Its striking beauty is not the only thing that hits you when you visit Kashmir valley.
During two decades of anti-India revolt, Kashmir has lost tens of thousands of people, property worth billions of dollars and much more.
A suicide bomber has struck in Pakistani Kashmir killing two soldiers in what is said to be the first such attack in the Himalayan region. The attacker targeted military barracks, which raises the question whether Pakistan’s Islamist militants are opening a new front just as they come under pressure in the northwest.
After India’s ruling Congress party won a decisive victory, Kashmir’s main separatist alliance urged New Delhi to resolve the decades-old dispute over the Himalayan region.
from Photographers' Blog:
During nearly two decades of violent Kashmir conflict, I have covered fierce gun battles, between Indian soldiers and Muslim militants, suicide bombings, rebel attacks, massacres, protests, mayhem, violent elections and disasters.
Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, is visiting India for a second time in seven weeks. But what has surprised many is the timing of the trip, coming as it does at a time when India is preparing for a general election and most government business is virtually on hold.Though India is not part of Holbrooke’s remit, New Delhi’s engagement is imperative for any effort to stabilise the so-called Af-Pak region.But that hardly explains the visit now, considering that he could expect to do little business with a “lame duck government” in New Delhi.So why is he coming now?Many Indian analysts believe that keeping India and Kashmir out of Holbrooke’s brief was a way of Washington massaging New Delhi’s ego.In reality, though, they say India is very much part of Holbrooke’s mandate because Pakistan wants a solution to disputed Kashmir as an element of any regional peace efforts — a demand Washington can hardly ignore if it expects Pakistan’s cooperation.An Indian analyst here says Holbrooke is using the interregnum to show his turf includes India.So if it is impossible to disentangle Kashmir from any effort to win Pakistani cooperation to stabilise Afghanistan, where does that leave India-U.S relations?
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reports from Washington that the United States is seeking fundamental change in Pakistan: it wants Pakistan, presumably the military most of all, to stop thinking of India as the enemy.