Globalization is taken as phenomena of compression of space and time through interconnectivity and economic interdependence in the world. The issue of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) is still unresolved in this globalized world. The reasons behind this failure are displaying the real picture of globalization which is still not beyond restrictions of states.
According to Jens Bartelson, there are three prevailing concepts about globalization, first globalization as transference, second globalization as transformation and third globalization as transcendence. He explained globalization as transference means that it is due to an increased transference or exchange of things between states in the form of politics, economics or culture. Thus it can be comprehended that globalization occurs due to interaction between states or units. This makes globalization as inside-out approach. Whereas globalization as transformation asserts that it happens at the systems level and influence the identity of the states. This concept affirms that globalization appears above the units and within systemic variables in different dimensions. Thus, globalization by this description is a multidimensional outside-in approach. On the other hand, globalization as transcendence refers that globalization is neither inside-out nor outside-in but it’s a channel which disintegrates the division between inside and outside. Globalization in terms of transcendence can bring conversion in units, system and the conditions of existence. Consequently, globalization despatializes and detemporalizes human actions by projecting their practices at a global level.
In course of India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, globalization seems only as transference because a single state, India, is dominating and controlling every bit of Kashmir affairs in the world. Historically the situation in Jammu and Kashmir concerning global networks was not adequate. There is not a single major international industry or corporation having their offices or work-sites in disputed Kashmir due to security hazards created by the conflict between freedom fighters and Indian Army. The multinational companies never worked in Kashmir until McDonald’s got opened in Srinagar in 2012, whereas no other major foreign direct investment has been seen in IOJ&K till now. The tourism industry also did not flourish in IOJ&K due to massive use of brutal forces by Indian security forces. Since decades Kashmiri people were kept away from political, cultural and economic effects of globalization. Even many Kashmiris were abandoned to travel internationally. They were not given a voice at international forums to present their case and still, they are unable to get their right of self-determination.
The people of IOJ&K are facing major human rights deadlock since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A in August 2019 by the Indian government. India changed the special status of IOJ&K and also split the state into two Union Territories. The Indian government has never let the paradise to become a part of globe but currently, it completely made IOJ&K a purgatory for its residence by imposing a curfew. Since then all the communication and transportation means are blocked by the Indian government. The mobile networks are jammed, the internet services are terminated, people are locked to their homes and there is no connection to the outer world. It is reported that over 20 lakh prepaid mobile SIMs and other internet services were deactivated. The government has executed an exceptional lockdown on the valley even there is lack of access for foreign envoys and media in the disputed region. The blackout of all communication lines and mobile phone connectivity has postured big problems in the daily life of Kashmiris for over 180 days.
Moreover, social media is now one of the major tools of global connectivity but Kashmiris are deliberately kept away from the social media under increasing pressure of Indian government. For example, Facebook has removed dozens of posts related to Kashmiri separatist militants killed by the Indian Army. It also deleted the accounts of academicians and journalists over posting about recent issues in the IOJ&K. Many Kashmiris also disappeared from WhatsApp and Twitter suspended many of pro-Kashmir accounts on demand of the Indian government. Pakistan took notice of this by complaining to Twitter, Facebook over the suspension of pro-Kashmir accounts and demanded the reopening of social media for the people of IOJ&K.
On the other hand, International government and non-governmental organizations, international civil society networks, neoliberal forces which are real proponents of globalization seem silent over the situation in IOJ&K. The only limited response seen from international institutions is on request of Pakistan. Since the beginning of the recent crisis in IOJ&K Pakistan tried to advocate the issue in front of global liberal forces like the United Nations for its solution. It also raised voice for it at different forums but till now many states are not accepting it as a global issue which may affect the world in future.
The recent crisis in IOJ&K made it clear that the drivers of globalization are bounded by state orders and cannot work beyond the applied limitations by states. It is up to states whether they allow forces of globalization to affect them or they can stop these forces for their interests. The situation and solution of IOJ&K is a challenge and responsibility for interconnected liberal global world respectively, as the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that “Each additional second on the curfew clock is a burden on the world’s collective conscience.”
—The author is Assistant Professor of International Relations at NUML, Islamabad.