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International Relations

India’s move to end the special status to Jammu and Kashmir indicates that the government is bracing for serious geo-strategic shifts that will unfold in South Asia over the next few months.

Though the domestic reasons for ending the status was presented through a detailed analysis of the negative effects that the Article 370 had for Kashmir, the real reason for this hurried makeover lies in the international context.

‘Great progress’

Soon after Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented his case for turning Kashmir into a Union Territory, a message from U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad stated that his talks with the Taliban in Qatari capital had yielded “great progress” and that he was heading to Delhi to create greater consensus in favour of peace in Afghanistan.

The implication of this peace agreement between the Taliban and the U.S. will be felt across South Asia and in the West Asia.

Pakistan is waiting anxiously till its biggest strategic assets – the Taliban – seal the deal with the U.S. The Taliban have a historical parallel going back to the 1980s. In 1988, following the Geneva Accords of 14 April, South Asia went into a tailspin with Pakistan trying to use some of the resources secured for the Afghan Mujahideen fighters to Kashmir where insurgency peaked subsequently.

The immediate outcome of the U.S.-Taliban deal will be the visible display of American disinterest in South Asia. This is the context in which India keeping a firm grip on Kashmir has been seen.

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