Kashmir’s long road ahead

January 2, 2009

After India last held state elections in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002, the Kashmir Valley witnessed a period of relative peace only to see it shattered when plans to give land to Hindu pilgrims triggered the biggest protests since the Kashmir separatist revolt erupted in 1989.

The latest elections – which produced a turnout of more than 60 percent despite a boycott call by separatists and ushered in a new state government led by Omar Abdullah – have provided a second chance to change the mood in the volatile Kashmir Valley. But do India and Pakistan, and the Kashmiris themselves, have the ability to turn this second chance into a real opportunity for peace?

Despite the outrage over the Mumbai attacks, blamed by India on Pakistan-based militants, there are some promising signs. The elections were remarkable for the fact that armed separatists based in Pakistani-held Kashmir made no attempt to disrupt the campaign, as they did during the previous polls in 2002. If Indian assertions are correct that the Pakistani security establishment controls the level of armed separatist activity in Kashmir, then the absence of violence would not have been possible without the active cooperation of Pakistan – a factor acknowledged by The Hindu in an editorial

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has spoken repeatedly of the need to make peace with India, including over Kashmir (as discussed here, herehere and here) and despite widespread scepticism in India that his views are shared by the powerful Pakistan Army, Pakistan does seem to have delivered in keeping the militants at bay during the elections.

Meanwhile trade between the Indian and Pakistan-held parts of the divided former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir has continued even through the heights of the post-Mumbai tensions

And perhaps one of the more promising signs is that Indian newspaper columnists have been careful on the whole to avoid any hint of triumphalism in proclaiming the high turnout an endorsement of Indian rule, suggesting that New Delhi may have learned the lessons of last year’s land protests – that peace in Kashmir cannot be taken for granted.

Instead columnists stress the long road ahead in bringing any kind of normality to the state.  (The political parties which fought in the elections made a point of trying to delink Kashmir’s status from the polls, running their campaigns instead on issues of governance.)

In the Hindustan Times, columnist Prem Shankar Jha analyses the voting patterns across the state and concludes that behind the overall high turnout there were still strong pockets of resistance, particularly in the Kashmiri capital Srinagar. ”The voting pattern shows that ‘separatism’ has not died, but become more localised,” he writes. ”While the government has been congratulating itself in the jump in the turnout in Srinagar from barely 5 per cent in 2002 to 20 per cent this year, it has  chosen to forget that in a truly free and contested election, such as that of 1983, the turnout in the city was over 80 per cent,” he adds. ”The abstention is significant because except in China nearly every successful rebellion has begun in the cities and has been led by precisely the kind of people who remain alienated today.”

Writing in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, Indian journalist Kuldip Nayar says the elections offer a new opportunity to hammer out a solution in Kashmir which is acceptable to India, Pakistan and Kashmir.  However, he adds that ”New Delhi would be deluding itself if it believes in the aftermath of the elections that it can arrive at a settlement without the separatists,” and urges both India and Pakistan to provide greater autonomy to the parts of the former kingdom under their control. “Without doubt, the Kashmiris want to have an identity of their own,” he says.

So what are the pitfalls ahead?

The Arab News highlights the risk of communal discord following a strong showing in the elections by the hardline Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) in Jammu, the Hindu-dominated part of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.  Any increase in Hindu-Muslim tensions would provide fresh fuel to the militants, just as support for the armed separatist movement appeared to be waning, it said. “The lesson for India — and Pakistan — surely has to be that Kashmir is put into cold storage as an issue on which they are prepared to fight a war. The minute they commit themselves to that, the militants have lost their greatest weapon. ”

The Economist calls the elections “a good vote in the angry valley”  but warns that India should not be lulled into thinking that Kashmiris had been won over to Indian rule. ”Many Kashmiris, as the recent protests served to re-emphasise, are deeply unhappy to be in India,” it said.

That view is echoed by the BBC’s Andrew Whitehead, who also writes that the new government ushered in by the elections will find it hard to convince Kashmiris that their grievances can be addressed through local politics until relations between India and Pakistan are repaired following the Mumbai attacks

Kashmir has always been unpredictable, and remains a tinderbox vulnerable to any sparks coming from inside or outside the Valley. The Indian government’s long-awaited decision on whether to carry out the death sentence of Mohammad Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri convicted of involvement in an attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001, could be one of those sparks.  Many Kashmiris believe he was wrongly convicted.

And if anyone needs a reminder of the anger bubbling below the surface in India’s only Muslim-majority state, they need look no further than Friday’s protests against Israeli strikes on Gaza. At least 50 people were injured when police in Srinagar fired teargas to disperse protesters.

(Photos: National Conference leader Omar Abdullah waves to supporters/Fayaz Kabli

Kashmiris protest in Srinagar against Israeli strikes on Gaza/Fayaz Kabli)



“—for us Indians it is a part of our motherland— It’s you Pakistani’s who can do this to your own mothers when they turn unproductive , not us, we remain loving her till our last breath…”

I don’t see you fighting China to get your ‘mother’ back, I also think you are having trouble recognising your mother as you seem to have similar border disputes with all your nieghbours including Pakistan, china and Nepal.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

Even if we can convince China,pakistan and India to give away the parts of the Kashmir territory they had occupied for all these years ,it will be very hard to form a good Government for the people .If suppose kashmir is liberated in this decade, a talibaniztion is most likely to occur in the valley , seriously affecting the women’s rights .Therefore Pakistan must put its own house in order and weed out the violent fundamentalists before trying to unite the kashmiri territories..


“I don’t see you fighting China to get your ‘mother’ back,”

I don’t see any logic here .After 1947 When had India fought with Pakistan to get the rest of Kashmir , so it can also pick up a fight with China .India had always shown restraint in dealing with disputed territories. History shows only Pakistan wants to liberate kashmir desperately .Even in 1971 ,India could have occupied the rest of Kashmir when Pakistan lost at least one third of the forces ,why didn’t it do then ?..

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive

Kashmiri culture, its religion and its distance from mainland India gives it a distinct identity -somewhat similar to Bhutan or Sikkim.

How many kashmiris has a regular Indian met in his lifetime. I have met a few of them and even visited Kashmir Valley. Some of them do not like Pakistan at all. Religion alone cannot bind people from different cultures together.

I am an Indian Muslim from Middle India – I have not really jelled with them nor with a Bengali or Keralite Muslim. A Keralite christian and keralite muslim will get along fine with each other – its the same with the Kashmiris they have their own cultural tastes and habits which is far off from mainstream India.

Solution: Let Kashmir be allowed to function independently on its own but within Indian constitutional framework. We can use Sikkim as an example. If the POK (Azad Kashmir) wants to join Kashmir it should be allowed. Borders between Both Kashmirs should be open.

With regards to the Amarnath Land issue – if it was handled properly – most kashmiris wouldn’t have minded giving the land on lease basis – simply because it makes economic sense – in terms of tourist trade.

One obstacle to the solution to the Kashmiri issue is most Indians feel that they have the right to determine destiny of Kashmiris. Probably Pandit Nehru who was a Kashmiri didnt feel that way and agreed to Article 370 which is a very good deal for the Kashmiris if it is implemented in the spirit in which it was written. Currently it has been truncated to a large extent.

Posted by Rayan | Report as abusive

I’m a Kashmiri Muslim, I migrated to Bangalore for education and a job with dreams. Believe me or not, I have got almost everything what I wanted, a good education, a respectable job, and of course a good people around me.
I even went back to valley and got few of my cousins here, now everyone of us are settled down here and we are slowly rebuilding our land, homes, and business in Kashmir. Therefore, in reality i would say most of us in the Valley know that life in India is must more superior than in Pakistan. At least we have freedom to move around the country for a job and earning, I don’t think we get such freedom in Pakistan.
Please note most of the Valley people have changed our minds now to be a part of India just because some of us were are the best examples to those who live in the valley.
We at first believed in a Separate or freedom state with the help from outside, however our lives were miserable, suffering for a single meal with no business and earning, then we thought to try the other way and we are well settled now.
This is the reality. We The people of Valley were part of India and will always be a part of India.

To my fellow Kashmiris here, please open your eyes and see the reality, its been almost 25 years I migrated to south of india, and now living with a good life. My parents and relatives still live in the valley, and we are supporting them from here to rebuild our business, homes etc back, I hope sooner the valley will be opened for tourism.

Posted by Kashmiri | Report as abusive

The comparison of Jammu +Ladakh with Wales is rather frivolous. For startes Scottish people are not waging a jihad on the Welsh. Wales is far away from Scotland and there are no Scottish terrorists going around slughtering villagers sleeping in Wales.


a) If the valley is freed now taliban & other ‘non-state’ actors will occupy Kashmir.
b) India would have really occupied Kashmir during 1971 War as most of the Pakistan Army were lost in Bangladesh, however at that time even India was a little afraid about China trying to occupy Arunachal Pradesh.
Anyways, India didn’t do this. This shows the good democracy and gesture, however I do think that if such situation was at Pakistan’s hand they would have gone extra mile to do.

I would like you people to put some thoughts on the below basic questions:
1) When Pakistan has it’s own so called Kashmir (Occupied) why are they messing up life of Indian Kashmir.

2) Supporting The so called Kashmiri Freedom fighters, India doesn’t need anyone to support them, infact as far I know India is a good nation to fight for freedom (history).

3) When the voters opted for Democracy by looking into the developments happened in the valley and ousted the Boycott from the separatist groups, what’s wrong? They are expecting a good life there, and why would still Pakistan wants to mess up with Kashmir?

I think the best solution is you live in your home and Indian Kashmiris live live their home. Never mess up with each other.

Pakistan has really invested a lot in Kashmir tensions, really if they would have invested these into development of their own nation, we wouldn’t have seen them asking for IMF bailout today. Well it is evident that India has just invested a troops there and they are covered in the annual budget, nothing more, so look at the Indian economy.
I mean taking patriotically and economically are 2 faces of a coin. Well some think they are the same and commit mistakes.
It’s high time for Pakistan to stop all these activities and concentrate on its people upbringing and economic development.

Posted by Sam | Report as abusive

Myra,the Shaksgam Valley & Aksai Chin…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

—INSHALLAH! We shall have every inch of her back! What you see today as the reality is perceived by us as merely a transitory stage, do not forget we, the Indian race, have been around for thousands of years & by His Grace will outlive all temporary phases…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive


Thank you! Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bengal, even Sri-Lanka are but temporary phase, are nothing but a blink in time. The Grand Mother India is where all of their final destination is. An inclusive, secular, democratic India is where they will all be.

Even the ravaging by the British and the Moghuls and Aurangzeb, we remained peaceful and soft. Our loving nature is unconquerable, we are ancient, we are quiet and we are forever.

Let it be, Inshallah, Jai-Ganesh-Jai Shiva. Old places which were renamed after invasions, will be restored to the their original ancient names.

Kashmir will cease to ever be a problem. All of history, which is seldom discussed will now be openly discussed, known by all and never forgotten.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive


“Even in 1971 ,India could have occupied the rest of Kashmir when Pakistan lost at least one third of the forces ,why didn’t it do then ?..”

If they could they would have, pakistan wouldn’t blindly send all their forces and leave kashmir undefended, in any case India must have been in extreme fervour after having taken advantage of pakistan’s internal civil war to get revenge for what India’s then prime minister indhira gandhi described “the last 1000 years of Muslim rule”. Next time try thinking things through more carefully.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

To the so-called kashmiri, we can see right through you, you are obviously a bengali/goan.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

@Ali, Sam

I never cease to be amazed at how ignorant and hateful you two are at the benevolence of India. You two just hate hindus. I don’t hate muslims, I don’t hate the British, and I don’t hate the Chinese.

You two really need to be more grateful at India and the opportunities given to all muslims, if they choose to grab them and elevate them selves.

You should know that during Ramadan and Hajj, the Indian government recognized the religious significance of these holidays and sends Pilgrims free to Saudi, via all paid, all inclusive stays on boeing 747 jets and hotels in Saudi. I don’t see Pakistan, or another other non-Kaffir country sending expatriates to their countries during Christmas, or Nav-Ratri, or Shiv-Ratri, or any other national Holiday.

Despite that Hindus were ravaged by other nations over the last 800 years, we remained largely peaceful with other nations and never attacked another country.

We never did suicide bombings against Muslim countries and we never did suicide killings or bombings against the British either.

Deep down, our philosophy is not one of looking inward, it is not a philosophy of hate, it is not a philosophy of conquering and butchering others, it is not a philosophy of subjugation, it is not a philosophy of erasing other people’s cultures and religions, it is not a philosophy of selfishness, it is not a philosophy of stagnation and it is not a philosophy of being retrograde, as we are forward thinking and embrace spiritual and technical advancement together.

We are India, we are unconquerable and indestructible. We are mature in our response.

We think before we speak and we never use God and any foul word like :death, conquer, kill in the same sentence as God. We are ancient, all encompassing, ever evolving, we are everywhere, we are friendly with all, loving with all and believe all people deserve happiness, just not at our expense, like anybody else.

Never again will we be conquered by any Nation, or ethnic invaders of any kind. We will never conquer others either.

Nobody will dare challenge our might, as we will always win their minds and hearts with our logic and peaceful nature.

We will always give flowers, where others even after receiving flowers always complain and give thorns in return.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive

Mr. / Mrs. Ali,
I don’t know but by not accepting reality, you seem to be just like other pakistanis in Kashmir. Are you?

Well whether you accept me as a Kashmiri or not is not a bother to me, however the ground reality is we are having a good life here in India, and what else a common person in this earth deserves?

Posted by Kashmiri | Report as abusive


“Even in 1971 ,India could have occupied the rest of Kashmir when Pakistan lost at least one third of the forces ,why didn’t it do then ?..”

Ps. unlike pakistan which is only a fifth the size of India and still has india running for cover; India did ‘try’ to pick a fight with the larger china in 1963, didn’t last very long though…

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

“however the ground reality is we are having a good life here in India, and what else a common person in this earth deserves”

Mr/Mrs. ‘Kashmiri’

I must have imagined the 100′s of thousands of kasmiri’s marching for freedom from India last month…

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

lol @Anup,
Who know what other parts of Pakistan is gifted or sold Arab Sheiks :P

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

Myra, The Gaels & Welsh are a different race from the fusion Anglo-Saxon race & UK is relatively a recent formation, such cannot be said of the Indian sub-continent, which has been always been referred as one land Bharat,one race, irrespective of all it’s diversities…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

“I must have imagined the 100’s of thousands of kasmiri’s marching for freedom from India last month…”

Those were the people Pakistan had sent to destabilize Kashmir election and support to India. I am sorry, we know the correct people and wrong people now, therefore all those arguments you guys make on Kashmir is not reality.
Look at Mirwaz he didn’t had face to show, looked at lone, she clearly accepted defeat.

Sorry to say bro, we no longer support Pakistan, and we feel secure to have Indian arm forces to protect us from Militants Pakistan sends.

Inshah Allah, we see peaceful Kashmir in future under India.

Posted by Kashmiri | Report as abusive

“I must have imagined the 100’s of thousands of kasmiri’s marching for freedom from India last month…”

“Those were the people Pakistan had sent to destabilize Kashmir election and support to India. I am sorry, we know the correct people and wrong people now, therefore all those arguments you guys make on Kashmir is not reality”

India must have the worst security forces in the world if they let so many people get through at one of the most heavily militralised zones on the planet, in anycase, you have proven my previous point that you can not be kashmiri, and I’m not your ‘bro’.

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

You cannot convince these “non-state” actors friend. They are well versed in Denial. :P Someone will come to wake them up from their dreams.
Taliban already doing in NWFP, if you can they pullout some people and start doing towards your border.

Posted by Indian | Report as abusive

—The 100 thousands were on a free fun trip, they didn’t mind joining any chorus – Independence / Pakistan or maybe even India, as long as the picnic was on the house…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

What did Pak army acheive by launching Mumbai terrorist attack in 2008?

The same things it achieved in 1948, 1965, 1971, and 1999. Making Pakistan weaker, its democracy (if there is one), its instituitions weaker, making it explicit to the international community that Pakistan is a reckless, irresponsible country.

Ali, Alethia here exemplify this militaristic Pak mindset. For example he mocks at India not standing upto China in 1963. Yes, India has no interest in picking up fights with China, because India is more interested in achieving stability and economic prosperity.

This is so unlike Pakistan of course. The only thing it has ever done for 61 years is “standing up” against India thus producing a failed state.



Because you asked me questions, I am compelled to answer, albeit briefly.

1) You said, “Aksai Chin is inhabitable and it does not matter if Pakistan gave it away to China.”
This proves that regarding Kashmir, Pakistan can be a sell-out to China. Interestingly enough, Pakistan wants to save Siachen, which is also inhabitable. How hypocritical!

2) You said, “When an area is under the constant threat of war elections have little meaning”
I know that any free and fair elections conducted in Indian Kashmir rubs the jihadis in Muzzafarabad and the generals in Rawalpindi in the wrong way. Unlike Pakistan, India at least attempts to create normalcy in a conflict prone area. It has succeeded in some instances, failed in others.

3) You asked, “what percentage of the hundreds of thousands of Indian security forces in Kashmir are originally of kashmiris majority population.”
India has been using the J&K state police and the paramilitary forces to fight Jihadis coming in from Muzzafarabad. The para-military forces come under central government’s command. Like any police force, J&K police is incapable of facing well-armed Pakistani Fidayeens; as a result their presence is smaller than other forces.

4) You said, “Pakistan has invested a lot in Kashmir, unlike Indian Kashmir people are free to visit azad Kashmir and see for themselves.”
Now, that is a typical Paki comment, overblown and jingoistic! The POK and Northern Areas are the forgotten frontiers of pre-1947 Kashmir. The reason you cannot cite examples of development there because in reality there is very little primary research available that proves your argument.

5) You said,” You obviously haven’t been keeping track of the news, many journalists have recently visited gilgit and surrounding areas, I have myself visited the northern areas of Pakistan and felt no hostility from the local population.”
Why should you, a Paksitani, face hostility in Gilgit and in the surrounding area. It’s the foreign journalists, such as Myra, who cannot visit there to report without intervention from the generals in Rawalpindi and the annoying ISI agents following them everywhere.

6) The reason NGOs and other news channels cover human rights issues in Indian Kashmir because they are largely given a free hand to visit, to interview and to write on the situations on the ground. This confirms my last argument that Pakistan does not allow free hand in its occupied territories in Kashmir to neutral or foreign agencies (Much like it is done in Baluchistan).

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

This is my attempt to briefly respond to your questions posted in one of your comments. They are as follows,

Myra: “Can the Kashmir problem resolved only if the former kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir is addressed as a whole?”

The crisis in Kashmir is a political one. If you want to talk of independence to J&K – highly unlikely – the entire state, Indian occupied territories, Pakistan occupied territories and Aksai Chin must be seen in total. With due respect, most western commentators have their heads buried in the sand when they equate the UN mandated plebiscite, designed in 1952, as the permanent solution for an old dispute. In fact, the UN plebiscite does not give the third option of independence to J&K; it asks Kashmiris to join either India or Pakistan. Needless to say, Kofi Annan, in 2005, openly declared in his visit to South Asia that the UN plebiscite is inappropriate for the ground realities that exist today.

Myra: “Or try another question to take it out of the Kashmir context. If there were suddenly to be a great deal of unrest in Scotland in favour of autonomy or independence from England, would you immediately start posting comments about Wales?”
If Wales had state sponsored Jihadi camps churning out Fidayeens and United Jihad Council that is answerable to generals in Cardiff, you may retract your comment. Your attempt to draw parallel between the dispute in Kashmir and that in Scotland is compelling, but not relevant. The violence/unrest in the Kashmir valley is directly related to the militants that dance on the tunes of the generals in Rawalpindi. In my view, Indian Kashmir may get back its autonomy in near future. Independence to Kashmir, on the other hand, is not feasible for various reasons.

Myra: I have heard others say that the LoC should be turned into a permanent border.
In my view, this is a feasible solution. International borders between countries can be made irrelevant but they do not need to be changed. If Belgium, France & Spain could do it in the past, so can India, Pakistan and Kashmiris. The real challenge is to change the mindset of the generals in Rawalpindi who will loose the levers of power in Pakistan after Kashmir is peacefully resolved.

Myra: “You can’t respond to unrest in the Kashmir Valley by pointing to the conditions of the Baltis without taking that view to its logical conclusion.”

Fair enough! On the same token, Myra, you cannot take position on Kashmir that is stitched together based on the news that appears only on the Indian side of the border. For a serious reader, it is an unbalanced view of an old dispute. It is also a blatant ignorance to the history of the region, the nuances that exist on both sides of the border and the psyche of different communities contributing to the crisis in Kashmir.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive


Re your comment of 9.57 am on 4 Jan. Thank you for a timely rejoinder.Please let me clarify that my earlier comments were not aimed at the point made by the Hindu and your own views on the absence of militant activity during the elections. I can see the logic in that line of thought. By accepting that Pakistan kept away from disrupting the elections it was also an admission that Pakistan does control and directs the militancy in Kashmir. My point was that then it was just not India’s assertion of Pak involvement but that it was fact.

The Gordon Brown comment was referred to, not to draw the discussion away from Kashmir, but merely to point to the inherent contradictions in Zardari’s various statements – militants in Kasmir are terrorsist, no terrorist activity is directed from Pak etc – and his credibility. This was with reference to your comment that Zardari has often said he wants to better relations overall, including Kashmir.

I know of very few on either side who don’t want this to happen. The problem, according to me, lies in what they intend doing about it and how they go about doing so.



I am your neighbor and please love me :P .I always wanted Kashmir to be free but not at the cost of talibanization. Will you Pls tell me what are your views on the 1965 Indo-Pak war,I just wanna know your views .. I am sorry Myra, this is irrelevant to the topic :P

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive

Ok for the record, here again is a link to the UN resolutions for anyone who wants to argue about them:
http://www.un.org/documents/sc/res/1948/ scres48.htm

Nikhil, you said that you can’t have a balanced view of the region without understanding history. But isn’t the problem that no one can agree on the history of the region? Do you go back to 1947, or to 1846 when Kashmir was sold to the Dogras, or as some people posting comments have suggested, even earlier? Try reading William Moorcroft’s memoirs of his travels in the 1820s (among other things he writes about leaving Kashmir to go to Muzzafarabad) to see how complicated it can get. I’ve asked this question before, but do India and Pakistan really have to agree on history in order to make peace, or can they agree to differ?

Certainly my own experience of trying to untangle the roots of the Siachen conflict was that no matter how hard I tried, I would never come up with a common version of history.

And I guess you could argue that the United States and the Soviet Union ended the Cold War without either of them agreeing who started it or who was to blame for building it into a massive nuclear arms race.


Posted by Myra MacDonald | Report as abusive

You would like to know about war with India 1965…that was the day when Indians thought in the darkness of night whilst whole nation slept. Indian Army began its assult from various point but the main one from Lahore and their generals thought it would be so easy that would have their tea in lahore.

But they were so wrong when Pakistan woke to the that morning realising the Enemey is at the gate the public and the army became one. There was a small unit guarding the bridge from where the indian army had taken that would have brought in 3 division would have rolled into lahore.

But the brave soldiers and his commardes fought, fought so feriouslsly he was awarded the Nishan-e-e Haider biggest milatry award and the first one. Just like him many other people were willing to put bombs to their body and lie under the indian arnmour and send them on one way ticket to hell.

Pakistan won that war and taught India a lesson as long as the pople of Pkaistan are with Army no power in the world can shake this country.

Then 1971 with the help of benglis they helped in everyway to cut Pakistan in two. We taught them a leson and they wanted to get back anyway its better benaglis can decide their own fate.


Posted by ALI786 | Report as abusive


Thanks for replying :P
“India started the war and Pakistan won the war” This is your view on 1965 war, isn’t it?
Now I now have a measure of what you have been taught in your school :P I can understand the same ignorance is reflected in your views on Kashmir.

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive

Myra, The UN resolution was defunct from day1, the UN itself is a farce & probably the most corrupt International Body, There was no Pakistan in history (does it exist even now?) so the question of ‘looking’ in any ‘history doesn’t arises at all! The cold war was a struggle for global supremacy, where neither of the party was aiming to annexe the other, whereas, the issue in the sub-continent is not of supremacy but of wielding regional Power by subjugating the other…in the garb of religious idealogies

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive


I think you will be interested in this…

Posted by pk | Report as abusive

Hey Ali,don’t abuse me , I am sorry if I had offended you..

Please follow this link.

http://pakistaniat.com/2007/09/06/1965-w ar-a-different-legacy/comment-page-7/#co mments

Posted by mitchell | Report as abusive

if you find cancer in the body you remove it totally not give up that part of the body to cancer. same thing with kashmir, it is necessary to remove cancer from kashmir society rather than give up kashmir to cancer. thats how i see it.


Well worms (LeT, JeM, non-state actors) again started acting in poonch area near by LoC.

I still don’t understand that such a pathetic denial job from Pakistan side.

I have seen people / person lieing, but a Nation / Government… Give me a Break.


Posted by Sam | Report as abusive


The problem in Kashmir is not a “cancer”,as you put it, but the suppression of the basic human rights of the Kashmiri people over a period of 60 years. Yes, there are terrorists in Kashmir and a large number of innocent citizens have been targetted by both the terrorists and by the Indian military forces. They are squeezed in the middle.

It is those innocent people who demonstrated peacefully en masse this past fall (which was covered by several eminent journalists) and these voices should be heard by India and the international community.

The continuing discord between India and Pakistan over the human rights of the Kashmiri people has become a threat not only to the peace of the region but to world peace also. This is not merely a land dispute, but one which directly affects the dignity and well-being of the innocent populace there. Furthermore, the non-resolution of this dispute coupled with the non-resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute make it impossible for the world community to effectively fight terrorism and turns the best efforts to do so into groping for a rope made of sand.

Posted by Alethia | Report as abusive


suppression is a propogation created by pakistan and western countries to split india. they will not leave with that they will perculate down crying suppression, agression etc., till my country is torn in to pieces. can you give any evidence for suppression. if what is happening is suppression then that is happening in every part of this world. greece is suppressing its nationals. australia is suppressing. it retained indian with out any charge. i can add many. you need to understand the difference between maintaining law and order and suppression. one should not view it as per their conveniance. this is the main reason for peacelessness in the world.

Posted by venkat | Report as abusive

To Alethia:

The problem in Kashmir is political, period! Everything else, terrorism, human rights, conflicts between India and Pakistan, is a manifestation of it. Please do not confuse the two.

Civilized nations, unlike Pakistan, do not use terrorism as a state policy. If terrorism infrastructure on Pakistani soil is wiped out, the Indian para-military forces in J&K can also be phased out. Only then, there will be climate conducive for political resolution in Kashmir.

Not to digress from the issue, but unfortunately, human rights are violated in various degrees in many places. As I write, there are freedom struggles going on in Tibet, Balochistan, Gilgit/Baltistan and the lesser know Alaska. (ref: Alaska Independent party) among others. The dignity and well being of the people may have also being violated in those places, more if not less, than in Kashmir. Just because Islamic terrorists use violence and hold the world hostage, does not give them the right for quick resolution.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive


—How come??? the goody goody (diabetic) Paki symphatizing western moral brigades are silent on the Guantanamo Bay detention camp & the draconion, anti-human (if not anti-muslim) American Patriotic law…

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

Myra, Is criticizing America considered a blasphemous act on Reuters?

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive

The problem with Indian public is that they have been mislead by Indian govt for the last 61 yrs. Indian public is being told that Kashmir is an integral part of India. While as the truth is that United Nations millitary observers are in the heart of Srinagar for the last 60 yrs. How come internaltional force is present in Srinagar? This clearly shows that Kashmir is a disputed land. There are several United Nations resolutions passed for kashmir and none have been implemented. Kashmirirs are only asking to implement the resolutions so that we can decide our own future.Shameful Indian forces have killed more than 90000 innocent unarmed Kashmiris.Kashmiris were forced to take guns by the Indian govt by way of delaying tactics on the resolution of Kashmir and denial of basic right to choose, killing of innocent Kashmiris, rapes , torture and subjugation. We are a weak people and weak people ultimately become terrorists as has been seen in Palestine where Palestinians fight with stones against the tanks of Israel. Go and visit kashmir, you will see that 700 thousand Indian forces means that for every 10 unarmed Kashmiris there is one Indian Machine gun ready to kill them…..God will never forgive Indian nation for the injustice to Kashmiris. We have faith that one day we will become an independent country with peaceful relations with our neighbours…ajaztam@hotmail.com

Posted by Ajaz Ahmed Kashmiri | Report as abusive

dear all,

what is ment by basic human rights? I think kashmiris enjoy them. they are entitled to polical system. participate in elections. right to speak. right to move free etc etc. They enjoy more rights than a londonier who is being watch every second.

for those who do not want to accept. Kashmir is integral part of India. The presence of UN observers is not a symbol of disputed region. It there to keep eye on LOC to stop further escalation. India is capable to take all actions to rootout anti-national elements from the region. but lack of political will cause these problems. Further, Kashmiries are themselves responsible for the present day crisis. Do residents of gujarat, maratha or anyother part of India need a separate identity? they are distinguished and share fruits of progress equally. they are all free Indians. what identity kashmiris are looking for? please explain.
there have been many independent nations after USSR. Has it resolved any problem? No. It has made it worse security scenario in the world.

Posted by vihang | Report as abusive

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/