The gendered lens is one that can be employed to understand the conflict in Kashmir and its relationship to national identities. The Indian nationalist imagination views the state as a patriarchal and masculine figure that must exert control over its feminine counterpart, Kashmir, in order to coerce it into submission. Similarly, feminists have understood violence to be perceived as masculine, whereas, peace is viewed as devalued and feminine leading to the use of gender relations as the basis of fueling violence. A key factor in the propagation of gender-based violence lies in the foundations of the nation-state building process.
Since World War II, democratic governance has flourished and expanded its reach all around the globe. Now, this process has stalled. This democratization is reversing not only in the third world countries but in many countries of the West, I-e, the first world countries as well. The liberal idea of democracy has become obsolete and dying its own death. It is now in conflict with the interests of the irresistible majority of the masses I-e Right-Wing Populism (RWP).
India has very limited options. With this peace deal, it has become clear that the Taliban are bound to come into power sooner or later. So, India needs to prepare accordingly. In a recent visit to New Delhi, US Chief Negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad urged New Delhi to start a political dialogue with the Taliban and directly discuss their terrorism-related concerns. He said, “India is an important force in Afghanistan, and it would be appropriate for that [India-Taliban] engagement to take place.”
The election of President-elect Joe Biden and his Vice-President Kamala Harris is most likely to end this vacuum of American policy for the region and engage with the region with strategic insight and assertiveness. Joe Biden was awarded Hilal-e-Pakistan, the second-highest civil-award of the country, and Kamal Harris has ancestral roots in India. The personalized nature of their relationships to both of these countries will indeed influence the interaction once the Biden administration leads the White House. However, in the spirit of previous American interactions with the region, the Biden administration’s interaction with South Asia will be clouded by two mega strategic matters: The rise of China and the Conflict in Afghanistan.
Tens of thousands of farmers have swarmed India’s capital where they intend to camp out for weeks to protest new agricultural laws that they say could destroy their livelihoods.
Although the Indian constitution guarantees that the disparate set of tribes, ethnicities, and religions are part of the whole Indian nationalism, Indian sovereignty is challenged since the post-colonial establishment of the nation-state by the restive population. To confront these disparate set of security challenges to its territorial integrity and security of the state, the Indian government enacted various legislations which are presumably per the letter and spirit of the Indian constitution and international human rights accord to which India is a signatory, but in practice are more in the spirit of a draconian legislative armour of the state to fight the separatists’ challenges with a hardened approach.
The latest military agreements between India and the USA are being seen as a possible threat to the Chinese hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region. China is already losing support and cooperation from the countries which are in conflict with China over the South China Sea. Pompeo’s visit has given an even graver threat to China that China has a long way to go before it can dominate the regional politics.
Recently, the president of Azad Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan, proposed a BDS movement to counter the Indian State oppression, which has been in effect before at similar Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions was a movement first established in 2005. It was initially based on the principle that the Israeli oppression of Palestinians is unacceptable and that the 57 members of OIC should abide by this movement. The idea behind is the international recognition of the oppression being caused by a state on any other nation or a group of people. In this case, the movement demands the Muslim majority states to boycott the oppressive Indian state and grant the Kashmiris equal rights as for the rest of humanity. The reoccurrence of the BDS movement in Kashmir is due to its similarity with the Palestinian state.
Analysts doubt that China can be a strategic challenge for multinational cooperation in the region. But the question is that is QUAD really the best platform for handling the growing Chinese capacity. Two members of the QUAD are too unreliable to serve this purpose, which are Australia and Japan. This leaves QUAD with two certain members India and America; whose growing strategic partnership is a threat to China anyways. There is no need for a QUAD for this purpose.
The international financial watchdog has given Pakistan a grace period. It might be its last chance to prove its seriousness to implement FATF recommendations. It has to uplift its efforts to get clean of the terror financing charges against it. In other case, it would have to face some severe consequences. The previous efforts by Pakistan show its willingness and eagerness to escape the list. One should hope for the best. It has three months to accelerate its efforts. Hence, the actual test starts now.