The conflict triggered by India revoking Kashmir’s status of autonomy is far from local, distant and exotic. It is the local expression of a global problem that affects us Catalans and, in this particular instance, it carries huge additional risks: it is set in a region disputed by three nuclear powers (India, Pakistan and China). Kashmir’s is an unusual case. When the British withdrew from India in 1947, two states were created: Pakistan, combining the Muslim-majority areas, and India, where the population is mostly Hindu.
Kashmir is a largely Muslim region within India that enjoys a considerable level of autonomy, which India has just revoked. This, let’s say, autonomous solution is not peaceful. The local population is split into three camps: those who support self-rule within India, those who advocate joining Pakistan, and supporters of creating a new independent country. They have had seventy years of violence and have risked all-out war between India and Pakistan. The suspension of Kashmir’s self-rule —prompted by Hindu nationalism— upsets a delicate compromise and lays down a dilemma for the international community: should we resolve these conflicts through the right to self-determination, or should we just allow each country to do as they please in their own backyard? The latter option would be catastrophic and there is chance it could get even worse.