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History of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)
Aurangzeb’s successors were weak rulers. Later Mughals failed to retain Kashmir. After Mughal rule, it passed to Afghan, Sikh, and Dogra rule.
In 1752, Kashmir was seized by the Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdali. The Afghan Durrani Empire ruled Kasmir from the 1750s until 1819 when Sikhs, under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir and ended Muslim rule.
By the early 19th century, Sikhs under Maharaja Renjith Singh took control of Kashmir.
After the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the British Empire set its sight on the Sikh territories.
In the ensuing battle, Gulab Singh (a Dogra General in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s service who was rewarded as king of Jammu by Ranjit Singh) sided with the British.
The resultant defeat of the Sikhs resulted in the signing of the Treaty of Amritsar on March 16, 1846.
In accordance with the Treaty, Kashmir was handed over to Gulab Singh for a sum of ₹75 lahks in return for his acceptance of British suzerainty. Since then Kashmir was ruled by the Dogra Dynasty.
Ranbir Singh came to power after the death of Gulab Singh in 1857.
Hari Singh took the charge of the state in 1925. He was the king of Kashmir when the treaty was signed with India.
Jammu and Kashmir was the largest princely state in 1947. Despite having a nearly 77 per cent Muslim population, it was ruled by a Hindu king, Maharaja Hari Singh.
The state was known for pluralism and a culturally diverse society. There were five main regions: The Province of Jammu, a Hindu-dominated, largely plain area of low hills, bordering Punjab. To the north of Jammu, the Sunni Muslims dominated the Kashmir valley with a significant population of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits. The valley was one of the most beautiful parts of India with a large number of tourists visiting in summer. There was a
substantial Sikh presence in both Jammu province and Kashmir valley.
To the east of the valley, the hilly area of Ladakh was predominantly Buddhist with a slight presence of Shia Muslims. It shared borders with Tibet.
The last two are the regions of Gilgit and Baltistan. These two regions were very thinly populated mostly Shia Muslims. Gilgit and Baltistan shared borders with Afghanistan and the Sinkiang province of China. It was also very close to the former Soviet Union. The geopolitical location of the state of Jammu and Kashmir made it very crucial strategically.
Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir
The people of J&K then convened a Constituent Assembly in 1951, which once again reaffirmed the Accession of the State to India in 1956 and finalised the Constitution for the State.
The Jammu and Kashmir Constitution reaffirms that “the State is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.”
Withdrawal of Pakistani troops from the northern areas collectively referred to as Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) by India—and its reintegration with the rest of J&K had been the primary objective of India during the initial phase of the conflict.
However, this objective slowly changed in a shift that became visible during and after the 1971 war with Pakistan. A Line of Control (LoC) was established after this war, and it is widely believed that during negotiations leading to the ‘Shimla Agreement’ (signed on July 2, 1972) that followed the war, India and Pakistan agreed to convert this line into a permanent border between the two countries. Ever since India’s primary objective in the conflict of Kashmir has been to maintain the status quo and convert the LoC into an international border.
Pulwama and Balakot: A Paradigm shift in strategy against Terrorism
On February 14, 2019, India witnessed one of the most deadliest suicide attacks wherein more than 40 CRPF soldiers lost their lives on the Jammu-Srinagar Highway.
The 78-vehicle convoy of CRPF was attacked by an explosive-laden SUV near Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
The suicide bombing by SUV was conducted by a 20-year-old suicide bomber named Adil Ahmad Dar with links to the terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed.
Which later claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pathankot Airbase attack in 2016 was also conducted by this terror outfit.
The Pulwama attack led to a wide emotional upsurge in the citizens of the country.
In response to this attack on February 26, 2019, Indian Airforce with 12 Mirage 2000 fighter planes struck terrorist camps operating in Balakot and other locations destroying terror camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed and claiming the lives of more than 300 terrorists who were being trained there. It was a non-military preemptive attack after Indian intelligence received information of more suicide attacks by the terror outfit.
This is a paradigm shift in India’s strategy against terrorism. The strategy of counter-attack at such a massive scale would bring further fear into the mind of the terrorist organisations and would act as a deterrent which is the principle on which Israel has achieved great success in counter-terrorism. After 20 years of Kandahar handing over of terrorists India has changed its image from a soft state to a state which can go to any extent in it’s fight against terrorism. Indian Air Force has entered Pakistani airspace first time since the 1971 war.
The strategy of the pre-emptive strike has proved its worth in the case of Israel. For India, its the first time that it has been used, and it is believed that it will certainly act as a deterrent. Till now India had been only busting sleeper cells and other modules of ISI-backed terrorists or carrying out investigations post-terrorist attacks and terrorists were taking advantage of this policy of India.
They were also aware that the Criminal justice system of India would offer them ample opportunities to defend themselves and escape the clutches of law.
Government of India’s Development-Oriented Programmes in Kashmir
Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for J&K-2015
The Prime Minister announced a package of ₹80,068 crore towards Special Assistance to J&K for the development of infrastructure. The package consists of 63 projects relating to 15 ministries/departments. In the package, ₹62,393 crores has been earmarked for new initiatives/projects. This includes projects of road, power, new and renewable energy, tourism, health, education, water resources, sports, urban development, defence, textile sectors etc.
This includes an allocation for opening two AIIMS-like institutions in J&K, the establishment of IIM and IIT at Jammu.
Under the road sector, 105 km of roads under the Bharat Mala Project, Zozila Tunnel, Kargil-Zanskar, Srinagar-Shupiyan-Quazigund, Jammu Akhnoor-Poonch roads, construction of a semi-ring road in Jammu and Srinagar are proposed to be taken up.
Power sector projects include special assistance for the infrastructural development of power distribution systemss in Jammu & Srinagar, tourist destinations, smart grids and smart meters, and two solar pilot projects of 20 MW each in Leh and Kargil.
Provision has been made for the development of urban infrastructure including smart cities, the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT).
In addition to the allocation of ₹62,393 crores for new initiatives, ₹7,427 crores has been allocated for ongoing/ existing projects of Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan (PMRP), 2004, ₹7,263 crores for projects to be undertaken within the existing Budget line and ₹2,985 crores for Roads and Highways Projects under Public Private Partnership.
The physical and financial progress of the projects under PMDP, 2015 is being regularly monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The project ‘UDAAN’, an initiative of the Prime Minister, the National Skills Development Corporation and the Ministry of Home Affairs and industry, was started with the aim of providing skills to 40,000 youth over a period of five years.
Appointment of Government of India Representative
Dineshwar Sharma, former Director of, the Intelligence Bureau, has been appointed (in October 2017) as Representative of the Government of India to initiate and carry forward a dialogue with elected representatives, various organisations and concerned individuals in the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
He has been given the status of Cabinet Secretary to the Government of India. He has made three visits to Jammu & Kashmir till December 2017, to have discussions with various stakeholders.
Some of the other schemes are as follows:
Newly developed rail network to connect the Valley. ₹900 crores worth of road infrastructure development programme in J&K on the lines of the Naxal-affected areas.
Special scholarship scheme for Jammu and Kashmir to encourage the youth to pursue higher studies outside their state. The total cost of the scheme will be ₹1,200 crore.
Project ‘Umeed’ for empowerment of women
Project ‘Himayat’ for capacity building and employment of youth
People-to-people contact with the rest of India through ‘Bharat Darshan’ programmes
Capital investment subsidy @ 15% of the total investment in plant and machinery subject to ceiling of ₹30 lakh. However, MSMEs would be eligible for capital investment subsidy @ 30% of the investment of plant and machinery subject to ceiling of ₹3 crore and ₹1.5 crore for manufacturing and service sector, respectively, to all new and existing industrial units on their substantial expansion.
3% interest subsidy on the average of daily working capital loan to all new units for a period of five years from the date of commencement of commercial production.
Central Comprehensive Insurance Subsidy Scheme with 100% reimbursement of premium to all new and existing units on their substantial expansion for a period of five years from the date of commencement of commercial production.
The present situation in Jammu and Kashmir
The Articles which provide special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir were revoked by presidential order. It abrogated articles 370 and 35A.
Now the Constitution of India is applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reorganization of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate union territories of Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh without legislature.
District Development Councils: After Jammu and Kashmir lost their statehood, the political focus in Kashmir shifted to District Development Councils (DDCs) and grassroots development. Kashmiris who have long had to deal with bureaucratic red tape can find new hope with the elected local leaders who can ensure good governance and local development.
Social media: Social media has become a pivotal source of information— as well as misinformation and propaganda—in the time of new militancy. Although the government has used reactive tactics such as blanket bans, monitoring, censoring and reporting extremist profiles and content, it has been unable to deter the spread of extremist content through social media.
The state will still need to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and other technology to discourage extremist content and should also find creative ways where Kashmiris can consume the narratives produced by the Indian state and army.
Technology: India can invest more in technologies such as UAVs or drone technology and deploy them in relatively peaceful areas. These technological tools can be used to conduct surveillance, maintain law and order, and also deter the use of drones by militants and militant supporters.
Education: In the long term, the state should start re-emphasising education.
A variety of historical distortions and unfamiliarity prevails in the educational curriculum of Kashmir and the rest of India. It is important to promote topics and themes that can be more relatable and applicable, such as constitutional remedies for people in conflict-affected regions.
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