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India’s Clampdown on Kashmir Threatens Afghanistan Peace Negotiations

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Security personnel stand guard on a street in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5th, 2019.

In August, India’s parliament voted to revoke article 370, a provision of the country’s constitution that granted the state of Jammu and Kashmir special status as an autonomous territory, with its own flag, constitution, and domestic laws, including those dictating land purchases. Within hours of the decision, electricity and Internet in Kashmir was shut down, cutting off Kashmiris from the world. India has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers to the area in anticipation of armed resistance.

Some, including the prime minister of Pakistan, have warned that this move may destabilize the region. Since the formation of India and Pakistan in 1947, the countries have fought three separate conflicts over Kashmir, which is currently divided with each country controlling a portion of the territory. Pakistan and India have long argued—sometimes resulting in open conflict—over which country can claim the Muslim majority territory. While the Kashmir situation does not directly involve Afghanistan and the United States, Pakistani government officials raised alarms that the ongoing situation may derail the Afghan peace talks in Doha, Qatar, between the U.S. and the Taliban.

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