One year ago today, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind formally revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution which protected Kashmir’s special status. Indian security forces imposed a curfew on Kashmir in order to dissuade protests and unrest.
Both Pakistan and many human rights groups reacted with outrage. When I visited Islamabad last year, electronic billboards ticked off the days, hours, and minutes since India had imposed a curfew, never mind the hypocrisy of Pakistan as it did the same to Gilgit-Baltistan as it accused India of doing to Kashmir. Meanwhile, overt politicization of human rights groups and their consistent refusal to recognize that an end to terrorism is a precursor to rights improvement blunted their moral authority.
India’s actions did not arise from a vacuum. Prior to India’s decision to change Kashmir’s status, Pakistan-based terrorists regularly crossed into Kashmir and India more broadly to attack both security and government officials and ordinary civilians.