India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

CrisisWatch India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

Unchanged Situation

Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) marked three years since India revoked its special status, as controversy persisted over electoral register. Ahead of third anniversary on 5 Aug of India’s revocation of J&K’s special status and arrest of local leaders across political spectrum, govt 4 Aug released data to support its claim that militancy had decreased in last three years. Marking anniversary, Organisation for Islamic Cooperation called for “reversal of all illegal and unilateral actions” by India. In BBC interview, J&K Lt-Governor Manoj Sinha 19 Aug claimed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of Hurriyat separatist political outfit and Kashmir’s chief cleric, was “neither under house arrest or detained”; Hurriyat refuted claims. Meanwhile, J&K Chief Electoral Officer Hirdesh Kumar 17 Aug announced that “anyone who is living ordinarily” can be “enlisted as a voter in J&K”, marking change from pre-2019 policy which permitted only permanent residents to vote; Kumar said govt expected 2.5mn new voters – marking 30% increase – which sparked outrage as mainstream political parties accused India’s ruling Bhartiya Janata Party of manipulating electoral balance in its favour. In second such act in as many months, China 11 Aug blocked bid by India and U.S. to list Rauf Asghar, deputy chief of Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad and brother of group’s founder, as designated militant at UN Security Council; India’s UN envoy protested decision. Security operations and militant attacks continued in J&K. Operation 5 Aug killed one security force and one militant in Kulgam; 10 Aug killed three LeT militants in Budgam district. Militants 4 Aug hurled grenade at non-local labourers in Pulwama district, killing one, and 12 Aug killed another in Bandipore district; 11 Aug sought to storm army camp in Rajouri district, leaving four militants and two soldiers dead; 13 Aug killed one security personnel in grenade attack in Kulgam district; 14 Aug killed one security force in Srinagar. Militants 17 Aug attacked two Kashmiri Pandits in Shopian district, killing one; Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), group of Pandits living in Kashmir, same day appealed to all Pandits to leave region.

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