Kashmir in China Policy: Beijing does not support Kashmir freedom movement!
Kashmir in China Policy: Beijing does not support Kashmir freedom movement!
-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL
Frankly, unlike India and Pakistan, China does not have a sound Kashmir policy as it applies its policy for India and Pakistan on Kashmir also as a routine matter.
China’s Kashmir policy must be understood within the broader contexts of its South Asia policy in general and where this policy fits in Beijing’s global strategies, and its bilateral relationships with India and Pakistan in particular . While in the past, Beijing supported Islamabad’s positions on the Kashmir issue to demonstrate solidarity with an “all weather” ally during periods of Sino-Indian estrangement and hostility, normalization with New Delhi has necessitated the adoption of a policy of neutrality to avoid unnecessarily alienating India and running the risk of entrapment. Indeed, as both India and Pakistan have acquired nuclear weapons capabilities, China has become extremely worried that any escalation of conflicts over Kashmir could precipitate a nuclear exchange, with horrifying consequences.
According to specialists, China’s declared positions on the Kashmir issue have evolved through four distinct phases, each one determined by its own interests in the region, its relations with Pakistan and India, and its general strategy in Asia. China’s declared position on the India-Pakistan dispute over Kashmir has been an important determination of Sino-India relations. There are at least six distinct and imposing policies of China on the Kashmir issue. These are: China’s formal declared position towards the Kashmir issue; Chinese demonstrations of security support for Pakistan during periods of Pakistani confrontation with India over Kashmir; Steady and substantial support for development of Pakistan’s military–industrial capability due to confrontations with India over Kashmir; Beijing’s stance regarding modalities appropriate for dealing with the Kashmir issue; China’s interests, and latent policies, relating to a possible solution of the Kashmir issue; Chinese use of Kashmir to achieve diplomatic influence with New Delhi.
Kashmir issue has outstretched and continues to baffle all interventionists and the world community. A permanent and peaceful solution has evaded for over six decades. Surprisingly, China has been taking an assertive role on Kashmir lately, which has put suspicions on its intent. China’s policy regarding Kashmir and the future course of the dispute makes an important subject and needs to be examined on a cautious note. Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Liu Jian said that Beijing was in favour of negotiated settlement of the Kashmir issue, “but the policy of issuing stapled visa to the residents of Jammu and Kashmir will continue. Kashmir issue has a history between Pakistan and India. China always holds that it should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation between the two countries. China’s visa policy towards Kashmir is consistent and will remain unchanged.
China is more interested in Pakistan than Kashmir because of India factor. Beijing is very interested in the reduction of tension over Kashmir and therefore is particularly encouraged by recent developments, such as the ceasefire along the line of control, the Siachen Glacier demilitarization, the resumption of civilian flight and the opening of the bus service through Kashmir, discussion on reducing military presence along the line of control, and military confidence building measures including the agreement on missile launch notification. A recent article in People’s Daily on August 11 describes the ongoing Indo-Pakistani talks as “warm and constructive” and noted that New Delhi and Islamabad are beginning to tackle issues of substance, including measures to reduce tension and avoid military conflicts in areas along the line of control.
China frames and pursues its policies towards powers and issues strictly in accordance with its known positions. Since it disallows freedom to many of the nations within and under its control, China refuses to endorse freedom movements across the globe.
Kashmir very much fits into this notion of Beijing with regards to granting freedom by occupier nations - India and Pakistan.
Since China is also culprit in occupying a par to Kashmir, "gifted" by Pakistan, China has special reason not to promote freedom movement in Kashmir.
A veto member, China’s support for Kashmir on UNSC would have made a big difference to the fate of Kashmiri Muslims. However, as China faces Muslim problem within and uses Pakistan to somehow pacify the Muslims to give up their freedom movement, so far unsuccessfully.
Moreover, China occupies a part of Kashmir and it cannot be expected to pursue the Kashmir issue.
Had china raised the issue of Kashmir in the UNSC, perhaps, India would not have killed so many Muslims in Kashmir, thereby making it the valley of secret grave yards. Whatever little favors China may have done a few Kashmiris by issuing permits, etc are just gimmicks to make pro-China as well.
China very closely followed the happenings in Kashmir since 1947 when India and Pakistan invaded that nation and divided it between them. China got a part of Kashmir from Pakistan but has extra tactful in keeping itself away from any kind of involvement.
Upon the historic independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, they invaded, maybe according to a conspiracy hatched by the British rulers who were departing for London after surrendering sovereignty to both neighboring Jammu Kashmir, sandwiched between them and shared the lands according the strength of their military prowess: India got more and Pakistan managed less. India got Jammu Kashmir while whatever Pakistan got was named Azad Kashmir. Pakistan complains it should have got more regions from India where Muslims were in majority. .Hence Pakistan seeks more lands from Jammu Kashmir and pushes the people in Jammu Kashmir to wage struggle to cede from India and join Pakistan.
Kashmir does not belong to India and Pakistan
Whose lands India and Pakistan have been fighting over? Was Kashmir a part of India in 1947? No and no. Jammu Kashmir, like India and Pakistan, was an independent country with Muslim majority but ruled by a Hindu king who betrayed the Cashmeres by supposedly striking a secret deal with India to take over Kashmir. Pakistani forces also entered Srinagar. Both India and Pakistan conceal the truth that Jammu Kashmir was a sovereign nation till 1947 when they illegally annexed and occupied.
Nearly over 100,000 Muslims have been murdered by Indian military forces that occupy JK.
The Kashmir conflict itself is illegal and it is a known “territorial dispute” between India, Pakistan and Kashmiri freedom groups or “insurgent militants or separatists” over control of the Kashmir region, now occupied by India, Pakistan and China. Although an interstate dispute over Kashmir has existed between India and Pakistan since the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, there is also an internal conflict between Kashmiri insurgents—some in favour of Kashmiri accession to Pakistan and others seeking complete independence for the area.
India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999. Furthermore, since 1984 the two countries have also been involved in several skirmishes over control of the Siachen Glacier. India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and as of 2010, administers approximately 43% of the region, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India's claims are contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit Baltistan.
The roots of the conflict between the Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian Government are tied to a dispute over local autonomy. Democratic development was limited in Kashmir until the late 1970s and by 1988 many of the democratic reforms provided by the Indian Government had been reversed. Non-violent channels for expressing discontent were thereafter limited and caused a dramatic increase in support for insurgents advocating violent secession from India. In 1987, a disputed state election created a catalyst for the insurgency when it resulted in some of the state's legislative assembly members forming armed insurgent groups In July 1988 a series of demonstrations, strikes and attacks on the Indian Government began the Kashmir Insurgency, which during the 1990s escalated into the most important internal security issue in India. Protest movements created to voice Kashmir's disputes and grievances with the Indian government, specifically the Indian Military, have been active in Indian Administered Kashmir.
Elections are the usual democratic exercises to conduct business to promote occupation and crimes, legally. Sajjad Lone, a prominent separatist leader in Kashmir, claims that "the high turnout should not be taken as a sign that Kashmiris no longer want independence.
In 2008, pro-separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that there has been a "purely indigenous, purely Kashmiri peaceful protest movement alongside the insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989. The movement was created for the same reason as the insurgency and began after the disputed election of 1987. In 1989, a widespread popular and armed insurgency started in Kashmir. After the 1987 state legislative assembly election, some of the results were disputed. This resulted in the formation of militant wings and marked the beginning of the Mujahadeen insurgency, which continues to this day. India contends that the insurgency was largely started by Afghan mujahadeen who entered the Kashmir valley following the end of the Soviet-Afghan War. Now India claims Pakistan nourishes the militants. Yasin Malik, a leader of one faction of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, was one of the Kashmiris to organise militancy in Kashmir, Since 1995, Malik has renounced the use of violence and calls for strictly peaceful methods to resolve the dispute.
Since November 2003, India and Pakistan have effectively maintained a ceasefire along the Line of Control separating their respectively controlled segments of Kashmir. New Delhi and Islamabad have renewed their efforts to arrive at long-term solutions to this intractable conflict that has dragged the two neighbors to war three times since the 1947 partition.
Despite incessant, albeit much reduced violence and incidents, peace has so far prevailed. The latest thaw is manifested in summit meetings between the two countries’ top leaders and regular official consultation, proposed and actual troop pullback, and agreement on missile launch notification.
In October 2014, Indian and Pakistani troops traded gunfire over their border in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir, killing at least four Kashmiri civilians and worsening tensions between the longtime nuke rivals.
Seeking regular flow of money from India to USA, Barack Obama has not supported Kashmir freedom movement but only expressed his intention to try to work with India and Pakistan to resolve the crisis.
Beijing has welcomed these positive developments, and considers Indo-Pakistani rapprochement a major step toward regional peace and stability.
India, Pakistan and China have occupied Jammu Kashmir illegally and when Kashmiris struggled to regain sovereignty, they talk about their national interests.
In projecting its big power status in Asia, China just pursued its national interests by using the Indian illegal occupation of Jammu Kashmir and continued terror unleashed on Kashmiri Muslims. Beijing’s indirect support for India occupation and crimes in JK ahs bren appreciated by New Delhi and in return it keeps silent about Chinese incursions into Arunachal Pradesh. At the most India resorts to vague rhetoric but never tried to “teach” China like it does to Pakistan. China has already expanded its boundaries beyond china but India is obliged, because of support of Indian occupational crimes in Kashmir, not to raise any objections very seriously.
Understanding China’s Policy for Kashmir is necessary to know how Kashmiris are being trapped by outside forces. China’s declared positions on the Kashmir issue have evolved through four distinct phases. In the 1950s, Beijing upheld a more or less neutral position on the Kashmir issue. The 1960s and 1970s saw China shift its position toward public support of Pakistan’s views on the issue as Sino-Indian relations deteriorated. Since the early 1980s, however, with China and India moving toward normalization of bilateral relations, Beijing returned to a position of neutrality even as it sought to balance between the need to satisfy Pakistan’s demands for support and the growing interest in developing a better relationship with India. By the early 1990s, China’s position became unequivocal and similar to American that the Kashmir issue is a bilateral matter to be solved by India and Pakistan through peaceful means. That means China leaves the fate of Kashmiri Muslims to the military boots of India.
Friendship but no freedom
Beijing has growing interests in seeing a stable South Asia and is seeking a better relationship with India. That explains Beijing’s more unequivocal position on the Kashmir issue, which in turn is firmly grounded in the belief that the only realistic way to resolve the Kashmir conflict is through peaceful negotiation between India and Pakistan. As Islamabad’s trusted friend, Beijing could and should use its influence to convince Pakistan that it is also in their own interest to resolve the issue peacefully.
Beijing hopes that the current thaw between New Delhi and Islamabad will continue. Peace and stability on the sub-continent would advance Chinese interests of further improving relations with India. Indeed, over the last few years, the bilateral relationship has registered significant progress, with regular high-level visits, booming trade, continuing border negotiation, joint military exercises, and closer cooperation on intelligence sharing to fight terrorism. Beijing has also sought to nudge Islamabad toward seeking a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue. China, however, continues to value its traditional ties with Pakistan, which is seen less as a counter to India and rather more as an important factor in Beijing’s fight against ethnic separatist movements in its northwestern territories.
Beijing is also interested in the evolving negotiations over Kashmir due to its own entanglement, which is largely a result of the October 1963 Sino-Pakistani Border Agreement. India claims the Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin of approximately 35,000 square kilometers as part of the territory in Ladaakh, Kashmir. While a remote possibility, a resolution of the Kashmir dispute between New Delhi and Islamabad could re-open the sovereignty issue left over in the 1963 Sino-Pakistani border agreement.
Managing the Kashmir issue has become a critical consideration in New Delhi’s efforts to realize its great power potentials by channeling more resources to economic development. For Pakistan, the conflict consumes even more resources. The post-September 11 regional security environment and the U.S.-led global war on terrorism also exert external pressure for Pakistan to deal with cross-border terrorist activities.
India and Pakistan have a lot to gain from the current rapprochement. Prolonged tension and fighting over Kashmir has exacted severe tolls in human and material terms for both countries. For instance, maintaining supplies to the Indian troops stationed on the Siachen Glacier costs New Delhi $1 million a day. Since fighting began in 1984, some 2,500 Indian and 1,300 Pakistani troops have died over the years as a result of the treacherous weather and terrain conditions.
Due to the intractable nature of the Kashmir conflict and the still widely divergent positions held by the two sides of LOC, any imminent resolution remains elusive. Indeed, resolving the Kashmir dispute may be a most challenging diplomatic undertaking since the original conflict has evolved over the years from a purely India-Pakistan contention for jurisdiction to one that increasingly involves an independent movement within Kashmir, interwoven ethnic and religious strife and conflicts, and an increasingly fertile ground for cross-border terrorist activities.
*د. عبد راف *
Educationist, Prolific writer, Specialist on State Terrorism; Chronicler of Foreign occupations &
Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International
Affairs(CIA); Commentator on world affairs & sport fixings, Expert on
Mideast Affairs, university teacher; Author of books/ebooks; Editor.
Unfortunately, today there is not even one Muslim nation
today practicing truly Islamic faith and life.
(Account: No 62310377429* -* CIF No:
78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India) Phone: 91-8129081217