Tuesday, August 20, 2019
By Likhitha Butchireddygari
Companies are restructuring their compensation and benefits packages to attract these qualified women.This year is shaping up to be the first year that women make up the majority of the college-educated labor force, a milestone that is already altering benefits packages offered by companies and one that could influence family sizes in the future.
Women make up only 46.6% of the overall labor force, but they first reached 45% of the college-educated labor force at the turn of the century. Since 2013, the female share of college-educated workers has been around the 49% mark, with 2019 being the year that women cross into a very slight majority. Nicole Smith, chief economist at Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, said this development overall is a positive one.
By HASAN ALHASANThe unfolding situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where India’s Hindu nationalist government has abruptly ended the state’s autonomous status, puts the Arab Gulf states’ balancing act in South Asia to the test. By raising tensions with Pakistan and increasing the likelihood of a local insurgency breaking out, India has created a zero-sum situation for the Gulf states. While Pakistan is likely to interpret neutrality as an implicitly pro-Indian position, India would probably react vociferously against any foreign pressure on what it considers to be an internal Indian affair.
The fate of Jammu and Kashmir currently hangs in the balance. The federal government has revoked the state’s autonomous status under Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, turning it instead into two union territories controlled by the central government. In anticipation of large-scale violence, the central government has arrested the state’s elected officials and deployed tens of thousands of paramilitary troops. Phone and Internet services have also been suspended, in effect isolating Jammu and Kashmir from the rest of the world.
Historically, Pakistan could count on near-unanimous support among the Arab and Muslim-majority states for its position on Kashmir. Since its creation during the Cold War in 1969, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has served as a platform for pro-Western Pakistan to rally Arab and Muslim support against Soviet-aligned India on Kashmir. Even after the Cold War ended, the Arab Gulf states continued to condemn India’s heavy-handed response to growing insurgency and to advocate for Kashmir’s right to self-determination. In 1994, for instance, Saudi Arabia co-sponsored a Pakistani resolution on Kashmir at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, illustrating the extent of the Gulf states’ support for Pakistan.
By Walter Russell Mead
New Delhi is a major trading partner and powerful friend in a dangerous region.The Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed a unique status in predominantly Hindu India for more than 70 years. No more. Both houses of the Indian Parliament have approved legislation to divide Kashmir into two “union territories” and allow non-Kashmiri Indians to move freely into the region, open businesses and buy land. Many Kashmiris fear the result will be a wave of migration that ends any hope of Kashmiri independence or autonomy.
Pakistan, which has fought three wars with India over Kashmir, reacted with rage, but it isn’t getting much support from its purported Muslim allies in the Persian Gulf region. As hundreds of Kashmiri intellectuals, journalists and activists were arrested, and as telephone and internet service to much of the state was cut, Saudi Aramco announced a $15 billion investment in an Indian oil company. On Sunday evening, after stone-throwing crowds confronted security forces in Srinagar, Kashmir’s capital, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United Arab Emirates next week to receive the country’s highest civilian honor. From the U.A.E., he will travel to Bahrain on the first-ever visit to that country by a sitting Indian prime minister.
Civil libertarians and human-rights activists in India and around the world have condemned the crackdown in Kashmir, but a recent opinion poll found 57% of Indians wanted Kashmir to lose its special status. Sixty-five percent said they thought Mr. Modi could solve the Kashmir problem in five years.
In a previously scheduled visit to New Delhi to attend this weekend’s annual India-U.S. Forum sponsored by the Ananta Centre (which also paid my travel expenses), I heard worries but few regrets from well-connected Indians in government, business and the academy. People told me that for decades, India has been lavishing money on Kashmir, but the money has gone nowhere. The Kashmiri economy is a disaster, the radicalization of unemployed and underemployed young people continues to worsen, and Pakistan has no interest in helping to stabilize the situation. Yes, I heard from many Indians, the new policy is risky and could set off another round of violence, but what are the alternatives?
Many hope that if Kashmir is opened to more Indian investment, the economy will grow, young people will have better things to think about than jihad, and the political culture will become less inward-looking and more open to participation in the broader life of India.
Meanwhile, I was told, Indian security forces have become much more sophisticated when it comes to identifying the areas and families from which many of the security threats emerge. By concentrating the efforts of the security forces and law enforcement on a relatively limited high-risk population, Indian policy makers hope to reduce both the danger of terrorism and the impact of counterterrorism activities on everyday life.Perhaps. Estimates vary, but tens of thousands of people have died in Kashmir since resistance to Indian rule exploded into violence in the 1980s. Anticipating another round of violence, Indian authorities have shut down the region, closing schools and government offices and imposing curfews. Indian authorities had hoped to begin easing restrictions this weekend, but in the face of mounting protests and confrontations between security forces and stone-throwing crowds, many restrictions remain in place.
Critics worry that more violence in Kashmir will exacerbate sectarian violence across the subcontinent. Lynchings and mob attacks on minority religious communities, Christians included, have increased in India, and local officials haven't always been zealous in bringing perpetrators to justice.
That may not affect India’s relations with the hardened realpolitikers of the Gulf. As Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar reminds visitors, the economic ties between India and the Gulf are deep. Of India’s 10 largest trading partners, three are Gulf states. Roughly two-thirds of India’s energy imports come from Gulf nations, and more than half of India’s remittances come from workers there. As a growing market for Arab oil and gas, as a source of highly trained and competent personnel, and as a friendly country with a powerful military and a strong interest in geopolitical stability, India is a valuable neighbor in a dangerous part of the world.
From one angle, the willingness of the Gulf states to overlook Kashmir in dealing with India, or the Xinjiang internment camps when dealing with China, looks cynical. Yet pragmatism also has its virtues. That India and the Gulf states are setting religious and cultural differences aside to build partnerships based on common interests isn’t the worst thing that could happen in the region. Too much moral righteousness in international politics often leads to fanaticism and conflict—though too little integrity can lead to the corruption and oppression out of which new conflicts arise.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ex-wife claimed that he knew beforehand about India’s plans to abolish the autonomy of Kashmir and even tried to negotiate a “deal” with New Delhi.
Earlier this month, India revoked the decades-old self-governing status of the Jammu and Kashmir state, part of the disputed Kashmir region that it has controlled since the late 1940s. Pakistan, which considers the whole of Kashmir to be its territory, heavily criticized the move, and vowed to seek support at the UN.
Imran Khan’s ex-wife, Reham, now claims that the prime minister had known about New Delhi’s plans to strip Kashmir of its autonomy and even attempted to make a “deal” with Indian leader Narendra Modi.
“I would say that Kashmir has been sold off,” she said on Tuesday, as quoted by the New Indian Express. A British-Pakistani journalist and author, Reham Khan was married to Imran for 10 months in 2015.
Your PM Imran Khan, the day he was to give a policy statement [on Kashmir], he got up to say, ‘I knew he [Modi] was going to do this,’” Reham Khan alleged in an interview. “Imran said, ‘I knew this when I met him in Bishkek [during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization event in June] and he was rude to me.’”
And when you knew all this, and did nothing, then it means that you are incapable of doing anything, or you are very weak.
It is not the first time that Reham Khan has criticized her former husband. In a June interview with newspaper the Hindu, the journalist called Imran Khan “the ideal puppet” of the military, who “has no knowledge of a lot of complex issues.” Last year, she authored a controversial tell-all memoir, containing multiple salacious claims about Imran Khan’s political and personal life.
Indian PM Modi has defended his government’s decision to strip Kashmir of its special status, pledging to restore the region to its “past glory” with “more and more development.” Pakistan, meanwhile, believes India’s decision violates international law and will even result in "ethnic cleansing."