By Bilal Hafeez 21-08-2019

Kashmir Is the 72-Year ‘Wound’ between India and Pakistan (Deep Dish on Global Affairs, 29 mins)

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(You can listen to the podcast by clicking here)

We recently observed Prime Minister Modi and his government’s historic announcement to alter the Indian Constitution and diminish Kashmir’s autonomy. In this podcast, Nisid Hajari from Bloomberg and academic Paul Stainland analyse the possible motives behind this change and its implications: the possibility of renewed insurgency in the region, civil unrest, and a US and global foreign policy response – something that so far seems subdued. Although recent increased development and investment in the region seems to be one of the main official reasons for the change, the extent of its success remains to be seen given that countrywide private investment is at a 14-year low. On the topic of India’s development, another insightful podcast that caught our eye interviews the former head of India’s central bank, Raghuram Rajan. He believes India’s hope to reach a large middle-income class similar to China’s lies in massive private sector expansion to create new wealth and the involvement of smaller communities in policy making.

Why does this matter? India needs to grow by at least 9% per year to reach Modi’s aim of making it a $5 trillion economy by 2025, and Kashmir expanded by 11% last year. The appeal for greater control is clear, therefore, but we see escalating tensions leading to further violence between Pakistan and India, hampering the already fragile development in the region. We also see issues with the predictions of 7.5% GDP growth for this year, given the local bank’s unwillingness to lend, a property crisis, and suffering consumerconfidence.

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