India Insight

Kashmir marks 20 years of conflict, peace still distant

January 25, 2010

A policeman walks behind a razor wire fence near the venue of India's Republic Day celebrations in Srinagar January 25, 2010. REUTERS/Fayaz KabliOne of the world’s longest-running separatist insurgencies, one that has killed tens of thousands of people in Kashmir, completed two decades last month.

The strife-torn region witnessed a period of relative calm, but a recent spate of rebel attacks is a grim reminder of the tensions in Kashmir at the heart of enmity between nuclear-armed neighbours India and Pakistan.

A series of skirmishes across Kashmir’s border between the South Asian rivals, which claim the disputed region in full but rule in parts, also underline decades of mistrust between two countries which have fought two wars over the region.

With diplomatic limbo between India and Pakistan and stalled peace talks between New Delhi and region’s separatists, peace seems a distant dream.

Yasin Malik, one of Kashmir’s most influential separatist leaders, recently told Reuters in an interview that the region risks a return to militancy and violent protests if India fails to push a stalled peace process.

After two decades of campaign, little headway is visible for resolution of Kashmir which New Delhi calls the crown of India, while for Islamabad it is Pakistan’s jugular vein.

“For God’s sake, don’t give our next generation a sense of defeat. If you are giving them a sense of defeat, you are pushing them for another revolution,” Malik told BBC.

It’s again an uneasy time in Kashmir, stunningly beautiful but one of the world’s most militarized regions.

Increase in rebel incursions into Kashmir from Pakistan, near daily gun battles, anti-India protests and rights violations allegedly by security forces: is this a re-run of 1989?

Is Kashmir, a near-forgotten conflict, spinning off into another 20 years of violence?

Comments
37 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Yes unfortunately, kashmir is spinning off into another long round of violence and it is because of Indian high headedness and stubborness.

Posted by saqlain | Report as abusive
 

In the real world it is our own leaders who are occupying us. They will continue even when we get freedom from India & Pakistan. Faces may change but reality will be same, corrupt leaders will continue ruling us. We the people of Kashmir have to change. That will be the only victory we should be looking for.
Yes I strongly believe that we are occupied by India & Pakistan (partly China) But the problem is actualy much bigger than that.

Posted by JohnNasir | Report as abusive
 

Yasin Malik is a puppet of the Pak establishment. His words do not count as far as India is concerned. We do not expect him to talk anything that would please India. If he is hinting at violence, then that has already been planned by his masters in Islamabad.

Pakistan wants only one solution to Kashmir – it be separated from India. It does not matter to them if they merge with Pakistan or stays separate. Either way they’d get to control Kashmir by remote control. Pakistan only wants a Kashmir solution that will make it even with the separation of East Pakistan. It has tried hard to induce a genocide by the Indian military in Kashmir and it has not materialized. But the propaganda machinery has been kept loud to announce it. So far no refugee exodus has happened from Kashmir into Pakistan, like it did in the case of East Pakistan. So Pakistan is rattling the place harder and harder to induce some kind of action by India in Kashmir or against Muslims in India.

The problem seems to be that of Pakistan’s very existence. Unfortunately, right from the beginning, Pakistani leaders have settled on India-centric policies for their nation’s existence and have created a paranoia of threat from India to that existence. And Kashmir has been a political pawn to sustain that belief.

If Kashmir had been settled way back in the early days, Pakistan would still be trying to rattle India as there is no other agenda for establishing themselves as a nation. Right now Pakistan wants to get out of the hot seat and shift its troubles elsewhere desperately. Kashmir is a boon for them. If they can transfer all the Jihadis that the US wants them to eliminate to Kashmir and foment more trouble there, Pakistan get a lot from the US on one side and play their game in Kashmir at the same time.

Kashmiri independence is a myth. Pakistan will never let these people live in peace, whether they remain as a separate country or not. Pakistan needs Kashmir for its own survival. They will just keep the trouble there alive as much they could in order to milk the ignorant Western powers.

India has faced them for the past 20 years. I am sure they can keep engaging them for another twenty. If Kashmirs really want a way out of it, there is only one way – turn against Pakistan and push their militants back. So far Kashmiris have fought the Indian military with no success. If they redirect their efforts at Pak militants and their sponsors, may be they can get to breathe easy. Taking on India is a wrong strategy. Afghanistan has slipped out of Pakistan’s control. Otherwise this proxy war could have intensified. That is why Pakistan is desperately trying to push India out of there, citing fake terrorist sponsorship claims.

India will not let go of Kashmir and if Pakistan demands it, the grip will tighten even more. So Kashmiris have to look at the reality and change their tactics. Relying on Pakistan will lead to nowhere. Ask the Americans and they will tell you a lot more.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

Dear Sheikh Mushtaq,
You missed some very important facts about Kashmir:

1. Kashmir never belonged to Pakistan and will never belong to them
2. Yasin Malik is a paid agent of ISI, Pakistan, and not a genuine Indian citizen. Hence, his opinion does not count.
3. It is untrue that the two countries fought over Kashmir. Pakistan attacked India and India tried to protect itself.
4. Please try to be impartial in future. Thanks,

Posted by TheObserver001 | Report as abusive
 

I think India was and never will be serious enough to solve the dispute with pakistan because India does not really accept the existence of Pakistan as an independent nation. Pakistan on the other hand is struggling with its own internal problems. The Kashmir issue is delibrately allowed to linger because both India and Pakistan need to blame each and kashmir issue provides them the perfect opportunity

Posted by yasir_mahajan | Report as abusive
 

I am sure Kashmir will take this struggle to its logical end. It is question of time factor and how long India will keep people of Kashmir with them at gun point. Sanity will prevail upon them to pave way for Kashmir resolution.

Posted by Imi | Report as abusive
 

I think yes kashmir is heading towards a another round of deadly insurgency. But India which believes in delay tactics will pay a heavy price this time. And the next round will be decisive. I hope Indian leaders realise the intensity of the situation and address the issue as early as possible.
some comments suggest that kashmir is integral part of India which is not a fact. Kashmir is world recognised dispute and time is not far away when it will be addressed.

Posted by drshugufta | Report as abusive
 

in a conflict torn place — like Kashmir — people have never been given a right to decode theri fate. At the time of partition, we were promised by the “Largest democarcy” to be given a chance to decide our fiture, and now they try to bury the concept in oblivion.
It does not blong to either India or Pakistan, rather it is something entirely associated with the people of Kashmir. I fail to understand why are other people involved in our problem. We should, instead, be given a chance to deceide our future — to choose either complete Freedom or Pakistan or India.

Posted by iqbal123 | Report as abusive
 

Kashmir will continue to bleed as long as India and Pakistan hostality continues. Indian Troops continue attrocities in Kashmir and Pakistanis send more and more militants to the valley with the result in more and more bloodshed. Nobobdy listens to the people who have suffered lot in past twenty years.

Posted by kuku11 | Report as abusive
 

I would strongly recommend “Faultline Kashmir” by Christopher Thomas to understand the conflict and differentiate between the perpetrators and the victims of this tragedy.

He makes one very telling point – “Kashmir is not the cause of Indo-Pakistan conflict but the means.” In his view there are no winners here…

As for India – “To give up Kashmir would be to deny that Muslims can live peacefully and without discrimination in secular India……This idea of communal live and let live, although betrayed by Hindu extremists, underpins the essential morality of the Indian State and its secular constitution.”

“Pakistan has lost because it is bankrupt, in no small measure because of its vast military expenditure. It has lost, too, because it shattered its own democracy in pursuit of military objectives in Kashmir………The passions over Kashmir blinded Pakistan to the insanity of what it was doing.”

When one ponders over this, the real tragedy comes to the fore – the average Kashmiri is sandwiched between a rock and a hard place.

One may agree or disagree, but his views and analysis are worth considering dispassionately.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive
 

No one talks about liberation of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. May be that is where we should start. Since Pakistanis have been demanding a plebiscite, let them conduct it there first under UN supervision. If the people of Azad Kashmir vote to be independent, that will be egg on Pakistani establishment’s face. Since Pakistan is doing all the demanding, let them take the first step of granting full independence to Azad Kashmir and pull all their troops from there. Then the ball will be in India’s court and international pressure can definitely be applied on India to follow the moral principles just demonstrated by Pakistan. India is happy with Kashmir within its borders. If Pakistan is unhappy with it, then they have no right to keep Azad Kashmir with them. By granting them independence, all terrorist training camps there can be dismantled and done away with. Peace will return to Kashmir and then we can stage the next plebiscite in Indian occupied Kashmir. If you demand fairness from Indians, then be fair yourself first.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive
 

It is unfortunate that the Kashmir Issue has not been settled once and for ever. Both Pakistan and India is to be blamed and to some extent China as well due to its high stakes on some areas which is bordering to China. I am 100% sure that if this issue is resolved 90% hardliners would not have any cause left for them to wage Jihad type of activities across the border. This will also bring an end to some so called Political Parties whose bread and butter is attached to this issue. If India shows a Big Heart on this issue, I am sure things would take a U turn in building a Very Good Relationship between the two countries and which is also the need of both countries when it comes to economic gains and brotherly understandings. I hope good sense will prevail because enough is enough, only people are suffering.

Posted by Aftab68 | Report as abusive
 

Kashmir was an independent country even before India and Pakistan were. To say that Kahsmir is a part of India is a claim that no one in Kashmir is ready to accept. If India is sincere in its claim that people are with India, then why is it hesitant to allow a referendum in the state. What about the promises of right to self determination made by Nehru in the United Nations, What about the 2008 masive pro-freedom protests when you own “intellectuals” called for liberation of Kashmir, what about the martrydom of one lakh people, who were ready to die to break the shackles of occupation… Common Indians, accept the reality. Your politicians and media is keeping you in dark for their own gains. Stand-up, otherwise you wiill definitely stand but then India would be no more than Delhi and its periphery. Choice is yours….

Posted by Muslim | Report as abusive
 

Millitancy would never die in Kashmir as long as the overall sentiment is pro freedom. It is the need of the hour that India considers this reality geunuinely. Besides if India considers Kashmir as its integral part and is confident that its people are with the Union, then why not to have a referendum. The move would not only be democratic but would also silent all the voices of dissent. If the dissent is small then there would be no problem for India as overall referendum would be in its favor. But if the dissent is large enough against India then in this age when India considers itself biggest democracy, holding a 1 million population by force should be enough for the world community to understand the policies of India.

Posted by lone | Report as abusive
 

Yes unfortunately, kashmir is spinning off into another long round of violence. all thanks to the indian assurances of more human right abuses…(cynical)

Posted by true112 | Report as abusive
 

asurance in words is easier than practical enforcement. there have been lot of roun table confrences so ffar…. only for money…. i believe that any sensible person will be fed up of it now…. how many chances do the countries need??? he who suffers knows what he is suffering from…. rest others can easily give assurance…. its just protecting the 5 year terms of govt…. i think it seems like fave year plan which changes avery five year as the govt canges…

Posted by ahtishaan11 | Report as abusive
 

i feel that this time there is some seriousness about the talks…. although we dont know who is talking and what he is talking. lets watch for the results. but definately if it fails this time there will a change….. as i guess

Posted by moon55 | Report as abusive
 

this time it is something old being done in new way… i hope that no furtheur new way is required and it gets final this time…. tired of it now…. both. talks and insurgency

Posted by shanny | Report as abusive
 

Bad…. the govt themselves lack a political consensus… here the rule is whatever the rulling party decides that has to be opposed. i m reffering to justice sageer report. all that i can make out is…. it was never really framed after total consensus….. it has been brought out in a hurry just to appease the ruling National conference… so that they support the quiet talks….. someone plz tell our illeterate leaders that the literacy rate is climbing…. so we ppl can also think….. this episode gives me a sense that all is a drama…. the talks in this manner will fail…. and ppl will come to knw truth that all is done just one sided… and ultimately force ppl to pick up guns again….. its better to get killed with gun in hand facing a gun of police…. rather than get killed with stone in hand and police having guns….. let them also face bullets instead of stones

Posted by emm99 | Report as abusive
 

I think India was and never will be serious enough to solve the dispute with pakistan because India does not really accept the existence of Pakistan as an independent nation. The Kashmir issue is delibrately allowed to linger because both India and Pakistan need to blame each and kashmir issue provides them the perfect opportunity.I belive that kashimr issue will not get solved until US wants it to be.

Posted by sakib123 | Report as abusive
 

i see no solution to kashmir dispute.India, Pakistan and Separatists all together will never want to resolve this issue.Kashmir conflict is a money minting machine for everybody..be it politicians, Yasin Malik or Geelani Sb.

Posted by Nuzhat | Report as abusive
 

@We should, instead, be given a chance to deceide our future — to choose either complete Freedom or Pakistan or India.”
Posted by iqbal123

–Solution will happen and is not that easy as it seems but pleasing everyone will be impossible. I do not see that any time people of Kashmir (in Indian and POK) will be given a chance to decide the future. Lots of reason–foremost is structure of J&K and demography change since “largest democracy” promised something along those lines. Solution will be decided by Indian and Pakistani leaders in some consultation with Kashmiri leaders. Now the question you should be asking is what kind of leaders represent you? If I am a Kashmiri I will be worried for the kind of leaders there. Hardly ever I have seen Kashmiri leaders successfully pressurizing India and Pakistan to table not have they made attempts to ease tensions between the two.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

yes mr.sheikh it seems that peace is a distant reality…but it is not that simplistic as it seems .see the leader u qoted is product of circumstance and agencies.see kashmir is at forefront of geopolitics with central asia as key to future resources and neighbouring china as world economic power house ; will not see trouble in its backyard as its western province is cultary & historically part of central asia.even it would have been prudent for india & pak. to solve kashmir issue by mutual; justified & comphrensive manner
rather getting trapped in great games. kashmiris have been worst sufferers of instability & uncertainty at hands of both countries

Posted by waleekamil | Report as abusive
 

“For God’s sake, don’t give our next generation a sense of defeat. If you are giving them a sense of defeat, you are pushing them for another revolution,” Malik told BBC

fortunately or unfortunately india is giving our (kashmiri) young blood a sense of defeat and is forcing them to take arms again because they want to show there was never a peace like situation in kashmir and kashmiri’s only understand the language of guns and blood.Besides india there are other organisations and parties also who add fuel to this conflict because they get their profit from deteriorating the condition more and more.

Posted by saimabhat | Report as abusive
 

all this is a good timepass for everyone…. only kashmiri locals are suffering except few….

Posted by true112 | Report as abusive
 

it was not as complex as it has been turned into….. the longer the time, more complex it will get…… some points that have been drafted at the time of partition make the resolution so simple. i fail to understand why india never speaks about that…. till all aspirations of common ppl are met….. this will never stop. politicians or seperatists are not getting killed. but common people

Posted by emm99 | Report as abusive
 

Kashmir insurgency is a big business now, for Indian troops as well as separatist leaders. both warring factions do not want any solution or end to the dispute because they are earning livelihood out of this tragedy. If Pakistan stops financial help to separatists and India reigns its corrupt security and police officials, it may stop otherwise bloodshed will continue.

Posted by gul11 | Report as abusive
 

The biggest problem is there is no leader in kashmir. Has a leader ever push India and Pak for talks on the issue? Talks happen when India and Pak want.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

it seems peace is adistant dream due to the present geopolitical reality i.e central asia with burning afgan land..strategicaly located and demographically diverse erstwhile princely state of J&K seems again at forefront of larger issue of stability and security of whole central and south asia.it would be prudent for india & pak to solve kashmir issue,new ideas at earliest without being trapped in history or great games .mr. sheikh the leader you qoted is product of circumstance and uncertainty created in J&K by both indian and pakistani and etc. agencies…mr.sheikh recent china’s incursions & deliberate visa row complicates kasmir situation…but i am optimistic ,sometimes what happens when a single knot opens whole mess gets cleared; so will happen with kashmir problem as a just solution will emerge???

Posted by walee | Report as abusive
 

The recent attacks have made people to think,people like yasin malik have either warned or welcome a similar situation like it began but participation of locals is important and the way they participate in it, lure for money weak analysis of the situation, yasin malik would have himself taken up the gun but he is presuming a situation,so i think there is nothing real huge to bother about, the political approach has just begun with new delhi talking on issues like autonomy and talks with people like yasin malik.On the internatinal level pakistan is itself facing great trouble with militancy or terrorism the aspect it wants to choose for they are being accused in assisting such attacks,i believe kashmiris believe in peace while demonstration is there right whether under the indian constitution or they believe its is a stronger form of bringing there issue in eyes of those who are denying them the right to live by there choices.

Posted by adeelshafi | Report as abusive
 

The independence of Jammu and Kashmir from India is not going to happen, no matter what level of insurgency there is. That’s reality.

And if they did end up leaving, the most the Kashmiris will get is the valley, and that’s it. The rest of the state which is far quieter will remain in Indian hands.

Kashmiris who talk of independence should keep this in mind. The choice is between a J&K that’s united now or a tiny independent country (due to be absorbed into Pakistan) centred around the valley.

On the Pakistani side, they won’t even allow the topic of independence to come up. The ISI will take care of Pakistani Kashmiris that dream of a united Kashmir not under Pakistan’s thumb.

And that’s what makes for a bleak future. The only way out for Kashmiris to stop the violence in India and push the Indian government for open borders with Pakistan that will facilitate interactions in their community, across the border.

Posted by kEiThZ | Report as abusive
 

Situation in kashmir is very tense .youth are ready to pick the arms ,it is secondary question does they win or loose? ,but blood would be all around .world leaders should interfere for the just solution of kashmir conflict.

Posted by sgm | Report as abusive
 

Any and every conflict or dispute irrespective of its magnitude needs sincerity from all parties concerned to solve it . Unfortunately for kashmir there is no trace of it anywhere . Malik’s and geelani’s need to learn soon that unless we incalculate discipline and sincerity into our struggle it remains to be political frustration which is leading us into self destruction and certainly not towards realisation of our dream “AZADI”.

Posted by Umer.Asim | Report as abusive
 

Pakistani Army and civilian governments are insincere about terrorism and peace. The PA and Civilian governments just do not grasp the basic concept of two opposing forces, on one hand they encourage rooting out of terrorism on the wester side of Pakistan and within, but in Kashmir, they encourage it, against India.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-mat rix/archives/2010/02/hafiz_saeed_preache s_jihad_in.php

The Indians need to build forward U.S. military bases in Kashmir, if the U.S. chooses that to house their drones. I do think that the Pak establishment will think twice of fomenting Kashmiri militants to attack American interests.

It is time perhaps to bring the U.S. military, heavily into Kashmir and let them Drone all terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which has been used for a politically motivated false jihad to grab Indian land and terrorism against Indians and the world.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@Keithz,

As I said before, if India, foolishly ever gave away Kashmir to Pakistan, Pakistani Army will move in, setup shop and begin systematic liquidation of all non-muslims and begin the next chapter in their dreams of ethnic cleansing genocide and holocaust against non-muslims.

Once the terrorism in Pakistan and all extremism is gone, one day that will happen, perhaps 50 years into the future, it would be time to start dismantling the Pakistani Army and get those useless troublemakers farming and growing food.

Posted by G-W | Report as abusive
 

@GW:

@It is time perhaps to bring the U.S. military, heavily into Kashmir and let them Drone all terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which has been used for a politically motivated false jihad to grab Indian land and terrorism against Indians and the world.
Posted by G-W

GW: U.S. military is not a solution. It is trouble. I doubt their sincerity if you remember how insincere these guys have been to their own soldiers, allies soldiers and WOT in general. period. If they are not sincere to their own cause, they can never be sincere for India’s.

What US could not do on the Western border of Pakistan, it cannot do on the Eastern border. Also, would that not join all the terrorists in the region against India. If Pakistan is getting suicide bombed, imagine what they will do to India. So far India has escaped suicide bombings.

recent example of US failure in Afghanistan (reasons not withstanding) tells that brute force alone is no solution. If US negotiates with Taliban now, it had much better chance after 9/11 when Pakistan was also worried for its survival and Taliban had lot at stake. Now both Taliban and Pakistan has gotten away. Drones killing TTP chiefs is not worth the investment. Another leader has filled the position.

Solution is arm twisting of Pakistan via economic sanctions and put the life of PA generals at stake so that they worry their life than saving terrorists. Pakistan today is susceptible and if US cannot handle it now it can never do that.

Posted by RajeevK | Report as abusive
 

The trouble is with the Indian Government being too soft and never strong enough to take on the terrorists. We need to go across the line of control and blast the hell out of the terrorist camps in Pakistan Occupied kashmir. Kashmir issue is not Muslim-Hindu issue. In a secular society we do not divide the land based on religion, caste or creed. US government has never been an honest broker. It is still carrying on the Cold War mind set and pouring economic and military help to Pakestan. These funds help Pak to keep sprouting newer and more deadly terrorist outfits. Just like Talibal and Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Pakistan is going to bite USA too. One of these days US will wake up when it will be too late. US should get together with India ans annihilate the menace of Pakistan once and for all. Withour exterminating Pak world terrorism will grow leaps and bounds.

Posted by udayagnihotri | Report as abusive
 

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