Pakistan is no longer bolstered by the strategic depth of Afghanistan or leveraged by an all-encompassing militant struggle in Kashmir. This has brought in a considerable inequality between the parties which no amount of rhetoric in Kashmir and Islamabad could hide
The question is whether the establishment politics could make any difference to this state of affairs? It can’t. The choice for the mainstream leaders is stark: between being rejected by the centre in favour of the pliable alternatives or falling in line with its expectations.
It is unlikely that space for normal political activity will open up anytime soon. Though there’s talk of the centre seeking to engage the establishment parties in J&K as part of its efforts to restore statehood to J&K and pave the way for Assembly elections, this may not change much.
India’s idea of a Kashmir solution is now more about addressing it internally than externally. As is apparent from the erasure of Kashmir’s autonomy, the effort is to address the problem by changing the facts on the ground than resolve it bilaterally with Pakistan.
There are still three years to go before another general election. The PM has ample time to not only resurrect his battered image but also rally people around a new crisis, manufactured or otherwise.
Resorting to more longer term lockdowns will be suicidal. It will be tantamount to further pauperizing the people. More so, when there’s now a big question mark over the beneficial outcome of such a draconian measure
This politics is good for nothing, largely unrepresentative. It abdicates its basic role of articulating the interests of its people, let alone being responsive to the sentiment on the ground. The latter it has often found beyond its moral authority to represent.
So far there has hardly been a regional effort that works to resolve issues in a cooperative framework. Each country is looking to secure their respective interests rather than work together for a solution.
The PAGD is in paralysis within months after its formation. The alliance has, more or less, stopped pursuing the goal for which it was created. And the grouping itself is on the brink of coming apart.
Today old equations between New Delhi and Islamabad and also between Kashmiri separatists and New Delhi no longer apply. Following withdrawal of Article 370, Hurriyat has been obliterated from the scene. Pakistan is no longer bolstered by the strategic depth of Afghanistan or leveraged by an all-encompassing militant struggle in Kashmir