The diplomatic meticulousness behind Article 370's revocation
New Delhi, Aug 11: On August 5, when the government took everyone by surprise and announced the revocation of Article 370, the opposition parties were up in arms. Many regional parties almost sort of gasped at the government's decision. Many experts said that the decision would draw international condemnation and India's reputation would take a beating.
But, what transpired, was perhaps, not what many anticipated. Other than Pakistan, which strongly criticised the scrapping of J&K's special status, no other major superpower seemed to view it as what some portrayed as 'violation' of international law. Because there was no violation of any law, no matter what Pakistanis or some pseudo Kashmiri activists may say. It was by and large accepted that India's decision was an internal one and that the New Delhi was well within it rights to such a decision.
The United States' muted response came as a slap on Pakistan's face especially when it has hardly been a month since Imran Khan returned from his Washington visit.
What needs to be marvelled is Modi government's work on the diplomatic front before taking such a massive step. Taking this onto consideration, we can now safely guess what may have said ti Donald Trump about Kashmir during the meeting on G-20 sidelines which played out as an ugly episode later as the US President failed to understand it and even kept quite.
Modi would have informed that India would be taking this crucial step to revoke J&K's autonomy, which Trump later said that "Modi asked for mediation". Obviously, Modi had not asked fr mediation, he had informed about this revocation of autonomy. But Trumps's remark left India in a fix as it could be explained openly what exactly was said, but surely through the back channels, Jaishankar would have conveyed this is what has happened. And eventually, Trump did not try and respond to India's rebuttal of his thoughtless remark. Reports also say that in February, two days after the Pulwama attack, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had phoned his American counterpart John Bolton and told him about the Modi government's plans to do away with the 'special status' for Jammu and Kashmir
In many ways, the US reaction is the most important because the cold war days of two power centres are long gone and the entire west aligns its views to the US.
US, UK, Germany, Australia and Israel all issued advisories (based on Indian government briefings) asking their citizens in Kashmir to leave.This clearly indicates that they knew what was coming.
As far as Britain is concerned, it is badly tangled in Brexit and taking sides over Kashmir, which is thousands of kms away, when it desperately seeks alternative partnerships in Europe, its immediate neighbourhood, may leave the voters irked.
France has more or stood by India in UN over important matters. The India-France relationship is solid, in fact it was France that led the defence of India at the UN Security Council during the 1998 nuclear tests.
China has issued a statement or two but largely distanced itself from the matter. China's oppression in Tibet and Xinjiang are something that Beijing would not want to be discussed. If China pokes it nose too much, India can always rake up Tibet and Xinjiang human rights violations.
For Russia, India is the biggest weapons buyer and both countries have shared good ties over last 50-60 years, so Moscow will definitely not take an anti-India stand.