Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/255/24737

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 May 2002

New War Threat Looms Over Kashmir Conflict

AN ATTACK on an Indian army camp in Kashmir by Kashmiri separatists has increased tensions between India and Pakistan threatening a potentially horrific escalation in the region's long-running conflict.

Kieran Roberts

Since the attack on the barracks, in which 34 people were killed, including the attackers, India has retaliated by expelling the Pakistani high commissioner. The troops of both governments have massed either side of their common border and along the Line of Control in Kashmir and have launched artillery shells at each other.

These events have the potential to spiral into full-scale war between Pakistan and India. In recent months, the media and both governments had already adopted an increasingly bellicose stance over Kashmir.

Kashmir is occupied and divided into Pakistan administered and Indian administered regions. In the last decade, thousands of Kashmiris have died from military repression in Indian occupied Kashmir. Unemployment and poverty is rife.

Were a war to take place it would be the third that India and Pakistan have fought over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947. However, war today could potentially have far more devastating consequences for the masses in the region.

Already, over the last months increasing tension and the threat of an escalation in the conflict have created a massive social crisis, with thousands of refugees fleeing villages near the border. Prior to the last attacks over 100,000 had fled on the Pakistani side of the border.

But most horrifying for workers and the poor across the subcontinent, is the potential for a nuclear conflict between the two countries. Both India and Pakistan possess nuclear weapons. Pakistan has said that it would be prepared to use them in the event of a conventional attack by India.

And while the ruling classes in India and Pakistan spend $billions on armaments the working masses and rural poor are denied access to proper healthcare, education and housing.

Instability

The threat of war, even nuclear war demonstrates the instability of the region under capitalism. This instability has increased since 11 September and the US-led war in Afghanistan.

Both Indian and Pakistani governments are playing a dangerous game in beating their nationalist drums to garner domestic support. They may find it impossible to put the nationalist genie back into the bottle.

In India, the Hindu nationalist ruling BJP has given succour to even more extreme Hindu nationalist organisations leading to renewed sectarian clashes between Hindus and Muslims in the border state of Gujurat.

In elections earlier this year in Uttar Pradesh state where the BJP was defeated, it ran a highly communal election campaign using the Ayodhya Temple issue to polarise voters along religious lines.

India and Pakistan last faced a military stand-off in January of this year. That followed the 13 December attack on the Indian parliament, which India claims was perpetrated by a Kashmiri Islamic group backed by Pakistan.

The situation was defused only after much pressure was applied to the Pakistani regime from George Bush and Tony Blair. Musharaff announced on 13 January the banning of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other sectarian organisations.

However, Musharaff no doubt feels his status as a vital ally of the US against the Taliban and al-Qa'ida, has strengthened his hand against India. As a result he may feel more confident to ratchet up the tension, while counting on the US to keep India in check.

The US administration is frantically attempting to calm things down between India and Pakistan. A war between India and Pakistan would scupper their plans for the continuation of the 'war against terrorism' in the Middle East.

However, the divisions and instability created by imperialism in the region over centuries are not easy for it to control. Once a conventional war starts, it could spiral out of control.

Ultimately, the only solution to instability and the threat of war in the region is a socialist one. That means that capitalism and feudalism have to be overthrown.

The workers, youth and peasants of Kashmir, India and Pakistan have more in common with each other than their rulers.

The struggle for an independent socialist Kashmir, as part of a voluntary federation of socialist South Asian states, presents the only way forward.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 May 2002:

Take Back Rail

Bush And Blair's War Plans Increase World Tensions

The Truth About PFI

Step Up The Struggle For Free Education

Rail privatisation exposed

Irish election: Socialist Party Scores Spectacular Successes

New War Threat Looms Over Kashmir Conflict

Firefighters Prepare For Pay Battle


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 May 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

War:

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

triangle90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

triangleStop the war on the Kurds

triangle100 years since women won the vote

India:

triangleCapitalism v cricket

triangleTamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

triangleExtreme weather events and global warming

Pakistan:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: 70 years since India-Pakistan partition

triangleInternational Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression

International

International

14/2/18

France

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

14/2/18

Unemployed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

14/2/18

Brazil

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

14/2/18

South Africa

Cape Town drought

7/2/18

China

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

7/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

7/2/18

Sudan

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

31/1/18

Austria

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

24/1/18

Palestine

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

17/1/18

Hong Kong

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

17/1/18

Tunisia

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

10/1/18

Iran

Movement challenges Iranian regime

10/1/18

Appeal

Appeal from Iranian independent unions

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999