India's move on Kashmir risks firing up regional tinderbox

The Indian government's move to strip the state of Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy and special status risks firing up the South Asian subcontinent's tinderbox.

A security personnel stands guard on a street during a curfew in Srinagar, Kashmir on Aug 6, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

The Indian government's decision to split Jammu and Kashmir into two federally administered territories and scrap the state's special status would not have surprised anyone except those who can't read the tea leaves of global politics and the seriousness with which the country's ruling party takes its election manifesto.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which pretty much became infructuous on Monday, was introduced in 1949 and asserted that "Kashmir state" would have special powers to be excluded from the purview of the laws that the Indian Parliament would make, and also the power to make its own laws.

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