and displaced. According to the annual report of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs for 2017-2018, 13,976 civilians and 5,123 security personnel were killed in various incidents since the beginning of the military conflict in 1990.

However, several human rights organizations, including the United Nations, have put the cumulative figures above 100,000. Pakistan, too, faces severe international condemnation for human rights abuses in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, ranging from political repression; state-sponsored terrorism; coordinated crackdown on dissidents, human rights activists, and independent clerics; electoral fraud; and more.

Neither India nor Pakistan has allowed the UN high commissioner for human rights unconditional access to their respective protectorates.

Both countries want total control of the region for religious and political ambitions and egotistical satisfaction; neither is interested in a permanent negotiation in which they compromise their stated positions and as a result of their territorial ambitions, Kashmir has become a breeding ground for extremists while civilians continue to pay the price.

The Indian government claims that its decision to revoke the articles is intended to bring peace and stability in the region. Then why are political leaders in Kashmir under house arrest and detention? Why have more than 8,000 troops been deployed to an already heavily militarized region?

India’s nuclear-capable Prithvi missile takes off during a test in 2011. India’s missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with Pakistan, which also possesses nuclear weapons. | AP

Why have mobile phone and internet connections been shut down? Why have curfews and evacuations been imposed on hospitals and educational institutions over the weekend? Why didn’t Kashmiri leaders have a democratic say in this decision?

BJP leaders are claiming that by revoking article 370, they are fulfilling a decades-old demand of the entire nation. But in doing so, they have completely disregarded the struggle and demands of the indigenous Kashmiris whose fates will be altered by this very decision.

Although the United Nations and the international community have failed in mediation efforts, holding a plebiscite is the right and moral thing to do in order to allow the Kashmiris to exercise their right to self-determination.

The general misconception about the issue of Kashmir is that it is just a point of conflict between India and Pakistan whereas it is more about Kashmiri people who were never given the chance to determine their own future and who don’t consider themselves to be a part of either of the countries that have been fighting over their land for over seven decades.

The Indian government had no constitutional right to unilaterally determine their sovereignty and autonomy. Without a thorough understanding of the history of the issue, an unbiased and inclusive discussion on the current political situation and a change in the political leadership of both India and Pakistan, there can be no permanent political solution and the Kashmiris will continue to suffer under effective occupation on both sides.

A High Stakes Game in Kashmir (Revelation 8)

Kashmir: The world’s most dangerous conflict

By David Ehl

The dispute over Kashmir has poisoned relations between India and Pakistan since the two became independent countries in 1947. Here’s an overview of how tensions have grown more dangerous over the past seven decades.

Like so many conflicts around the world, the dispute over Kashmir began with independence from a colonial power. In 1947, the United Kingdom gave in to the struggle for freedom in its Indian colony and granted it independence. The retreating British left behind two states: the secular Indian Union and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Politics | 05.08.2019

India abolishes Kashmir’s autonomous status

The partition of India in 1947 presented a problem to the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, located right along the two new states’ northern border.

Traditionally, the state was ruled by a Hindu maharaja (local ruler), but the majority of the population was Muslim. Hoping to be able to declare his territory independent, Maharaja Hari Singh initially did not join either India or Pakistan, both of which took an interest in this special social constellation in the Kashmir Valley.

To this day, India sees itself as a secular nation in which several religions coexist. This makes Jammu and Kashmir, the only province with a Muslim majority, an important part of India’s religious plurality.

At the time, Pakistan saw itself as the home of all Muslims in South Asia. Its founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, envisioned Pakistan and India as separate Muslim and Hindu nations on the subcontinent. Until 1971, Bangladesh, which is located to the east of India, was part of Pakistan.

The Kashmir wars

While the maharaja hesitated to make Kashmir part of either country, in 1947, Pakistani guerrillas tried to bring the principality of Kashmir under their control. Hari Singh turned to New Delhi for help, and it didn’t take long for troops from India and Pakistan to face off.

The first war for Kashmir began in October 1947 and ended in January 1949 with the de facto division of the state along the so-called Line of Control (LoC), the unofficial border line still recognized today.

Back then, the UN sent an observer mission that is still on the ground today. Pakistan has controlled the northern special province of Gilgit-Baltistan and the sickle-shaped Azad Kashmir sub-region since 1949.

The Indian-held section became the federal state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1957, with special autonomous status allowing the state’s legislature to have a say in legislation covering all issues except defense, foreign affairs and communications.

The following decades were marked by an arms race on both sides. India began to develop a nuclear bomb and Pakistan also started a nuclear program with the aim of being able to stand up to its giant neighbor. Today, India and Pakistan have an estimated 140 and 150 nuclear warheads respectively. Unlike Pakistan, India has explicitly ruled out a nuclear first strike.

Pakistan also spends huge amounts on its nuclear program as the country tries to make sure it won’t lag behind its neighbor in military terms.

In 1965, Pakistan once again used military force to try to change the borders, but lost to the Indian military. The neighbors clashed for a third time in 1971, but this time Kashmir was not at the center of the confrontation. Instead, it was the independence struggle in Bangladesh that precipitated the war. India, which supported the Bangladeshi independence fighters, once again defeated Pakistan.

A year later, India and Pakistan signed the Simla Agreement that underlines the importance of the LoC and commits to bilateral negotiations to clarify claims to the Kashmir region once and for all.

In 1984, the nations clashed again; this time over the India-controlled Siachen Glacier. And in 1999, both sides fought for control of military posts on the Indian side of the LoC. In 2003, India and Pakistan signed a new ceasefire — but it has been fragile since 2016.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

An unprecedented danger?

On February 27, Pakistan’s military said that it had shot down two Indian fighter jets over disputed Kashmir. A Pakistani military spokesman said the jets were shot down after they’d entered Pakistani airspace. It is the first time in history that two nuclear-armed powers have conducted air strikes against each other.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

India drops bombs inside Pakistan

The Pakistani military has released this image to show that Indian warplanes struck inside Pakistani territory for the first time since the countries went to war in 1971. India said the air strike was in response to a recent suicide attack on Indian troops based in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan said there were no casualties and that its airforce repelled India’s aircraft.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

No military solution

Some Indian civil society members believe New Delhi cannot exonerate itself from responsibility by accusing Islamabad of creating unrest in the Kashmir valley. A number of rights organizations demand that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government reduce the number of troops in Kashmir and let the people decide their fate.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

No end to the violence

On February 14, at least 41 Indian paramilitary police were killed in a suicide bombing near the capital of India-administered Kashmir. The Pakistan-based Jihadi group, Jaish-e-Mohammad, claimed responsibility. The attack, the worst on Indian troops since the insurgency in Kashmir began in 1989, spiked tensions and triggered fears of an armed confrontation between the two nuclear-armed powers.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

A bitter conflict

Since 1989, Muslim insurgents have been fighting Indian forces in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir – a region of 12 million people, about 70 percent of whom are Muslim. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence in 1947 over Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

India strikes down a militant rebellion

In October 2016, the Indian military has launched an offensive against armed rebels in Kashmir, surrounding at least 20 villages in Shopian district. New Delhi accused Islamabad of backing the militants, who cross over the Pakistani-Indian “Line of Control” and launch attacks on India’s paramilitary forces.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

Death of a Kashmiri separatist

The security situation in the Indian part of Kashmir deteriorated after the killing of Burhan Wani, a young separatist leader, in July 2016. Protests against Indian rule and clashes between separatists and soldiers have claimed hundreds of lives since then.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

The Uri attack

In September 2016, Islamist militants killed at least 17 Indian soldiers and wounded 30 in India-administered Kashmir. The Indian army said the rebels had infiltrated the Indian part of Kashmir from Pakistan, with initial investigations suggesting that the militants belonged to the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group, which has been active in Kashmir for over a decade.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

Rights violations

Indian authorities banned a number of social media websites in Kashmir after video clips showing troops committing grave human rights violations went viral on the Internet. One such video that showed a Kashmiri protester tied to an Indian army jeep — apparently as a human shield — generated outrage on social media.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

Demilitarization of Kashmir

Those in favor of an independent Kashmir want Pakistan and India to step aside and let the Kashmiri people decide their future. “It is time India and Pakistan announce the timetable for withdrawal of their forces from the portions they control and hold an internationally supervised referendum,” Toqeer Gilani, the president of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front in Pakistani Kashmir, told DW.

India-Pakistan rivalry: Kashmiris pay a high price

No chance for secession

But most Kashmir observers don’t see it happening in the near future. They say that while the Indian strategy to deal strictly with militants and separatists in Kashmir has partly worked out, sooner or later New Delhi will have to find a political solution to the crisis. Secession, they say, does not stand a chance.

The third neighbor China, which has a long border with Jammu and Kashmir, also plays a role in this conflict. In 1962, China occupied a part of India that borders Kashmir — and entered into an alliance with Pakistan. To this day, China and Pakistan trade via the newly constructed Karakoram Highway, which connects the countries via the western Kashmir region. As part of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, that corridor is being expanded.

This former gravel road is currently being developed into a multi-lane asphalt highway that can be used all year long. China is investing $57 billion (€51 billion) in Pakistani infrastructure and energy projects, more than in any other South Asian country. The economic alliance with its powerful neighbor has helped solidify Pakistan’s claims to the Himalayan foothills.

Rebels and attacks

The governments of neighboring states are no longer the only parties to the conflict in Kashmir, however. Using violence, militant groups have been trying to disrupt the status quo on both sides of the LoC since at least the 1980s. Their attacks have contributed to a deterioration of the security situation.

At least 45,000 people have been killed in terrorist attacks over the past 30 years. And the total number of deaths resulting from this conflict is at least 70,000, according to estimates by human rights organizations.

Closing in to the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

An Indian soldier in Kashmir (Pic: Panky2sharma/Wikimedia commons)

India risks nuclear war with attack on Kashmir

India announced on Monday that it will remove Article 370 from the Indian constitution. This gives the disputed region of Kashmir special status and autonomy over all governance except foreign and defence policies.

Its removal is a result of racism. India’s ruling class has roots in Hindu nationalism.

The governing hard right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s manifesto promised to remove the special status from Kashmir—a predominantly Muslim region.

The BJP, led by Narendra Modi, was re-elected by a landslide in May.

The crisis in Kashmir is also rooted in imperialism. The British Empire fought to divide Muslims and Hindus in order to maintain control.

When Britain pulled out of India in 1947 it partitioned it between Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. There was no definite plan for what would happen to the semi-independent state of Jammu and Kashmir.

India and Pakistan have fought over Kashmir ever since, with ordinary Kashmiris suffering as a result. Kashmiris should have self-determination.

The move to remove Kashmir’s autonomy caused panic. In the run-up to the announcement, authorities cut off internet access and evacuated tourists.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan close to war over Kashmir

India sent thousands more troops to Kashmir, which is already one of the most militarised places in the world. Public meetings and rallies were banned.

Top politicians in Kashmir have been placed under house arrest to try and prevent any opposition from parliament.

Mehbooba Mufti, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, said the announcement “marks the darkest day in Indian democracy”.

Many people started to hoard food, fuel and other supplies.

Groups that have campaigned for independence from India could now escalate their struggle.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated recently. A car bomb attack in Kashmir six months ago led to new threats of war from both states.

On 26 February, just weeks after the bombing, India launched air raids on Pakistan. Any war between Pakistan and India could be fought with nuclear weapons.

India’s latest attack on Kashmiri rights sows further division between Hindus and Muslims.

The BJP whips up such divisions to win support.

Its supporters say Muslims in India are the “enemy within” and accuse them of molesting Hindu women and eating cow’s meat—an animal Hindus treat as sacred.

Those in the region should unite against the threat of nuclear war.

Kashmiris should have the right to determine whether their state belongs in Pakistan, India or should be an independent nation.

Ordinary people should not be pawns for Indian and Pakistani war games.

The Situation Worsens between Pakistan and India (Revelation 8)

An Indian paramilitary trooper stands guard in Srinagar on August 4, 2019. (AFP)

Authorities could impose an indefinite curfew on residents as early as Sunday night, a police official says as tensions raise in the disputed region of Kashmir.

Growing panic in Kashmir as India, Pakistan bicker over border clashes

Fears of an impending curfew in the disputed region of Kashmir ratcheted up tensions Sunday, as nuclear rivals India and Pakistan traded accusations of military clashes at the de facto border.

Kashmir has surged back into the spotlight in recent days, just months after a deadly militant attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy claimed by a Pakistan-based group sparked cross-border air strikes.

The nuclear-armed rivals have controlled parts of the Himalayan region since the end of British colonial rule in the subcontinent in 1947.

The recent spate of tensions started last weekend after New Delhi deployed at least 10,000 troops, with media reports of a further 25,000 ordered to the region.

Security measures

The government has introduced other security measures — including a call to stock up food and fuel — over terror threat claims.

The measures have sparked growing panic among residents with long queues outside petrol stations, food stores and cash machines. Most petrol stations have reportedly run dry.

Authorities could impose an indefinite curfew on residents as early as Sunday night, a police official told AFP.

Locals said they saw large numbers of paramilitary personnel arriving at police stations and unloading sleeping bags outside government facilities.

Accusations over attacks

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan have traded tit-for-tat accusations of attacks across the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing Kashmir.

The Indian army said on Sunday it had foiled an attempt by a Pakistani team of army regulars and militants to cross the Line of Control, killing “five to seven” attackers.

Pakistan denied the claims, describing them as “baseless” as it accused India of using cluster bombs against civilians, killing two people — including a four-year-old boy — and critically injuring 11 others.

New Delhi has denied the charge.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday accused India of taking “new aggressive actions”, saying it could “blow up into a regional crisis”.

He called for a meeting of the country’s national security committee to review the situation in Kashmir.

Fear grips locals

Kashmir is a popular tourist destination for foreigners and Indians, who visit the picturesque valley in their tens of thousands every year.

But tourists and students have been scrambling to leave since the government said they should depart “immediately”, amid new intelligence about “terror threats” to a major Hindu pilgrimage in the region.

While the Indian military and the state government have highlighted the security risk, Kashmiri and opposition politicians in New Delhi are concerned the extra troops were deployed for other reasons.

Since mid-2018, India-administered Kashmir has been under Delhi’s direct rule after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support for its local partner and dissolved the local government.

There are fears Modi’s Hindu nationalist government could carry out a threat to scrap the region’s special status under the constitution.

Local political leaders warn that cancelling constitutionally guaranteed rights — which mean only state domiciles can buy land in the region — could spark unrest in the Muslim-majority state.

Media reports said Modi’s close aide, Home Minister Amit Shah, was meeting with top officials Sunday and was reportedly planning a trip to the region.

Kashmir governor Satya Pal Malik hinted Delhi was planning to discuss a Kashmir-related matter in parliament on Monday, according to Indian media.

Rebel groups have for decades fought against Indian soldiers deployed in the part of Kashmir controlled by New Delhi, seeking the territory’s merger with Pakistan or outright independence.

The Simmering Storm Between India and Pakistan

The India-Pakistan border in Kashmir is simmering again — thousands of Amarnath pilgrims have been sent back due to terror threat

• The Jammu and Kashmir government asked the Amartnath tourists to leave the valley “as soon as possible” citing the possibility of terror threats.

Pakistan-based terrorists are reportedly planning to target the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, the state(?) government said citing intelligence inputs.

The Indian government has already posted 10,000 additional paramilitary personnel to Kashmir in the wake of the intelligence inputs.

The Jammu and Kashmir government has issued an advisory urging all the Amarnath pilgrims to leave ‘as soon as possible” citing the possibility of attack by terrorists, based on intelligence inputs.

According to the intelligence inputs, Pakistan-backed terrorists are reportedly planning to target the ongoing Amarnath Yatra, reported NDTV.

The Amarnath Yatra is an annual pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath cave, a shrine for the Hindu God Shiva, in the mountains of south Kashmir in the months of July and August.

As of 30 July, Over 320, 000 pilgrims have performed the annual Amarnath yatra. And another batch of 1,175 tourists left Jammu for the valley on Tuesday (30 July)

“Keeping in view the latest intelligence inputs of terror threats, with specific targeting of the Amarnath yatra, and given the prevailing security situation in the Kashmir Valley, in the interest of safety and security of the tourists and Amarnath yatris, it is advised that they may curtail their stay in the valley immediately and take necessary measures to return as soon as possible,” said the advisory.

The security forces had reportedly recovered an anti-personnel mine of Pakistan Ordnance. They have also found a sniper rifle during the raids at terror hideouts, the IANS reported citing Gen K.J.S. Dhillon, Commander of the Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt.

The Indian government has already posted 10,000 additional troops to Kashmir in the wake of intelligence inputs that the terrorists could target the yatra. On Thursday, 25,000 more troops were pressed into service.

(With IANS)

The Shi’a Horn (Daniel 8:8)

The Iranian Project in the Middle East & Terrorism

Tzemach Yehudah Richter Jul 31, 2019, 9:03 PM

This is a political analysis which was published by Rami Dabbas -a Jordanian Writer and Political Analyst- in The Greater Middle East, a bipartisan, policy research organization.

The Political Analysis States :

Tehran has dozens of militias and armed groups deployed in Arab countries to destabilize the Middle East and stabilize the Iranian influence.

Iran has a major arm under the name of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard, which is responsible for foreign terrorist operations and has a key role in the establishment of foreign support to Iran, which is composed of local militias in several countries in the region.

These militias are based on sectarianism as a focal point for all their moves to mobilize minorities to implement the Iranian project in the region.

The following are the most prominent terrorist wings of Iran in the Middle East:

The Lebanese Hezbollah

Iran established Hezbollah’s militia in Lebanon in 1982, becoming its most prominent military agent in the Middle East. In addition to the militia’s control of the Lebanese decision making by force, the militia has been involved in terrorist acts in Lebanon and many countries.

The party presented themselves as terrorists immediately after its establishment through its involvement in the kidnapping of 96 foreigners in Lebanon in 1982, including 25 Americans known as the 10-year hostage crisis.

The terrorist organization carried out the bombing of the US embassy in Beirut, April 1983, killing 63 people at the embassy. In the same year, the party launched coordinated attacks on the US and French embassies in Kuwait along with an oil refinery and a residential district, killing five people.

Hezbollah is directly linked to the 1996 bombing of Saudi Arabia by establishing and supporting the so-called Hizballah-Hejaz, which blew up residential towers, killing 120 people, including 19 Americans.

In 1988, Hezbollah guerrillas hijacked a civilian plane bound for Kuwait to demand the release of those accused of bombing infrastructure in Kuwait.

Hezbollah also participated in the training of militias in other countries. It also played a major role in the Syrian war by deploying its fighters to the Syrian regime, while providing direct support to the Iranian Houthi militias in Yemen.

The Arab League, the United States, France, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands have designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The European Union, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Australia banned the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The Hejaz Party

The Hizballah-Hejaz terrorist group was established in Saudi Arabia through the Lebanese Hezbollah, and it expanded from 1987 to 1996.

One of the organization’s most prominent operations was the 1996 bombing of the US Mission compound in Khobar, killing 120 people, including 19 Americans.

The Iraqi Hezbollah

The Iraqi Hezbollah militia was formed after the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003. Several Iranian militias, including the Brigades of the Abu Fadl al-Abbas Brigade, the Karbala Brigades, the Carpet Corps and the Zaid Bin Ali Brigades, all united under the banner of the Iraqi Hizballah in 2006.

The armed militia was involved in several crimes on Iraqi soil, where it was involved in a sectarian war against other Iraqi components, in order to establish Iranian influence.

League of the Righteous

The militia was founded in 2006 with direct Iranian support and has split from the Mehdi Army militia of religious leader Moqtada al-Sadr. The group has become a major component of the popular mobilization forces that were formed in 2014 on the pretext of confronting a militant organization but committed many sectarian crimes against Iraqis. The militia is also involved with other Iranian operations in the Syrian war.

Popular mobilization forces in Iraq

Founded in 2014 from the Hezbollah Brigades, Asaib Ahl al-Haq, Badr Organization, and Martyr al-Sadr’s forces. The crowd then expanded from Shiite volunteers.

The crowd set up a declared goal: to protect Baghdad and the holy shrines from Isis terrorist organization that controlled Mosul, Ramadi, Anbar, and Falluja. However, these forces were involved in massacres against civilians in Sunni-majority cities and quickly emerged with its sectarian link.

Iranian militias in Syria

Iran has more than 50 armed militias in Syria under many denominations with a sectarian dimension. In addition to the main arm Hezbollah, the Syrian war was joined by battalions under the banner of the popular Iraqi popular mobilization forces, most notably the Liwa Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Brigade, the Imam Ali Brigades, the Hezbollah Brigades, the Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada Brigades and Harakat al-Abdal, The Fatimid’s “from Afghanistan and the” Zinbion “from Pakistan.

Iranian Houthi militia

The militia was established under the name Ansar Allah Group in 1992 and began armed military activity since 2004 to enter into six wars against the Yemeni army until 2010.

Iran has long used the Houthis as a powerful tool to carry out its project in Yemen, supplying them with weapons so that they could exploit the fragile security situation in 2014 and carry out a coup against the legitimately elected authority to plunge the country into a cycle of violence.

At the request of the Yemeni government, the forces of the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition for Legitimacy Support in April 2015 began to defeat the insurgency after political efforts were exhausted.

Saraya al-Mukhtar – Bahrain

Saraya al-Mukhtar was founded in Bahrain in late 2011, relying on guerrilla tactics, blasts, and bombings against civilian targets and security forces.

Saraya Al-Ashtar – Bahrain

The organization was established in March 2012 and was supported by Iran and Iraqi Shiite groups associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

The organization is led by Ahmed Yousef Sarhan, known as Abu Montazer, and Jassim Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Zulfiqar, both Bahraini who escaped, believed to be in Iran.

Many organizations, including the Popular Resistance Brigades, have emerged. These organizations have adopted all terrorist operations carried out in Bahrain.”