Kashmir is a tinderbox

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Over the weekend, officials in Kashmir warned Hindu pilgrims of impending attacks in the area. This sent thousands of tourists and pilgrims, and even local workers, fleeing the region. Reports said that up to 220,000 workers had left, which appeared like a crisis that came out of the blue. Now the real story appears to be a much more wide ranging decision by India to change the status of Kashmir.

According to CNN, the area was on lockdown with tens of thousands of troops deployed and politicians under “house arrest.” The Indian government on Monday scrapped Article 370 that gave Kashmir a special status. It is actually more complex than that. The government of India wants to also “bifurcate” the state – previously known as Jammu and Kashmir – into two new areas, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, according to the Times of India.

 

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