Kashmir’s Political Landscape Under Scrutiny: PDP Highlights Discrepancies Between Government and Occupation

Kashmir's Political Landscape Under Scrutiny: PDP Highlights Discrepancies Between Government and Occupation.

“A government strives to empower and enrich, whereas an occupation’s aim is to disempower, dispossess, and exploit.”

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has issued a strongly worded statement in its monthly newsletter, saying that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are increasingly being treated as occupied rather than as citizens. Specifically, the party has stated that people are grieving over the Supreme Court’s recent 370 verdict and reeling from lengthy powercuts but with the discovery of lithium reserves in Kashmir, “a feeling of doom has gripped the region”.

“As Indian companies gear up to bid for the treasure trove of Kashmir’s lithium mines, a feeling of doom has gripped the region. If mining contracts are given to outsiders, limitless mining will inevitably damage the ecology and economy, but not before displacing local populations. The extraction of lithium not only contaminates fresh water sources, but its harmful toxins also leach into fertile lands, making them unsuitable for agriculture. And after causing all this damage, the economic benefits will go to outsiders,” the party has said.

The statement comes soon after the Supreme Court’s decision that ruled the Union government’s reading down of Article 370 as constitutionally valid.

Read the full text of the statement below.

What is the difference between an occupation and a government? Current events around the world have brought this issue to the forefront, and the answer is rather simple. Before we delve into that, the Supreme Court has given the final verdict on Article 370, and once again, Kashmir is grieving. To quote Arab poet Ansar Yawar, “expecting a solution from those who created the web is like a bug asking the spider for its freedom, not realizing the purpose of the web.”

On a bright sunny day in New Delhi, HM Amit Shah found himself mourning the loss of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Instead of ruminating over Jawaharlal Nehru’s “blunders,” the BJP needs to ask themselves what they have done for the Indian Kashmir since they came to power in 2014. Other than dividing up our land and resources for their cronies and using their brute majority in Parliament to airdrop laws to disempower our people, what has BJP done for us? Perhaps they regret losing Pakistan-occupied Kashmir because they couldn’t treat it like the spoils of war. A quick lesson in history would tell them that it is because of Jawaharlal Nehru that Kashmir acceded to India.

During the winter of 2023, Kashmir has been facing the worst power cuts in more than 20 years. Despite the installation of smart meters, most Kashmiri homes don’t have electricity for more than a few hours per day. Even hospitals have not been spared. Kashmir needed S00 MW of power to meet the current curtailment schedule of 8.5 hours and 4.5 hours for non-metered and metered areas, respectively. After begging GOI, we were given 293 MW, of which 80 MW was given to Ladakh. That us with less than balf of what we needed. J&K has 21 power projects that could not only meet our needs but generate a surplus of 900 MW, but because of the disproportionate power sharing agreement, we receive less than half of the power we generate. In the past, we purchased power from the Northern Grid, but in the absence of a local government, GOI has failed to do the same. It’s laughable that BJP expects the world to believe 80 percent of Kashmiris want to continue living like this.

As Indian companies gear up to bid for the treasure trove of Kashmir’s lithium mines, a feeling of doom has gripped the region. If mining contracts are given to outsiders, limitless mining will inevitably damage the ecology and economy, but not before displacing local populations. The extraction of lithium not only contaminates fresh water sources, but its harmful toxins also leach into fertile lands, making them unsuitable for agriculture. And after causing all this damage, the economic benefits will go to outsiders.

So, once again, what is the difference between an occupation and a government? What does a citizen have that a slave doesn’t? A government strives to empower and enrich, whereas an occupation’s aim is to disempower, dispossess, and exploit. But when you find yourself asking this question over and over, it’s quite possible you already know the answer. Source

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