After Indo-Pak ceasefire at LOC, Pakistan turns defensive on its Kashmir stance

With ceasefire at the Line of Control (LOC) after talks between DGMOs of Both Indian and Pakistani Army, it seems as if Pakistan military establishment has taken a rather defensive approach on its Kashmir policy.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Mar 06, 2021 11:19 IST
After Indo-Pak ceasefire at LOC, Pakistan turns defensive on its Kashmir stance
CDS Rawat & COAS Bajwa

With guns falling silent at the Line of Control (LOC) after talks between DGMOs of Both Indian and Pakistani Army and the ability to take speculator U-Turns of the selected Prime Minister of Pakistan has made some of the Pakistan deep state allowed geopolitical analysts on the Pakistani media going ballistic on the need for such agreements without any formal talks on the Kashmir issue which they claim is crucial after India annexed Kashmir and also removed its semi-autonomous powers to the state and also divided it to two Union Territories.

In past, Pakistan has communicated to India that the restoration of Kashmir to its pre-annexation status is a prerequisite to formal talks, and many Pakistani geopolitical analysts wondered what happened to this demand.

Pakistani media is stressing that no talks should be held with India without restoration of Article 370 and Article 35A that Indian Constitution guaranteed semi-autonomous powers to the previous state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Restoration of Article 370 and Article 35 is an unrealistic demand that has nothing to do with any bilateral agreements between both countries but it also shows the nervousness of the Pakistani military establishment that fear that India will be able to carry out demographic changes in the region that will favor India, in case of the UN-mandated future referendum in the region.

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Pakistan has settled a large section of the Punjabi dialect-speaking population in areas what it calls Azad Kashmir (PoK) and has carried out demographic changes in the region without much concern.

Military-Mouthpiece Prime Minister of Pakistan has already said that they have plans to grant Gilgit-Baltistan, a status of a full province, thereby making it Pakistan’s 5th province.

China has significant stakes in the future of Gilgit-Baltistan, which is adjacent to its restive Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and has been making infrastructure investments through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the region, that India has often protested upon.

Change of Gilgit-Baltistan status has not gone down well with people of PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and Pakistani media report recently also signaled that some sections of the PoK might be merged with the Pakistani Punjab province and some parts into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa., thus completing the illegal occupation of the region.

PoK’s Puppet Prime Minister Farooq Haider Khan last year in Muzaffarabad had said that he could be the last Prime Minister of PoK dropping enough hints that Pakistan could alter the status of PoK.

Indian analysts who are closely monitoring developments in the PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan have said that status change of both the region is Pakistani way of telling its people that its Kashmir dream is over and it could rather continue its proxy war than go out for a full-fledged war to retain some control though terrorists and sympathizers in the Indian side of Kashmir and try to win back these areas when it can military in future.

Recent statements made by Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa on Article 370 and Article 35 show a lack of support for the Restoration of these Indian laws being made pre-condition of formal talks with India.

Pakistani deep state is under considerable pressure from Chinese investors to get the status changed of Gilgit-Baltistan that in a way will kill any previous UN Resolutions that Pakistan could often use for its advantage in the past.

Pakistani media reports have confirmed that the pile-up of external debts and China stopping funding of the crucial sections of the CPEC Program due to massive Pakistani corruptions and due to status of Gilgit-Baltistan is affecting Pakistan’s formal economy badly even though the majority of its economy is now informal.

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It is unlikely that Pakistan will announce that the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan that divides the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir into two as a recognized international border between both countries.

Political map change of last year and addition of Disputed area in Indian administered region is Pakistan ways of saying that it is not a recognized international border but more or less it is.

However, India shall not ignore increasing jointness between Pakistan and China in the region of J&K , Pakistan for now, may have backtracked from its traditional Kashmir position due to its ongoing economic crisis, but as soon as Pakistan's economy stabilizes, the Military leadership in conjuncture Bejing may try something big in near future.  

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