Kashmir violence drops further, but where’s the peace?

February 4, 2009

Violence in Kashmir is down to its lowest level since the separatist revolt began in 1989, but peace remains a distant prospect in one of the world’s most beautiful regions.

The Delhi-based Institute of Conflict Studies which tracks militant violence across South Asia says 541 people were killed in militant-linked violence in 2008, continuing the declining trend from the previous year when fatalities had fallen to 777. That was well below the 1,000 mark  used to define a high-intensity conflict and way lower than the 2001 peak of 4,507 deaths in a single year.

Just for purposes of comparison on a broad level, a separate analysis by the Institute shows that the number of people killed in militant-related violence in Pakistan hit 6,715 in 2008 from a 2003 figure of 189, reflecting a dramatic deterioration in the security situation.

So, as Pakistan fights the militants in its most serious internal challenge yet, some of whom it fostered to fight Indian forces in Kashmir, is peace at hand in the Himalayan region ?

Not by a long shot , going by the steady stream of street protests that seem to go off every now and then. Last year’s demonstrations, the biggest since the revolt began, over a government decision to hand over land near a Hindu shrine deep in Kashmir to a trust now seem to have become a watershed, giving new life to a movement that was despairing.

And because it is a street campaign, a sort of a non-violent struggle, it could be potentially more challenging to the Indian state than the guns and grenades of the militants, say Kashmiri leaders.

“India is not scared of any guns here in Kashmir – it has a thousand times more guns,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, told the Wall Street Journal in this report in December.

“What it is scared of is people coming out in the streets, people seeing the power of nonviolent struggle.”

Is this really a civil disobedience movement, a leaf from Mahatma Gandhi’s book thrown in the face of those who rule India in his name?

{Reuters pictures of Gulmarg in Kashmir and a protest in Srinagar}

Comments

Qasim
“INDIA IS BAD, IT IS SUPPORTING TERRORISM IN KASHMIR & BALOCHISTAN”

—-INDIA IS DEFENDING KASHMIR FROM PAKISTANI TERRORISTS & SUPPORTING THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM FROM THE AUTHORITARIAN RULERS OF PAKISTAN!

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

SUPPORTING THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF ‘BALUCHISTAN’ FROM THE AUTHORITARIAN RULERS OF PAKISTAN!

Posted by aNUP | Report as abusive
 

Saf

—If sanity can be restored in Pakistan, we still ready to let bygones be bygones, & start live amicably as progressive neighbours & friendly Nations.

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

Its really funny how these guys keep saying that India is bad cause people are being killed, the army is so bad, there is communal violence … blah blah blah.

I just want to ask few questions:

Are these problems not there in Pakistan?
Do they demolish Hindu temples or not?
Do muslims themselves are never killed by their fellowmen?
Do people never misteriously dissapear in Pakistan?
Are there no communal violence incidents in Pakistan?
Do shias and sunnis like happily ever after with each other?
Is taliban better than the Indian armed forces?

These sort of problems are there in every country and what is best is that we look into matters concerning our own countries and forget about what is happening across the border. Happily manage your part of Kashmir however u want to and let India handle its own people and territory.

If you want to do something good for your fellow human, there are lot of hungry and poor people in Africa, please help them or protect the nature. Stop killing people in the name of Islam.

Posted by Shraddha | Report as abusive
 

“”I have faith in the chief minister, Omar Abdullah.
We Kashmiris want to have say in how our land is ruled.
Hence Kashmiris have given a resounding backing to the democratic elections by coming out it in such large numbers.”…………

Atleast, with India, we have constitutional authority as well as chance to participate in the booming economy which will help improve the lives of the average Kashmiri. I appeal to all the Kashmiris to think through this comment and understand what is best for their children.
- Posted by Sohail in Srinagar

—-Sohail, That;s the way to go. That’s exactly what I wrote a post about. Again excerpt of the post is:
“There are so many examples of bad things happening when it gets tagged with Pakistan (sorry peaceful Pakistanis but that’s the truth). Lesson to Kashmiris: Quit this violence and pledge to remain with India peacefully. And I forgot one thing that a part of Kashmir in Pak was sold to Chinese.”

Sohail, are there more Kashmiris who can join the discussion— a place to speak your voice without leaders speaking on your behalf and saying things you do not agree with.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

For kashmiris struggling freedom from india, don,t let it be out of the fryingpan into the fire.

Posted by asadullahkhan | Report as abusive
 

For kashmiris struggling freedom from india, don,t let it be out of the fryingpan into the fire.
- Posted by asadullahkhan

—-Good point. If Pakistan’s wishes and helps in preventing cross-border terrorism in India and violence in Kashmir valley, everyone will know that there is no fire under the fryingpan.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

People who live in glass house should not throw stones at others.

 

The people of Kashmir should continue their 60 year struggle of self-determination. Pakistan will continue to support you, in good times and bad.

Pakistan and Kashmir Zindabad.

 

To ALL Pakistani bloggers,

Although this blog is about Kashmir. Another reason that violence has dropped is due to what is happening in Swat. The so-called Kashmiri/Pakistani troublemakers do not want to attract negative attention from the international community. The whole world is already deeply concerned about this so-called peace deal in Swat with the Taliban.

If you ever get Kashmir then I know you will be at the front of the crowd claiming VICTORY, VICTORY, VICTORY!!! Those people who wanted it to remain part of India will leave and take their businesses with them. India will close off the border, permanently. However, all the prime and pukka land will be taken by your so-called glorious Mullah leaders and Taliban and their heirs will inherit it and not even work for a living. They will put on wonderfully colourful shows to the world to show how peaceful they are and what great developments they have made. There will be supressions of freedom that everyone used to have and more supressions that they did not expect. More people will leave Kashmir, but they cannot go to Pakistan because its no different and besides Kashmir will be a Pakistani state. They will be living in total regret.

The Mullahs and Taliban will sit on their backsides and get fat boasting about their past glories with the odd trip to their Dubai luxury villa that your cousin built on slave wages that he sends back to his wife and kids so they can buy winter fuel to stem the load shedding. You (the ordinary man on the street) will not benefit from it at all. It may become another Swat. You will start cursing the USA for not providing money to economically help your Kashmir while you are standing in line a work visa to the USA so you can earn money. However, it will never be enough because the government (and Mullahs) will take its cuts. Before you know it, you will be over 60 years old and sitting in a cafe in Rawalpindi telling stories of your past so-called glories with the same pride you had in your youth. No different to the old men who invaded Kashmir in 1947-1948.

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive
 

Shraddha, you wrote as below. Just read search news any day and you have your answers there, try today for example and you will see suicide attack killing 30 or so.
“”
Are these problems not there in Pakistan?
Do they demolish Hindu temples or not?
Do muslims themselves are never killed by their fellowmen?
Do people never misteriously dissapear in Pakistan?
Are there no communal violence incidents in Pakistan?
Do shias and sunnis like happily ever after with each other?
Is taliban better than the Indian armed forces?
“”

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive
 

I see lot of discussions here on the right / wrong etc and the comparisons. It seems some thing is missing, please note, ”Pakistan is always right”, the evidence, the comparisons, the news clips etc etc do not hold any ground!!

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive
 

A moderate Paki is one who did not get the opportunity.
A good Paki is a Dead Paki

Posted by Raj | Report as abusive
 

Guys I don,t know what are we fighting for …….Indians blaming Pakistanis,Pakistani,s blaming Indians…….what do you people get out of it!Back lashing each other over something you are not even part of!Listen you should be thankful you are not living in such harsh conditions….the way Kashmiris are living……..why do you fight….we all know well enough about the hindu mahrahaja and the muslim majority thing so why fight!and secondly its not only Pakistan and India involved when it comes to Kashmir…..how can you forget China who has entered Kashmir thru Ladakh……Kashmir issue has never been a easy one…..I being a Pakistani proudly say that Kasmir belongs to us.but i won,t say that India should be driven out of it!we should think about some settlement which will suitable for both the countries!

Posted by Ana zia | Report as abusive
 

It is true that some people would want kashmir to be free.
But the only ones we see shouting are the yound fanatically sponsoured men. Maybe by having a free country these people might be better off or maybe by staying with india they might be part of India’s not too distant economic boom, who wouldn’t want to be part of that? BUT if one thinks about the FREEDOM of Kashmir one will also have to think about the FREEDOM of NWFP, Balochistan and Sindhistan, their wish is just as important. Free one, free the other. The fighting is about water anyway…

Posted by Baldeo S. | Report as abusive
 

all,

We have given the muslim brothers Pakistan&Bangladesh.
What have they don’t with it!! They make a mess of it.
What is happening @ Pakistan @ this moment!
Believe should be personal and not forced to anyone.

What would happened if all Muslim nations will have Freedom of religion? And do not persecute believers in other faiths.

Rajputhre

Posted by yadu | Report as abusive
 

Islam is a menace to the entire world, their horrible violent murderouse muslim cult has to be stopped at any cost, all the peaceloving nations of the world need to rally and wipe this sickness from the face of the earth forever, then there will be peace!

Posted by Robert McDonald | Report as abusive
 

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