The most difficult thing to shoot in Kashmir…

May 27, 2009

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.

But the question that always comes to mind is “what is the hardest to shoot?’

I always remember protests or riots, clashes between stone throwing protesters and gun-toting Indian troops. Stress levels quickly rise as me and my text colleague, Sheikh Mushtaq, realize that our assignment will not be easy whenever we go out, mostly on Fridays, the day when Muslims offer congregational weekly prayers, which turn into weekly protests against Indian rule in Kashmir.

There is literally no place to hide and shooting is nearly impossible when angry protesters take to the streets and rocks rain down; Indian troops retaliate with tear gas shells, rubber bullets and many times with live ammunition. Most of the time we, with protective gear and camera equipment strapped to our shoulders in backpacks, are stuck in the narrow streets of downtown Srinagar as impatient crowds and ruthless troops battle for hours.

Blood is always spilled in the streets of Kashmir where tens of thousands of people have been killed in two decades of an anti-India insurgency.

It was a pleasant and beautiful day in Srinagar, a city of over one million ringed by snow-capped Himalayan mountains, but tear gas brings bittersweet tears to my eyes and rocks sometime make me bleed. I clutch my camera, adjust the focus and aperture and keep on shooting masked rioters and police replying with slingshots, teargas shells and bullets. A rock came towards me, I ducked but it hit another cameraman. He was bleeding lying beside me. On many occasions, I had to drop my camera and take care of injured reporters and photojournalists. Several times even I was not lucky.

Years back I was hit by a tear gas shell and then enveloped by a cloud of dust and tear gas smoke. As the tear gas shell exploded between my legs and tore my calf muscle badly. Mushtaq from a distance was looking at me helplessly as the rattle of gun fire followed screams and cries for help. I was bleeding and fell unconscious. After hours I found myself in a hospital and later spent months in bed missing the thrill of photography.

When Kashmir last year faced some of the biggest anti-India protests in nearly 20 years, photojournalists faced the wrath of security forces and angry protesters.  Many of us were beaten up by riot police and demonstrators, protesting Indian rule in the disputed region. They break our cameras and sometimes beat us with batons and gun butts.

It is painful and disturbing but when I see people writhing in blood and dying with bullet wounds, my pain disappears and I feel guilty when police do not allow us to photograph the tragedy. I feel disappointed when they stop us after ambulances and hospitals are attacked.
People often ask “what is the most difficult to shoot in a conflict zone?”  I always say “protests or rioting.”

95 comments

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Moving and sad tale…I solute these journslaists

Posted by dr shugufta | Report as abusive

It very unfortunate that things have gotten this worse. Whether Pakistan is behind insurgency or not, over the past two decades, public sentiments in Kashmir have become anti-Indian and people are alienated enough to seek independence. Indian military has a special law effective there where they do not have to be held accountable for any violations. Military is trained to be brutal, no matter which country it represents. As it is police and military in most Asian countries are extremely brutal and their torture of innocents during interrogation is famous. For Kashmir, Indian government has to bring in accountability for the security forces, and take measures to assuage public feelings. If they raise anti India slogans, so long as it is peaceful, no one should be hit. The people are watching the latest developments in the region. Going with Pakistan is not in their minds. India, if it is interested in keeping Kashmir, should bring in good will building measures. Let us hope Man Mohan Singh gives Kashmir a high priority.

Fayaz,
This is the wrong forum for your topic on Kashmir or India. This is a Pakistani Blog and the Topic is: “Pakistan: Now Or Never?”

Indian Govt should ban journalists from going to disturbed areas or protests. Look how Russia, China, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are treating journalists in disturbed areas. When these “PRESS” people mix with protesters or are standing with the wrong side of the crowd the job of the police becomes extra extra difficult.

Journalists in India got TOO MUCH freedom and the Indian govt is too much proud of openness. No other place on earth, you will get 3 days of live coverage of Mumbai Carnage!

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Oppression could not stand in South Africa, black protesters were packed in jails. When the uprising began no one could stand it, the aparthied fell apart.
In Kashmir, the voice of independence will keep getting stronger and stronger. If India truly aspires to be and presents itself to be a democracy than it should not resort to oppression. China is always criticized of its human rights records, but India’s record is never highlighted. Journalists are not allowed to film the human rights abuses in Kashmir, and in Kashmir there is definitely human rights abuses taking place.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive

The other day I had to travel to downtown Srinagar for a meeting. I was travelling in my car, when I was suddenly stopped by a contingent of CRPF (Indian paramilitary force) at the entrance of the down town Srinagar popularily known as Shehri – Khaas locally. Shehri-Khass means the real city. In the backdrop of Martyr’s graveyard where thousands of young men have been put to rest during past 20 years, the entrance to the real city is the most resilient part of the besieged city. I was stopped at the entry point violently and bang! In a giffy windscreen of my innocent car was no more. In a shock, I could muster only these words. “I am innocent sir, do not beat me”. They ordered, “Show your I card”. I quickly reached to my wallet, took my old version Income tax PAN card out and gave it to the cops with shivering hands. They saw it and said, “O! You are our own person, you work in the Income tax department.” Before I could tell them that I do not work there but am a tax payer for which I have got the card, they ordered me to leave and advised me to tell everyone that protesters broke the glass. They ordered me to do so in the national interest of India.
I left the place and wondered how brutes like these, are going to protect National Interest of India when they even can not read an I- Card. I am still wondering….

Posted by Afaaq | Report as abusive

–Tough job indeed..& a thankless one for the brave Indian security forces.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

Don’t they teach you in photography school not to stand on the wrong side of the gun?

Not a good idea to stand in the middle of a teenage mob!

Posted by Watson | Report as abusive

The sentiment in Kashmir is that of anger. Kashmiris are angry because there is an army, the Indian army, which does not understand our grievances. Instead, it attacks us. It claims to be here to protect us, when really all it does is abuse its powers, rape innocent Kashmiri women, carry out allegedly fake encounters.

We, the common citizens of Kashmir, understand that the army is here to fight cross-border terrorism via Pakistan. However, this does not give them the right to make our lives a living hell. If India really wants to keep Kashmir, and make Kashmiris proud to be Indian (which seems very unlikely at the moment), then the Indian government needs to show some good will. It needs to learn to compromise. It needs to, firstly, remove the army (or take away its special powers), bring justice to all those Kashmiris who suffered at the hands of the Indian army.

The popular sentiment in Kashmir is of azaadi (freedom). But many Kashmiri’s know that full-out independence is not an option for Kashmir. Joining Pakistan is also not an option, especially with all the turmoil and extremism which exists in Pakistan. When one talks about azaadi, what one really wants is to be able to roam around freely on the streets, without curfews & terror attacks. We want to be able to go to the Mosque, without the Indian army shutting it down forcefully. We want both the militants, and Indian army to stop harassing innocent civilians, and kidnapping our relatives. This is what ‘Azaadi’ is to us. I think to solve the Kashmir issue, the best solution is greater autonomy for Kashmir. Full-out independence is not viable. And a merger with Pakistan will be deadly.

Remaining a part of India can work, if the Indian government promises us greater autonomy, and removes its army from the state. We want to be a part of India’s economic success story. But India needs to learn to respect our grievances. It has to do a lot to reconcile the alienated Kashmiris. And this will take decades. Let’s start now.

Posted by Kashmir | Report as abusive

India should follow SWAT example and sign a surrender deal the Talibans in Kashmir. Then beg for billions from US, UN and go back to Kashmir with F-16s and tanks.

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

Afaaq,
Although I feel sorry for your car glass and your moments of embarassament, you should be proud of these policemen who sacrifice their lives to give you security and freedom. You are lucky that you have a home to go back to, car to drive around and stable income to pay tax and an elected government to meet your demands.

Many of your friends in SWAT don’t have that luxury! Govt and army are so corrupt and blind in SWAT that SWATis are homeless, jobless, hopeless refugees and can’t even go back to SWAT.

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

Kashmir
“Let’s start now.”
— Agreed. The Army must be removed from civilian areas & deployed on the borders, it’s the job of the elected govt. to strengthened the police force for counter-insurgency & maintaining law & order. Kashmir is the only state which has it’s own constitution, but if there’s space for more autonomy, then why not, it must be given. Yes – Let’s start now.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

Afaaq,
Had India given this level of security to Mumbai, sad events of 26/11 would not have happened.

If you have 2 choices,
1. Extra security, but your freedom and life is protected or

2. Less security, but everyday is another Lahore in Srinagar and you never know if you will meet your family again

What’s your pick?

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

Kashmiris who are ranting and raving about “the atrocities” perpetrated on them by the Indian army should ask themselves this question: Was it always so? No, it was not. From 1947 until 1989, you couldn’t see the army visible anywhere in Kashmir. And, then militants from across started to come in. If you had been interested in peace, you would have reported them to local administration and not provide security and succor to them. They created havoc, making it impossible for common folk to run their lives. And then something much more serious happened. The local law enforcement started to show solidarity with the slowly increasing rebellion. The minority of Kashmiri Pandits were hounded out of their homes to become perhaps the only community in the world refugees in their own country. What was the government supposed to do? The army was called in. In spite of the fact that Indian army takes every care to minimize the loss of innocents, collateral damage does occur. Indian army will not retreat. How much impact its presence has will depend on the local population. Those who love peace and want army to be withdrawn and the draconian laws at present enforced to keep peace withdrawn, must cooperate actively with it by handing over the miscreants crossing the border. Remember 1965, when Field Marshall Ayuoob Khan of Pakistan conducted Operation Gibralter to foment rebellion in Kashmir? He couldn’t carry out his mischief because the local population handed over every saboteur to the law enforcement. Until every citizen helps the army to keep peace, innocents will always suffer.

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive

By: Colonel A.M. Khajawall {Ret}, MD. ABFM., ABDA.
“Great grand gestures-Yes. Grand posturing-No!”
And
“For the triumph of evil it is necessary that the concerned people do nothing”

Dear loggers, editors, readers, and prognosticators,

As the spokesman of Kashmir American Mission categorically announce that the announced Kashmir
Elections are being simply orchestrated and conducted to dupe and
deceive the world. Sadly. the elections always meant to deprive the
occupied and oppressed people of Kashmir the freedom.The elections
processes are always meant to deny and delay the occupied,tormented, and oppressed
people of Kashmir to decide their future freely, fairly without any
fear and favour.

Kashmir has been and is militarized like a massive concentration camp on the Top of the world.
In
this environment of massive concentration camp situation of any election
will be free and fair is one more big, and tragic joke played onto
“Tormented People of Kashmir .”
Sadly the participants, announcers
and planners of this futile, fictitious, and farce election exercise
have little or no concern about the over one billion people of
Indo-Kash-Pak region. Who in mp professional and personal opinon was working against the stability in the region and towards self destruction of India, Kashmir, and Pakistan.

The sensibility and sanity of sincere
people of Indo-Kash-Pak region who will look for the future of over one
billion people caught up in this personal, partisan political
brinkmanship and posturing at the cast of your freedom, dignity, and honor.

Above observations and suggestions are made by every fiber of my body, heart, and brain and heavy heart and profound sadness. The parties
to conflict are simply playing with your future and rest of over one
billion people of the region.

Let me assure you that the day is
not too far away when the virtuous, wise, and visionary people will
work hand in hand and remove your and their thorn [s] once for all.Long live people of Kashmir, India, Pakistan, and rest of the world.
The
solution is tripartite dialogue with the help of impartial and
committed world powers and leaders. The Line to Control which is The
Line of Conflict has to go and sooner the better. The beautiful and
better way to bring peace to people of Kashmir and Indo-Pak region is
summarized as PTP [Peace Thru Plebiscite]. or at the round table. The
world and We [USA] can help.

India has for last 63 years delayed this process and no India is playing
terrorism card. I am sure our new president barrack Hussain Obama will
motivate the parties to solve this core Kashmir issue amicably,
peacefully, and permanently.
Submitted sincerely for publications.
COL. Ali M. Khajawall, [Retd] MD, ABFM. ABDA

Posted by COL. A.M.Khajawall [Ret] | Report as abusive

Yes Islam such a peaceful religion.
Usually on Fridays or after Muslim weekly prayers.

When will the world have enough of this and people who defend themselves shoot back with live ammunition, not have to make excuses for it.

These people are purposely bringing it on themselves, teaching their children to be violent. If we dont show that people will be dealt with and are responsible for their actions, what will the next generation be like – more bombs, bigger rocks, greater hate?!

Posted by Jabberwolf | Report as abusive

Afaaq & Kashmir,

I completely empathize with Kashmiris like yourselves, who are caught between a rock & a hard place for no fault of you own. I understand why you would want the Indian Government to demilitarize Kashmir but then who would stop Pakistani ‘non-state actors’ from crossing into Indian territory & creating havoc?

A lot of hue & cry is often made (mostly by Pakistanis) about the ‘atrocities’ being committed by the Indian military in Kashmir but those very people hardly ever talk about the countless killings of Kashmirs conducted by Pakistani terrorists, who infiltrate into Indian Kashmir & terrorize anyone who doesn’t buy their anti-India agenda. I accept that the Indian military is also responsible for the injustices at some level but then that’s what happens when 500,000 troops patrol an area with a population of 2 million. At the end of the day, who’s responsible for the presence of the Indian military in the valley?
The truth is that if it wasn’t for Pakistan’s vengeful obsession to ‘bleed India with a thousand cuts’ with it’s proxy armies consisting of ‘non-state actors’, today Kashmir would’ve been a peaceful & prosperous place, just like it was 2 decades ago. Ironically, today Pakistan itself is bleeding with ten thousand cuts.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

Kashmir and Afaaq:

Then why Sajid lone lost in Loksabha election and even lost bid if I am not wrong? Any idea of this discrepency. And I heard this time the election turnut was good. So what’s the deal. Is it that some who face stick are highlighted and others who don;t have been quiet but spoke through BALLOT?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@We want both the militants, and Indian army to stop harassing innocent civilians, and kidnapping our relatives. This is what ‘Azaadi’ is to us.
-BY Kashmir

Kashmir: has there been ever a time between 1947 and before the terrorism started and Army intervened (and the trouble started) when the ‘Azaadi’ as defined above was existing?

I think there was and that was when this Pakistan’s pro-terror policy started. That was unpalatable to Pakistan and rest you know the history. But I agree there has to be some start where an innocent should be able to live a normal life. If it was achievable it would have been done–I hope terrorists start having some dress code if they are as brave as they claim.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

It is a sad myth that overwhelming force always succumbs to a persistent guerrilla attack, in fact the opposite is generally true as history has shown us in Sri Lanka if the government is willing to be ruthless and brutal enough, and persistent.. the guerrillas will eventually be broken, or even exterminated holocaust style.

The UN needs to step in here.

i do not know of even one instance anywhere in the Muslim world where any insurgents victory has brought anybody a better,safer life. Not even one…if anything it always results in a much fiercer,more corrupt, arbitrary enforced and much dirtier place. it is especially bad when it involves the various insane Muslim sects and different tribes. Life was so,so much better back in the 60′s….

Posted by Ali | Report as abusive

Wow! This is a fascinating article. I always knew things were difficult and incendiary in the provinces north of India. It appears that, as one commentator above indicates, things were amorphous from the perceived side of northern India (around the time of British exit, through 1989, about the time of Int’l. Equity Arbitrage, high-low capital base inter-jurisdictional redux, a la USA “reaganomix” thatcher supply side — not the best of worlds for those on the working and earnings side of the ledger, but quite sanguine for the capital side of accounts. How well I should know: highly educated, nevertheless of working class roots, my Irish great grandfather was up in the Khyber Pass keeping peace for the Royals back in the early 1890s prior to emigrating to the states — then 4 generations in-zone for USA: I, II, Vnm, Iraq, Operation Freedom — I say pull ‘em out, let the whole place tear up — the bankers all be damned!!! USA DoD is tired and used, abused… how long will Mumbai with Hollywood special effex offshore coupled with call-in tech centers hold out — hmmm…. I wonder… without production in-country USA, no innovation, without innovation or work, no morale, without morale, no fight… so on and so forth… still, do remember, we do love the USA!!! It’s just that we are tired of giving it away from the working, earning and producing side to the wealth, extracting and consuming dievestors [sic].

Sadly, religion and over population have ruined much of the world. The problems of India and Pakistan are fueled by poverty and intolerance of others by those who believe they know God’s will. If people could only refrain from hurting others, it would be a small step in the right direction.

Posted by Michael Drescher | Report as abusive

the sooner Kashmiris realize that violence will not solve their problems, the better it is. The whole world including India is becoming prosperous but Kashmir and Pakistan sink deeper. also what happens to millions of Muslims in India if Kashmir goes to Pakistan ..there will be massive riots.

Posted by Ruchi | Report as abusive

This Photography (or Kashmir) stuff is boring ..

A lot more happening in Pakistan .. Lahore .. SWAT .. Bajure .. Dir .. FATA .. Karachi ..

People are dying ..starving .. getting bombed.. F-16s, Tanks .. billions of $$$ … nuke spying to N Korea ..

Bombing Shows Pakistan Militant Groups Uniting
http://abcnews.go.com/International/stor y?id=7692487&page=1

“Ultimately we’re going to reach a tipping point where the Taliban will have opened so many fronts in Northern Pakistan, in Punjab, that it will be almost impossible for the army to deploy against so many fronts which are so distant from each other geographically,” says Ahmed Rashid, the author of “Descent into Chaos” and who lives in Lahore

Musharraf recently bought a multi-million dollar mansion in London. There is something these people know that they are not telling us!

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

Fayaz,

@”People often ask “what is the most difficult to shoot in a conflict zone?” I always say “protests or rioting.”:

I am no photographer but had i been one, the most difficult to shoot would be to shoot(Photography) bodies of innocent people killed by terrorist in front of wailing relatives and family members. Ex Kaluchak and Chattisinghpura.

You admit that law enforcement not always use live ammunition but use slings, tear gas shells then how come you qualify them ruthless?

What you called “impatient” crowd is actually violent crowd and world over law enforcement deals with violent mob using batton, tear gas and lastly with live bullets.Why should Kashmir be any different from any other place in the world? And your photographs substantiate (esp the cowering policeman) that Indian Govt use ammunition as last resort.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive

Scott,

Mate you need to do a lot of reading of good books to develop a correct prespective

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive

US moved B-52s and gunship helicopters to stop Pakistan from signing another SWAT deal with Talibans.
http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php  ?id=145889
http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php  ?id=145836

USAF in the sky and Taliban-army on the ground, where would common Pakistanis go?

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

The continued Indian occupation of Kashmir is neither legal nor moral. It’s illegal because it violates security council resolutions 47(1948) of 21 April, 1948, 51(1948) of 3 June, 1948, 80 (1950) of 14 March, 1950 and 91(1951) of 30 March, 1951, that are binding on all UN member nations. It’s immoral because it breaks repeated pledges to the people of Kashmir in late 40s and early 50s by Indian prime minister and various Indian officials.

As Pervez Hoodbhoy points out in the following video, Kashmir has become the cause celebre for the radicals on both sides of the border and threatens the future of all of South Asia. Settling Kashmir is crucial to defeat the extremists and bring some normalcy to relations between India and Pakistan that could eventually lead to a common market greatly benefiting all of South Asia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LLnuglrW 34

Raw strikes again in Lahore
http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id= 215325

Taliban group claims Pakistan blast
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2 009/05/200952804641591199.html

Who do u believe??

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

@India has for last 63 years delayed this process and no India is playing terrorism card. I am sure our new president barrack Hussain Obama will motivate the parties to solve this core Kashmir issue amicably,
peacefully, and permanently.”
- Posted by COL. A.M.Khajawall [Ret]

@The Line to Control which is The Line of Conflict has to go and sooner the better. The beautiful and better way to bring peace to people of Kashmir and Indo-Pak region is summarized as PTP [Peace Thru Plebiscite]. or at the round table”
- Posted by COL. A.M.Khajawall [Ret]

Col. Khajawall: India is playing no terrorist card, India is facing terrorism. Are you in USA facing terrorism or not?
A recipe for delaying or not at all solving Kashmir issue is to have an unrealistic goal and that one solution is the disppearance of Line of Control. First Independent kashmir is neither part of UN resolution nor viable. Second neither India nor Pakistan will accept to give away respective Kashmirs. LoC will become an international border.

Also, the Indian Army’s iron fist is not hard to understand. Nearly 20yrs since the terrorism started, the situation Indian Army approach in Kashmir is softer when compared to Swat by pakistan and Kashmir is like a day on the beach when compared to Isreal-Palestine.

Regarding USA: USA has been helping Isreal-Palestine for long time and we know the progress. As a president elect, Mr. Obama could not give a statement when Isreal was throwing white phoshorous on Gazans and killed 1000 of mostly civilians. I hope if he ever gets a chance to be involved in Kashmir issue, he is honest and sincere.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Who do u believe??
- Posted by Riaz

Huh! I always thought our media is worst!

Posted by Cho - N Korean | Report as abusive

Amnesty targets Pakistan and SLanka rights records
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/art icle/ALeqM5gGWSEVYQAf3m3izUhXg74D1GIrww

Oops! Pakistan was training SLanka how to fight a civil war.

Posted by Riaz | Report as abusive

This blog should not be here it deserves a separate thread. However, with all the past and present comotion in Pakistan I would find it truly hard to believe that Kashmiris would annex to Pakistan. The last thing India needs is a situation like Swat in the direct north of the country. Pakistan is going to carry on suffering more and more from these Taliban attacks. It will keep on begging the world for more and more aid, loans…etc with no conditions due to these attacks. However, when these attacks do occur all we will get is the usual blame game of:
-Hindu/Zionist conspiracies.
-India funded Taliban via 12 consulates in Afghanistan.

We do not want these incidents occurring in India, so the soldiers will remain in Kashmir.

This is certainly not the time to start offering pathetic, empty gestures of ‘goodwill’ with hand shakes and smiles for the world media.

However, the REALITY on the ground will always provide the concrete evidence (see headlines below). Pakistan has received BILLIONS of dollars as money and other aid yet the IDPs from the Swat region are eating food unfit for cows in the Jalozai refugee camp (CNN).

Pakistani Taliban claim bombing (BBC News, 28/05/2009)

Pakistani militants in bomb attack on offices of police chief and spy agency (The Guardian, 28/05/2009)

Taliban group claims Pakistan blast (Al Jazeera, 28/05/2009)

Lahore bomb attack seen as Swat revenge (Gulf Times, 27/05/2009)

Pakistan: Trio held after deadly blast kills 27 (CNN, 28/05/2009)
-Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistan Taliban, had threatened to target major Pakistani cities if the operations did not cease.

‘Punjabi Taliban’ claim Lahore suicide bombing: monitors (Dawn, 28/05/2009)

Posted by bulletfish | Report as abusive

I love these blogs!

Posted by Derrick | Report as abusive

“Ruthless” Indian Security forces? What do you want them to do when faced with an ignorant crowd who after Friday prayers practice stone throwing like brain washed maniacs. YOU are like all the other people in that crowd who enjoy the freedom and amenities that India provides them, even though they dont contribute any thing in return except ROCKS. I say close of Kashmir for 2 years, put in a person in charge like M.S.GILL, watch the people get weaned away from violence. Oh and you should be made to serve the security forces you call ‘ruthless’ just to learn what they sacrifice to give you the freedom to criticize them.

If you want to report the way you do, go work for a Pakistani Newspaper. At least there they will feed you more lies against India and your readers will lap it up. Seriously we dont want you, dont need you. GOTO Pakistan and enjoy the Sharia Law. STOP enjoying the freedom and criticizing the ones who provide it.

Posted by Mudit | Report as abusive

Fayaz Bhai,
Being a photojournalist several times i felt the same,I have coverd many riots and protests..but in Kashmir entirly diffrent but the mind set the scene almost same ..every where stone throwing protestors and other side Police and we have to save ourselves and shoot the best pix both combination so difficult and its sad u guys are facing every week ..
A real info entry

Pawan-Lucknow

Posted by Pawan-Lucknow | Report as abusive

My Kashmiri brothers,
I can understand your agony of having to live a life in constant curfew.
And I wouldn’t deny that soemtimes authorities tend to become a bit too harsh. It doesn’t happen only in Kashmir. It happens everywhere but yes in Kashmir I feel it is much more bad.
We would want those days to return when everybody was free to go to Dal Lake. When people didn’t have to look for switzerland to travel as Kashmir was the Heaven on Earth. We don’t want army to be there in the streets. Law and Order should be handled by the state of Jammu & Kashmir like it is being done elsewhere.
In this all of us are with you, we can make a difference all we need to do is to reject Pakistani sponsored terrorism. You are the eyes and ears of India in Kashmir, may be you can come up with your articles on how terrorists are still there in Kashmir, how they are destroying the very fabric of Kashmir culture of sufism. We can put pressure on international organistaions to punish Pakistan for fomenting terrorism in Kashmir. We can raise our voices together and we will help to put pressure on Indian government to move the army to the borders and let the constubalry handle law and order in the cities and towns, encourage tourism in the state along with its age old handloom industry. We can go back to the pre-terrorism era with all the facilties of post-liberalization benefits of India. Lets start today.

Posted by Aman | Report as abusive

My dear kashmiri brothers,
As-salaamualaikum and peace.

I can understand that it is hard to be under the constant harshness of the Indian Army. And I do understand why. However it would be great if you could develop ways to become a part of the larger mainstream India. India today offers much more opportunities than it did before. So make good of it. Violence begets violence. Forget your past grudges. Remember the prophet SAW even forgave Wahshi and Hinda, who ate the raw liver of his uncle. See Iraq. Although the US occupied it illegally, the population has learned to live. They have rejected the unislamic ways of Alqaeda’s killing of civilians, finally Iraq will soon be coming back to Normal inshaAllah.

And it would be great if the government of India tries to win the hearts and mind of the local population by encouraging more industries and by creating jobs which positively channel the energy of the youth.I am a pround Indian Muslim, and although here in Europe, I plan to come back to my home.

Posted by ElectricSwede | Report as abusive

A very vivid post. I do not know whom to blame or support, since it almost seems like a free-for-all. One might start thinking of human rights, but, with all sincerity, both sides are equally responsible for human right violations. A policeman getting hit by a rock is equally a victim as a protester getting hit by a rubber bullet or tear gas. A zero-sum game going forever…and isn’t that sad?

firstly i salute u and ur daring job.sir i m upcomming photojournalist. i think always how difficult to cover in kasmir.one side terrorist and other side military.how u manage.its a very chalenging work. u inspir me.

Posted by sangam dubey | Report as abusive

Michael Drescher,

It’s not religion but the politicization of religion that has led to the problems in South Asia. It’s not a recent phenomena, unfortunately. The seeds of it were sown before year 1947.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive

“The continued Indian occupation of Kashmir is neither legal nor moral. It’s illegal because it violates security council resolutions 47(1948) of 21 April, 1948, 51(1948) of 3 June, 1948, 80 (1950) of 14 March, 1950 and 91(1951) of 30 March, 1951″
– Posted by Riaz Haq

Quite conveniently, you forgot about the Simla Agreement, which superseded all previous agreements & legalized the Line of control. It was signed by the then Pakistani President Zulfikar Bhutto. Talking of illegal & immoral occupations, that’s exactly what most Pashtuns & Balochs would term Pakistan’s occupation of NWFP & Baluchistan, as.
It’s all a matter of perception. Indians & Pakistanis have their own, different perceptions, which are well known to all. Indians call Pakistani Kashmir as ‘Pakistan occupied Kashmir’ & Pakistanis term Indian Kashmir as ‘Indian held Kashmir’. The solution, I believe, would be somewhere in the middle in the form of greater autonomy for the region, with both countries retaining their territorial integrity. But for any solution to reach fruition, Pakistan will have to discontinue it’s proxy war in India via it’s ‘non-state actors’ because it will never be able to wrest, even an inch of Indian territory by means of force or terrorism.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

This is in response to “Kashmir”.
You say:”When one talks about azaadi, what one really wants is to be able to roam around freely on the streets, without curfews & terror attacks.” I don’t know how old you are sir/madam. If you don’t have a personal experience of life before 1989, go ask your elders about that. You/they did not have “azaadi” then, but enjoyed life well enough to snub Ayuoob Khan’s goons and hand them over to the law enforcement then.(See my other post on this blog) It is only when you stopped doing that and picked up rocks in support of the goons throwing grenades, that army had to be brought in.
You will have to negotiate your terms with India, if you want to make your association with India conditional. But you will not be allowed to dictate. I can however assure you of one immutable fact: Indian army has a right to be in Kashmir and it shall stay there. Indian flag shall fly over Kashmir and if you have problems with that India cannot oblige you as India has sovereignty over it as much as it has over any of its other parts. In such a case, immigration to any other country is a distinct option as many of your other compatriots have already exercised.

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive

Nice balanced article.

As usual we have our Pakistani and Indian friends bickering over us. How we as kashmiris would prefer being ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh with the british protection (1947) at least we would have one Master!

I just like to point out that in Kashmir, we have since 1947 to 1987, had a peaceful struggle for our right to determination. It was only when the State elections which were rigged by Indian govt that the people felt enough was enough.

Pakistani govt/establishment felt this was perfect opportunity to get back to India, because of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and of course the success of the driving the Russians out, they funded and encourage this struggle through training and weapons.

When you are cornered and desperate, majority of the time you make the wrong decision. And that resulted in the arm’s struggle.

In regards to Muslim Extremism, and safe guarding the kashmiris from talibanisation.

The national poet of Kashmir, Mahjoor, once wrote: “Muslims are milk, Hindus are sugar.” While the rest of the Indian subcontinent was consumed by violence between Hindus and Muslims after 1947, Kashmir was one of the few places where the Hindu minority lived safely.

A few bad apples (militants) spoilt the kashmiriyat (secularism)in the early 90′s.

Unfortunately there were around 230 – 250 hindus that were killed. This raised fear in the Hindu community and Indian Govt took full opportunity of this by encouraging the Pandits (Kashmir Hindus) to relocate and turn this struggle into Islamic extremism. I wonder why the Indian Govt didn’t do the same when 1000-2000 muslims were killed in Gujrat.

Nevertheless, Thats where Kashmiriyat died! And i hope that one day they all return back, as they belong there as much as any other Kashmiri does.

Thankfully, the world got to see a glimpse of the Kashmiriyat, during the last summer Agitation where not even One Hindu Yatri (pilgrim) was touched.

Also to highlight that no where in the world where a pilgrimage of one religion (hindu) is facilitated by the people of another religion, that is Kashmiriyat.

I praise these journalist who help to bring exposure to our struggle, We need the world to hear our side of the story.

Our leaders in Jammu & Kashmir have failed us, they are either the puppets of India or Pakistan.

Hopefully the educated youth of Kashmir, will never resolve to guns and fight our struggle through educating people about our aspirations and history, not the ones that are written in Pakistani and Indian History books.

I have a dream that we would be the bridge between India and Pakistan. As of now, Kashmir is a rose stuck between two thorns.

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

A good article by a well respected Pakistani intelectual, Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/16-A nother-nuclear-anniversary-hs-12

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

People of India send their condolences to Pakistanis.

Its heart wrenching to see the carnage going on in Peshawar, Lahore and Swat.

Lets hope it will all end and peace is restored very soon.

I agree Azad. It is indeed very sad to see the plight of the innocent civilians in Pakistan. Human suffering is tragic, irrespective of religion or nationality. I hope Pakistan stabilizes soon & this suffering ends.

Posted by Mortal | Report as abusive

UN intervention is inevitable. And no one (except maybe Kashmiris) will be happy with the result.

Also, to the commentators that have said journalists should be kept out of conflict zones, I say this: You deserve your fate. Barring journalists is definitely a Russian/Asian thing, and just look how peachy all of your human rights records are. But don’t tell anyone I said this, or I may get cooked in an oven.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

UMS

—India is filled with such ‘aiyats’ – punjabiyat, bihariyat, marathiayat, tamiliayat, this -iyat – that iyat etc. etc. – the bottomline is it’s India, & Kashmir is ancient than all ‘iyat’s’.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

UMS

—& what on earth is this so called ‘self-determination’ all about???huh?

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

Nice set of pictures by fayaz Kabli,i love the sling pic,brilliant & the write up is to the point.

Posted by Javeed Shah | Report as abusive

Ha This is such a biased and outdated view. First of all Fayaz is talking about the era before Omar Abdullah, the chief minister of Proud Kashmir. Right now the biggest worry for the young Chief Minister is how to get lots of tourist to visit Kashmir this summer.
Secondly, how conveniently Fayaz puts in the words “last year faced some of the biggest anti-India protests in nearly 20 years” between his lines. Do you know that this issue started as an anti-kashmir movement by people of Jammu. Thousands and thousands of people protested violently against the people and leaders of Kashmir in Jammu. They were brutally crushed by the Indian Army because they tried to blocade food and medicines which were going to Kashmir. The shocked kashmiris had no other option but to show their protests too. But no, Fayaz conveniently forgets to mention the Jammu unrest.
Believe me when I say this. If there was an honorable way, we would get rid of Kashmir so fast that it will make everyones heads spin but the only thing that stops us is that the people of Kashmir genuinely wants to be a part of India. We cannot punish Kashmirirs by separating them just because of a few hundred Pakistani trained preachers, gang leaders and militants are making all the noise while the authentic Kashmir citizen is scared of them. I say the word ” cannot PUNISH kashmiri people” because thats what it will be. What will Kashmir be if it gets separated from India. It will be a tiny little strategically located country which will be used/ abused/ mutilated/ pillaged/ raped/ thrashed by all its neighbours including India/ pakistan/ china/ russia/ iran/ USA. Kashmir is smaller than Pakistan and look at the state of Pakistan. It is already a failed nation. So to separate Kashmir from India will be punishemnt to Kashmiris.

Posted by Surya Pratap Singh | Report as abusive

@I just like to point out that in Kashmir, we have since 1947 to 1987, had a peaceful struggle for our right to determination. It was only when the State elections which were rigged by Indian govt that the people felt enough was enough.
-posted by UMS

UMS: So when is it going to be “enough is enough” for POK kashmiris who never had any Kashmiri leader? Or do you think it is all utopian there.

@Pakistani govt/establishment felt this was perfect opportunity to get back to India, because of East Pakistan (Bangladesh) and …..they funded and encourage this struggle through training and weapons.” “When you are cornered and desperate, majority of the time you make the wrong decision. And that resulted in the arm’s struggle.”
– So you mean Pakistan made wrong decision and is following it persistently. This is not called simply a wrong decision, it is carefully thought out plan–of course is turning self-destructive to Pakistan.

Why do you support terrorism, labeling it as freedom struggle. If you can control the start and stop of this terrosism, I will say OK you are doing it using foreigners. But you have zero say in this issue, yet supportive. Brilliant. Have you ever given it a thought that Kashmiris need to oppose the terrorism?

@Unfortunately there were around 230 – 250 hindus that were killed. This raised fear in the Hindu community and Indian Govt took full opportunity of this by encouraging the Pandits (Kashmir Hindus) to relocate and turn this struggle into Islamic extremism. I wonder why the Indian Govt didn’t do the same when 1000-2000 muslims were killed in Gujrat”
-I know 2 Hindu victims from the above 250 or so. It is not some conspiracy that in the middle of the night Indian govt relocated all Hindus and you woke up in the morning to find betrayed that Kashmiryiat died. No one leaves one’s home so easily to live as refugee in their own country unless there is a string reason. Face it and take responsibility that you failed as a community and hence Kashmiryiat died. I am yet to hear from a Kashmiri Muslim saying whole heartedly that what happend to K Hindus was wrong without adding on other issues. Compare with Sikh-Hindu during Punjab terrorism.

About Gujrat, that is based on your assumption. But tell me a better place for Muslims than India-Pakistan?

@Thankfully, the world got to see a glimpse of the Kashmiriyat, during the last summer Agitation where not even One Hindu Yatri (pilgrim) was touched.
-This is no favor but a normal thing to do.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Rajiv,

When I said that arms came into the kashmiri struggle that was a wrong decision on the part of Kashmiris to chose that path!

I believe in complete non-violence, so please do understand my point of view. This issue of Bangladesh and so on, was for the Pakistani’s to get back more at the Indians and not for the people of Kashmir. A proxy war!

Their decision then and now is completely wrong. Like it was completely wrong for the Indians to create the LTTE in Sri Lanka. India has learnt, Pakistan still hasn’t!

In regards to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, i believe that there is oppression there as well, i recently met a kashmiri from there and he described to me that the doctrine that is led by the Pakistani’s is continuously reminding them that they are a part of Pakistan. Leaders are brought forward who keep Pakistani ideology in mind in regards to Kashmir.

In regards to Kashmiri Pandits, I as a Kashmiri,is fully ashamed of what happened to them, each and every individual who died or had to relocate, because Kashmir belongs to them as much it does to any other Kashmiri. What I am trying to say is that as a society we could have licked our wounds, much like how the Muslims and Hindus of Gujarat are doing at this very moment. Are you in denial of what happened in Gujarat?

I hope you interact with a few other Kashmiri’s who I am sure will state the same.

Please do not go by the kashmiri leaders you see on TV, Either they are the puppets of Pakistan or India. We do not have a great leader, like a Gandhiji or Nelson Mandela who were leaders of their people.

Let me also Categorically state here that I oppose terrorism or the killing of innocents, that path will only lead to destruction.

But rajiv, if you would have witnessed or read about last years agitation, it was non-violent, apart from stone throwing, I think you should acknowledge that, there were no AK 47 being flashed around those marches, but the retaliation of Indian Armed forces in which they killed 57 innocent people has to be highlighted.

There were over 500,000 to 600,000 people marching on the streets of Sringar, asking for their right to self determination. Those weren’t a few hundred goons of Pakistan, please do not be ignorant or in denial.

In regards to the Yatra issue, of course it is not a favour to Hindus of India, nor is it out of the ordinary, but when people are labeling your struggle as Islamic terrorism, then you can definitely say that the evidence states it really isn’t.

I am for Freedom from both Pakistan and India, but will like that the people (Hindu/Muslim/Sikh/christian) of Jammu and Kashmir should have the right to chose what they want, i will go where the majority goes. If India is so sure that the people of J&K will side with them then i ask you why not shut everyone up and hold a plebiscite.

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

@In regards to Kashmiri Pandits, I as a Kashmiri,is fully ashamed of what happened to them, each and every individual who died or had to relocate, because Kashmir belongs to them as much it does to any other Kashmiri. What I am trying to say is that as a society we could have licked our wounds, much like how the Muslims and Hindus of Gujarat are doing at this very moment. Are you in denial of what happened in Gujarat?
-posted by UMS

UMS: I am glad you say this about Kashmiri Hindus. This does not do a thing for them but then that’s the best you can do and is the first time I have heard a K-muslims feeling for K-Hindu. I stated last time that kashmiris failed as a community in this regard in 1989. I am Hindu from Punjab, so I gave you Sikh-Hindu example. No 2 situations are identical, but this one gets pretty close. About Gujrat: I have said this before and I have seen almost all the Indian bloggers you notice here (for whatever they say on any issue) have strongly condemned the incidents. That was a national shame to say the least. So I am in no denial of that incident where Muslims (more) and Hindus died.

@….kashmiri leaders you see on TV, Either they are the puppets of Pakistan or India. We do not have a great leader, like a Gandhiji or Nelson Mandela who were leaders of their people.”

and then you also say
@I am for Freedom from both Pakistan and India, but will like that the people (Hindu/Muslim/Sikh/christian) of Jammu and Kashmir should have the right to chose what they want, i will go where the majority goes.”

So if you think that you do not have an excellent leader, then who will be the leader of the independent country and how viable will be Kashmir on its own. Viability of free Kashmir will be based on so many assumptions and wishing that everything goes OK and it s neighbours are friendly. Also keep in mind that going by UN, indpendent Kashmir is not an option. So it will have to something very new and is not likely to happen. I will never ask for free Kashmir if I were a Kashmiri Muslim. Also It is understandable that the K-Pundits will not be part of that free Kashmir. So it is already flawed. The options are: India or pakistan. I have heard many who present some argument to pick, they say India. But it is your choice but if you ever get an opportunity, think about future generations. But you must be asking what are other Indian Muslims feel about India. I have no survey but have heard some Indian Muslims who despite Babri masjid or Gujrart, say the safest place for Muslims is India. But I am an Indian and you although Indian passport holder and Indian are in different situation. Think before you make decision–if at all that happens. Best thing for Kashmiris is to have a realistic goal, if you do not want the problems to linger and next generations to suffer—-free Kashmir is not a realistic goal. I know you might say who is India and Pakistan to deny free kashmir. But then that’s the reality and UM resolution will be conveniently used to present the argument.
Some points to think are:
1. have realitic goal
2. what does India has to offer to Kashmiris (Muslims in the valley). Good point is how are Indian Muslims and other minorities doing in India? Go beyond the normal media news.
3. what does Pakistan has to offer to Kashmiris Muslims. Good point is to see what Pakistan is treating its Kashmiris and Kashmir land. Also how other Pakistanis will is treating Muslims and minorities in pakistan, and what will be the place of Kashmiris in Pakistan. Go beyond the normal media news.
4. Are K-Pundits written off? Muslims can stay in Kashmir as part of India, as is evident from non_Kashmiri Muslims. But K-Pundits cannot live in Kashmir if it becomes part of Pakistan as is evidnent from tyhe treatmen of Hindus and other minorities in Pakistan. So how would you fit in the K-Pundits in the whole scheme of things?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@I am for Freedom from both Pakistan and India, but will like that the people (Hindu/Muslim/Sikh/christian) of Jammu and Kashmir should have the right to chose what they want, i will go where the majority goes. If India is so sure that the people of J&K will side with them then i ask you why not shut everyone up and hold a plebiscite.
- Posted by UMS

UMS: How do you view back channel talls between India-Pakistan over Kashmir?

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

To all those who say that India should conduct a referendum or plebiscite to let the Kashmiris decide, I say “make us”. Why should we do it? If you have the power to make us do it, we will have to. So you can go to the UN or the US or blast some more bombs or arrange some more protests in a part of Srinagar city, try what you may but force us. Otherwise forget about it. We, the Indians know and believe that Kashmiris want to be a part of India. It is you who are in doubt. Losers.

Posted by Surya Pratap Singh | Report as abusive

Rajive,

Of course my condemnation does not do much for Kashmiri Pandits, but the same is from your end regarding the Muslims in Gujarat. We as Kashmiri’s are and should be ashamed of what happened. It is always a minority who spoil it for the Majority!

What I believe is that the Kashmiri Pandits should return to the Valley, this should be done on a govt level, social level and security level. India has 700,000 army personal in Kashmir, do you really think this is not possible? India is not really serious in all fronts in solving this issue, the same could be said of the Pakistani’s. I really believe that till the next generation of politicians are not in power in both countries we will see nothing major from all these talks and initiatives.

I believe India is transforming and becoming more secular, with the recent elections held are a testament to that. That is not the reason why or why not we should be part of India. I believe that Indian govt has played a disastrous role in Kashmir:

(1) Once the State (J&K) was under attack from the Pakistanis (during partition) Hari Singh asked for help and India did come to aid (thankfully) but with conditions, by signing the accession. And then Nehru declaring in Kashmir and UN assembly that the Plebiscite would be held. Dishonesty, deceit!

(2)in illegally (arm twisting) erasing the autonomy we shared till 1953. One of the most popular and i think one who created half this mess Sheikh Abdulla, was jailed for a decade or so as he felt an independent Kashmir was much better for us. Continuous Oppression

(3) On numerous occasions, having Puppet governments in J&K, who take orders from the master (Delhi high command) Treated as Slaves, where is the Democracy Indians talk and share in main land India. Kashmiri’s were cornered and desperate, which leads to my next point…

(4) Yes the gun was picked up by the kashmiri’s, but the amount of Human right abuses that have been committed by the Indian Armed forces are enormous. India is ruling Kashmir by the gun, every 20 to 30 meters lies a soldier, holding his gun, abusing his power, strip searching, making sleazy comments as a woman goes by. To some degree its sometimes not even their fault, they have nothing else to do apart from be a constant reminder to the People of Kashmir, that yes your master is here, you are an integral part of India. Even by Indian government records there are only 1000 to 2000 armed miltants present in the state, why such a big presence of Indian armed forces? Especially in every corner of the state.

I don’t want to get into figures of how many People have died, how many are missing, how many are rapped, how many are dislocated (even Kashmir Muslims, I am one of them) but Kashmiris do not trust the Indian Govt and I really believe they never will.

The real solution here might take another 1,2 or 3 decades, but the process has to start soon, India and Pakistan have to learn to treat each other as neighbors as they will always remain as that. It will happen, it just takes time, who thought in the 1940’s Germany and France would be part of the same Union?

I also believe that India and Pakistan have to stop acting like they are the masters of J&K, all talks that are to do with Jammu and Kashmir, have to involve the people of Kashmir. Otherwise if you do not give what the people want you will be just cutting the weed from the top, and we will continue to talk about this issue.

Yes, we do not have any leaders in Kashmir, who can represent us, but this issue is going to stay for a while, I hope and pray that someone steps forward, if not then I might have to do it ;-).

Why is what I am asking or saying is not realistic, wasn’t the same being said about the Indians when the British Raj was being ruling over it. India cannot survive on its own, its too divided or does not have the right leaders, it will be a failed state. India proved the British wrong, why can’t the Kashmiris not. Yes they most definitely cannot, if India and Pakistan decide to play a counter productive role.

That is why it has to be mutually agreed that Kashmir should be left on its own. India and Pakistan need to think long term, like they did for the Indus water treat, that is the only thing they agreed on which has to do something with Kashmir, as it benefits them the most.

Also I would further like to point out that not everyone in India was opposing the British Raj, but the majority was, so I believe it is the same in Kashmir when its regarding the Indians or Pakistani’s. I also believe that the Idea of being a part of Pakistan is dwindling in J&K , which I am happy about. But like I said before, I will go where the majority goes, if I am proven wrong.

BTW why can’t Kashmiri’s prosper with India and Pakistan being its neighbor, We definitely have enough resources, hydro alone can fulfill that, I don’t even need to mention tourism, agriculture, mineral reserves, handicrafts and so on…..

we as a nation will re attach ourselves to the silk route and become a bridge between central asia, sub continent, a mini Switzerland ( I don’t like to equate ourselves to them but eg. To help support my argument) The amount of FDI we will attract will be immense if there is stability. We do not need to live on handout or government led development (which is inefficient)

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

UMS
“but will like that the people (Hindu/Muslim/Sikh/christian) of Jammu and Kashmir should have the right to chose what they want, i will go where the majority goes.”

—-Huh – which majority? attaboy you smack of hypocrisy, oh! those crocodile tears for the Original Kashmiri’s (Pandits), you guys are pathetic, & we are not fools.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

UMS: I look at your post and wonder.
You state:”we have since 1947 to 1987, had a peaceful struggle for our right to determination. It was only when the State elections which were rigged by Indian govt that the people felt enough was enough.”
Do you have any newspaper clippings you can share with us about your so-called ” peaceful struggle for our right to determination” in that period? I would sure like to see that fiction brought to life. As far as the rigged election goes, true, perhaps the election was rigged, but do you start a murderous campaign to rectify that and invite a foreign power to aid you? Mr. Gore was cheated out of a presidential election and the consensus throughout the land was that he was indeed cheated. Should he have called in Russia to intervene? Democracy, my friend, is perfect nowhere because it is a work in progress. We take measures to rectify a wrong with the help of our own people, but as is the general impression you fraternized with the mortal enemy of India. That was inexcusable, indeed unforgivable.
“Also to highlight that no where in the world where a pilgrimage of one religion (hindu) is facilitated by the people of another religion, that is Kashmiriyat.” Let us not get too carried away by this “Kashmiriyat”. Surely, not behaving like a beast is no favour to any one. Remember, that it was a Muslim who discovered that holy cave, in return for which his family was permanently made its caretaker. Now, that is Kashmiriyat. Facilitating a pilgrimage by providing a service to pilgrims is pure economics. It is foolish to take credit for it. Do not forget that your politicians, like Muftis and Gillanis, are doing their darnedest to limit that pilgrimage as much as possible to the chagrin of all those who earn their living off of it.
“Kashmir is a rose stuck between two thorns.” Ask those who had to flee their homes and hearths and are continuing to live a rotten existence in the refugee camps in their own country who, in fact, are really the thorns. Their perceptions may be quite surprising to you. Muslims practice this dichotomy so skillfully; first be as aggressive as a beast and then feign innocence (“I had nothing to do with it”) and then victimhood (“It is you who made me the beast.”).
Thankfully, the world has gotten wise to it.
About your “national” poet, I hope, for his sake, he died before you enacted your Kashmiriyat!!! The “sugar” in his “milk” would have turned as bitter as the lives as they have been forced into.

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive

UMS: In all honesty, how can you compare the plight of Kashmiri Pandits to Gujarati Muslims. The pogrom of Gujarati Muslims took place in retaliation to broasting of returning Hindu pilgrims by Muslims in a rail car. What had Kashmiri Pandits done to majority Muslims of Kashmir that they were massacred, thrown over the bridges, their young teenage children’s throats slashed while forcing the parents to watch the gory scene, their women raped. Gujarati Muslims still live in Gujarat, do Kashmiri Pandits live any more in Kashmir?
It is very magnanimous of you to say that they should return. Return to what? Have you instilled enough confidence in them that their very neighours will not come to behead them and their children. Instead, their properties have been taken over, their temples desecrated. Or, perhaps you expect that they should live within their own colonies (or camps) guarded by “700,000 Indian troops” so that you can flaunt “Kashmiriyat” on paper. No, they will not do that nor should they, until their return with all the dignity that every Indian citizen has a right to. That day will come, be assured.
You may be in a majority in the few thousand square miles of Kashmir, the rest of Jammu and Kashmir is inhabited by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Gujjars etc., etc who do not subscribe to your notions of self-determination (in fact, you should be aware of how much they are itching to be released from the overlordship of Kashmiri Muslims). Then, is giving “azaadi” to a small enclave a solution? No, even that is not a solution. Why? Because self-determination is not the paramount principle where there are other considerations like legal (accession of the state sovereign to one of the dominions), national security of a whole nation of 1 billion people living in a dangerous neighorhood) etc. etc. which must overrule the good feelings of a minuscule portion of it. Whether some or most Kashmiri Muslims like it or not, Kashmir is a part of India which cannot secede, will not be allowed to secede, regardless. Both, Pakistan and Kashmiris have done their worst and you are still where you were 60 years back. In fact, I would say you both have regressed quite a bit from which it will be difficult to recover. Self-determination may look quite democratic and glamorous, but no country can be made to commit suicide.

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive

Dear G.Din,

Could you provide my extensive details of incidents where violence was occurring in Kashmir between 1947 to 1987? I really believe if you go through history, between those years, majority of that period was non-violent, there might be a couple of incidents that i might not recall but as whole it largely non-violent.

In regards, to the rigged elections i totally agree that people in Kashmir should have not picked up the gun, I really don’t know how many times i have to repeat this.

BTW i really don’t know how much we invited the foreign power, i think it was more of them looking out for that opportunity. Nevertheless, wrong however it happened.

In regards to Democracy, what Democracy are you talking about, the accession to India was in october 27th 1947, after India and Pakistan gained Independence. Hari Singh (ruler of J&K) had not decided what he wanted, he was more inclined to an Independent Kashmir, if it wasn’t for the Pakistanis, we might have been independent. Hari Singh asked India for help, as the pakistani were on our door steps, India only obliged with the condition of the accession being signed. After that it was stated by the Viceroy and Nehru himself (both in kashmir and the UN assembly) that there would be a plebiscite held in J&K. that never happened. To put salt in the wounds of us Kashmiris, you even took our autonomy in 1953.

Did you know that J&K had its own Flag, president, prime minister, and Poeple of both India and Pakistan had to get visas to access J&K?

In regards to the Piligrimage, I really do not want to speak of the bunch of leaders you have stated, majority of them are on the Pakistani or Indian pay roll. I believe the yatra should go on, but the govt should keep environmental provision into account for the duration. If they feel that 2 months or however long will not harm the environment, it should remain till that period. We have to take the longivity, for generations to come for such a pilgrimage. And of course the Kashmiris will earn income from this, Kashmiris alone not people from main land India which was not the case as per the yatra committee or governor Mr. Sinha.

wrong doings of a few is clouding your judgment, Its a shame that you generalize.

Nonetheless, I think you should look at yourself (India) before you start blaming others, India was the first to formulate the strategy of aiding rebels/seperatists/ extremists, you did it first in Bangladesh and then in Sri Lanka! Pakistanis learnt it from you (indian govt).

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

I recently sat down with a very close friend, and we discussed his personal views on the Kashmir conflict. He is a Kashmiri himself, from Srinagar, and is passionate about his roots. He has adopted a non-violent means of awareness raising through discussion, debate, and rhetoric, which he feels is ultimately more effective.
You can read the post in my Blog link below, which will give you more of an understanding of his sentiments and an insight into the mind of a true Kashmiri.

Please comment on the Blog post as well in the “comments” section above the post. Thanks!

http://omarulhaq.wordpress.com/2009/05/3 0/kashmir-the-unknown-soldiers/

Dear G.Din,

I really do not have the answer to what the Kashmiri Pandits did or did not do. The massacre of around 250 Pandits is completely wrong. Also the massacre of around 2000 Muslims is also completely wrong. Retaliation or no retaliation, there is no justification!!!!

What i was saying is that why did the muslims, who were in the minority in Gujarat not be evacuated, like the kashmiri pandits. Is hindu life valued more in india than a muslim life. I hope not!

I believe that it should have most definitely been stopped, both in kashmir and Gujarat, but at least in Gujarat, the muslims and Hindus have a chance to once again interact and rebuild the bridge between the community. The strategy the Indian government took in kashmir has thrown that out of the window, as they planned one the biggest relocation (early 90′s) of people after the partition. Once again, i still believe what happened in both these places would have been done by a minority of people from the majority.

In regards to the the eg. of rapes, i actually have not heard any figures, please can you provide me with some facts. Also, i can be confident enough to say that no temples were destroyed in past 100 years in Kashmir, if you are talking over the past 600 years then i dont know.
It seems that you get your information from BJP/shiv sena sources.

You confidently state that Jammu, and ladakh want to be a part of India, maybe 2 and half districts of Jammu, the rest is in line with what the Valley want, in regards to Ladakh, it maybe the case in Leh, but can you say the same about kargil? Look we can argue about this over and over again, I could be wrong or you could be wrong, that is why we need to know what the people of the state want (plebiscite).

In regards to If J&K becomes independent, it will shake the union of India, is India that insecure, i really do not understand that argument, I do not believe that, Apart from maybe a state in North-east, Indian union seems pretty strong and proud!

As for the dangerous Neighborhood, India has and is playing a role in keeping that environment alive, like the rest of the countries. If Pakistan and India Mutually agree to give their parts of Kashmir back to the people of Kashmir, we might help in bridging that gap.

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

The huge oppression, violence and injustice the Kashmiris have suffered at the hands of Cruel India is simply heart-breaking.

Mr. UMS:
I cannot give you any details about violence occurring during the period 1947 – 1989, precisely because there wasn’t any. Kashmiris under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah were at peace with themselves then. So, tell us, where was the “struggle for self-determination” being waged by Kashmiris then which you mentioned in your post?
Now, as regards the much ballyhooed Nehru’s promise of plebiscite, I suggest you familiarize with the relevant Security Council document. You will find that the resolution, among other requirements, called for withdrawal of ALL Pakistani forces from the state before holding the plebiscite while India was to maintain a token force to assure law and order. Pakistan reneged on that commitment which was not a big surprise, having seen how it breached the Stand-Still Agreement which Jinnah had signed with the Maharaja of Kashmir by sending hoodlums and brigands into Kashmir backed by Pakistani Army with the purpose of annexing it. Therefore, the commitment by India stood null and void.
Again, as far as the special constitutional provisions for Kashmir, autonomy, flag, Sadri-Riyasat etc., are concerned, such provisions were foreseen for a short period, but Sheikh Abdullah tried to institutionalize those. After tasting power for a little while, it turned his head and he wanted to run Kashmir as his personal fiefdom. Did you know that he intended to declare himself the Sultan of Kashmir? Towards this end, he got a Caddilac car imported from US (That was quite special in those days) and had proper robes and a throne for himself ready. The Caddilac was subsequently auctioned off after his arrest by his deputy Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad and sold to some one in Bombay. Just like Bhutto’s “grass-eating” speech, Abdullah also made such a speech in Kashmir.
When Sheikh Abdullah was caught red handed hobnobbing with Pakistanis in Pahalgam (his driver was an Indian intelligence agent), arrested and gaoled in a sanatorium by his friend Nehru, still there were no problems in Kashmir. The fact is that before 1989 Kashmiris had no complaints and in fact frustrated Ayub Khan’s attempt to foment a rebellion in 1965.
Let us not talk about Bangla Desh business; that is an entirely different matter. If you want, you can start a blog dedicated to that and I shall enlighten you about that too.
I suggest sensible people like you must contemplate deeply about the real world. You can write your own Bible and then expect India to abide by it. But that is not how the real world works. Ask about your “azaadi” after China gives “azaadi” to Tibet and Xingiang province, Russia gives “azaadi” to Chechnya and Dagistan,the Phillipines gives the same to Mindanao, the US, the Superpower, gives it to Puerto Rico and Hawaii, Iraqis, Iranians and Turkey give “azaadi” to their Kurds so they can form their own Kurdistan, the Turks remove their occupation forces from Cyprus. As a successor government to British, you have every right to demand of the Indian Government that the British sale of the state of Jammu and Kashmir to Maharaja Gulab Singh be annulled, but you would be on a higher moral footing if you do that after you pursuade the US to annull the Louisiana Purchase and the Alaska Purchase.
The point I am trying to make is that wisdom demands that idealism always give way to realism. And the realism dictates that there is no chance whatsoever for “azaadi” for Kashmir. The sooner “azaadi”-seeking Kashmiris reconcile to that, the better-off they will be.

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive

UMS:
You are a typical pakistani/closeted pakistani. You mix half truths and fiction to create your illusionary world:
1. Did you know that J&K had its own Flag…
Yes – so do each of the states in US, Australia, Germany etc – similarly J&K is a state of India

2. maybe 2 and half districts of Jammu, the rest is in line with what the Valley want,…
The whole world saw the Jammu demonstrators with the Indian tri-color last year. In Kargil 1999, it was the local population that alerted the Army about intrusion of the pakistani terrorist into India. The residents of Kargil, Drass, and Batalik had to live in underground bunkers due to daily pakistani artillery shelling – you either a half-wit or delusional if you think these people want to be part of pakistan.
Except the 20 lakh or less residents of the valley – the rest of kashmir has time and again reiterated its Indian-ness. The Ladakh Scouts of the Indian Army is the highest decorated regiments of the army that led the fight in Kargil and the soldiers are household heroes in Ladakh.

3.India was the first to formulate the strategy of aiding rebels/seperatists/ extremists…
Oh – you forgot your ealier post – that pakistan sent in terrorist to kashmir in 1948 because of which the maharaja had to ask India for assistance. Typical pakistani double speak!

Its only a few fattened elite in the valley who keep up this “azadi” BS – the rest of the J&K has moved on. 90% of J&K economy is supported by central grants, you are not switzerland with its high precision engineering base, financial market, scientific personnel – kashmir valley as an independent state will be like all the “…stans” that abound in central asia – on doles from Russia, US or China.

Wake up and smell the coffee UMS – kashmir has always been part of India – during mughal empire, when shankracharya peeth was established or now!

Posted by indian_kashmiri | Report as abusive

UMS

—First of all, the plebiscite is to choose either India or Pakistan, take your pick, secondly, it not only includes the Indian side of J&K, but also the annexed parts By Pakistan & the areas gifted to china by Pakistan, further the punjabi’s from Northern areas will have to be evacuated, then ofcourse the district-wise understanding will have to be considered & a host of such issues, we frankly do not wish to subjugate kashmiri muslims forcefully, but we are equally responsible for the other subjects of the state , so on & so forth…

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

I can never forget those days. I along with my family used to stay awake all night because army troopers were entering forcibly into peoples houses & beat men & children & try to molest women.
It was then when I actually realized that we Kashmiris dont belong with India.
India media not once showed what army & CRPF were doing with common people. I remember army troopers spewed boiling water at a 3 or 4 year old boy & then didnt let his parents take him to hospital.

Posted by farhat | Report as abusive

“People often ask “what is the most difficult to shoot in a conflict zone?” I always say “protests or rioting.”

The reason riots are the most difficult to shoot in a conflict zone, is because they expose the weakness of people power verses weaponry.

Posted by brian | Report as abusive

Excerpts of telegram dated 26 October, 1947 from Jawaharlal Nehru to the
British Prime Minister, Clement Attlee.

“For Prime Minister United Kingdom from Prime Minister India.

We have received urgent appeal for assistance from Kashmir Government.
We would be disposed to give favourable consideration to such request from any friendly State. Kashmir’s Northern frontiers, as you are aware, run in common with those of three countries, Afghanistan, the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics and China. Security of Kashmir, which must
depend upon control of internal tranquillity and existence of stable Government, is vital to security of India especially since
part of Southern boundary of Kashmir and India are common. Helping
Kashmir, therefore, is an obligation of national interest to India. We are giving urgent consideration to question as to what assistance we can give to State to defend itself.

I should like to make it clear that question of aiding Kashmir in this
emergency is not designed in any way to influence the State to accede to India. Our view which we have repeatedly made public is
that the question of accession in any disputed territory or State must
be decided in accordance with wishes of people and we adhere to this view. It is quite clear, however, that no free expression of
will of people of Kashmir is possible if external aggression succeeds
in imperilling integrity of its territory.

I have thought it desirable to inform you of situation because of its
threat of international complications.”

hmmm? This is the foundation of how J&K became an Integral Part of India.

Also, the same can be said about Pakistan occupying it by the gun!

What relationship do you build on when the foundation is full of cracks of deceit, oppression and abuse of power.

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

The title from Dawn on Pakistan reminded me of 500,000 Kashmiri Pundits who had to leave their homes

“Refugees in our own land”

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/metr opolitan/07-Refugees-in-our-own-land-ha- 07

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

The Indian subcontinent hosts hundreds of ethnicities, speaking 1000 languages and practicing all the religions in God’s earth.

There are linguistic ethnic groups- Sindhis, Gujaratis, Bengalis, Maratis, Pathans, Punjabis, Tamil, Telugus, Kashmiris .and so on….the list is long.

The only ethnic + linguistic group in the subcontinent that constitutes a separate country is Bangladhesh- born because of genocide of three million Bangladheshis perpetrated by the Pakistan army in 1971.

http://www.genocidebangladesh.org/

Kashmiri muslims (mainly sunni sect) wanting a separate country seems to have born out of sense of entitlement out of events of partition, UN resolutions, etc.

Either that or it is born out of the special racial supremacy some of them feel. Hindus, Shia muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs all living in the Indian administered Kashmir are opposed to this separation sought by the Sunni muslims of Kashmir valley.

In either case another intolerant country based on religious exclusivity is the last thing the subcontinent needs!!!

International community is not interested in another country “Islamic Republic of Kashmir” led by Syed Salahuddin of “United Jihad council” as its supreme leader. in the vicinity of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Very funny. Not going to happen.

Terrorists and trouble makers on the payroll of Pakistan kick up trouble at the instructions of their masters across the border. The priorities are – control of religion based terrorism, as waged by Kashmir “freedom movement” should be completely stopped.

Once this is achieved LOC could be liberalized, but this is going to take a long time after terrorism is stopped. Other genuine grievances of Kashmiri muslims if any could be fulfilled without redrawing of India’s current borders. Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir will remain an area where people belonging to all religion can live together. No need to erect new Berlin walls!!!

UMS:
@hmmm? This is the foundation of how J&K became an Integral Part of India.

“Also, the same can be said about Pakistan occupying it by the gun!”

“What relationship do you build on when the foundation is full of cracks of deceit, oppression and abuse of power.”

UMS: Deceit, oppression and abuse of power is not solely reserved for Kashmiris, many places in India suffer–so stop playing the victim and that the whole of India is against you.
On previous posts, you’ll do well not to bring up Gujrat issues just because Muslims are involved. Just quit it for all the good reasons. A higher # of Sikhs, a minority in Kashmir (remember kashmiriyat), also got massacred in 1984 riots and perhaps deserves a passing comment if you feel for all humans, including the Hindus that also got killed in Gujrat which actually started the riots (no defence of the riots but to put things in proper perspective). The world is a bad place and one has to be equally sympathetic to all, not just Hindus or Muslims, if you have to co-exist.

Saying anything more on UN issue is restarting the cycle of redundant posts that has been discussed previously/ However, your sprinkling of POK issue on a heavy dish of Indian deceit is very clear and warrants PK issue to be discussed at length and with equal passion. It is ddesirable that any Kashmiri who is sincerely interested in the Kashmir issue will spend more time to do research on the status of Kashmiris in POK than just rely on few friends. Let us see how much deceit you see in POK and how much atrocities you see in POK. Now that will not be a repetition.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

@The huge oppression, violence and injustice the Kashmiris have suffered at the hands of Cruel India is simply heart-breaking.
- Posted by Aamir Ali

-Please do not try to see the status of kashmiris in POK and how Azad it is. Because, your broken heart might actually fail.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Raj,

Thank you for all your sweeping statements about Kashmir.

It seems that you are speaking for all Kashmiris, which include “Hindus, Shia Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Sunni Muslims” and oh, by the way, you seemed to have forgotten about Christians in your statement.

By your tone and bold comments, it seems that you are stating that us Kashmiris have set in stone what we want so I guess if I propose the right to self determination for all state subjects, that would be ok with you and you would have no objections? Right?

As you have clearly seen in the interview, the only thing I am appealing for here is is self determination.

In regards to the United Nations, I feel that it has been toothless. There has been a UN observer post in Kashmir since all of this begun and they have silently been watching but have not been able to do anything till today. The only thing I do appreciate is that in all the world maps, J&K is independent and not a part of Pakistan or India. I guess I’m grateful that at least people know that there is an issue which has been pending for a long time in this part of the world. We are waiting for the day that the UN updates the world on their stand on J&K and decides to become more active in resolving this issue.

In regards to your dramatic “Berlin Wall” statement, I never mentioned that I have any issues with the people of India or Pakistan, however, I do have issues with their governments.

We welcome ALL our guests with open arms.

Posted by ums | Report as abusive

Rajeev,

The State of Jammu and Kashmir was a Princely State within the British Indian Empire. By the rules of the British transfer of power in Indian subcontinent in 1947 the Ruler of the State, Maharajah Sir Hari Singh, with the departure of the British and the lapsing of Paramountcy (as the relationship between State and British Crown was termed), could opt to join either India or Pakistan or, by doing nothing, become from 15 August 1947 the Ruler of an independent polity. The choice was the Ruler’s and his alone: there was no provision for popular consultation in the Indian Princely States during the final days of the British Raj. On 15th August 1947, by default, the State of Jammu and Kashmir became independent.

India maintains that this period of independence, the existence of which it has never challenged effectively, came to an end on 26/27 October as the result of two pairs of closely related transactions, which we must now examine. They are:

(a) an Instrument of Accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India which the Maharajah is alleged to have signed on 26 October 1947, and;

(b) the acceptance of this Instrument by the Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten, on 27 October 1947; plus

(c) a letter from the Maharajah to Lord Mountbatten, dated 26 October 1947, in which Indian military aid is sought in return for accession to India (on terms stated in an allegedly enclosed Instrument) and the appointment of Sheikh Abdullah to head an Interim Government of the State; and

(d) a letter from Lord Mountbatten to the Maharajah, dated 27 October 1947, acknowledging the above and noting that, once the affairs of the State have been settled and law and order is restored, “the question of the State’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.”

It is now absolutely clear that the two documents (a) the Instrument of Accession, and (c) the letter to Lord Mountbatten, could not possibly have been signed by the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir on 26 October 1947. The earliest possible time and date for their signature would have to be the afternoon of 27 October 1947. During 26 October 1947 the Maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir was travelling by road from Srinagar to Jammu. His Prime Minister, M.C. Mahajan, who was negotiating with the Government of India, and the senior Indian official concerned in State matters, V.P. Menon, were still in New Delhi where they remained overnight, and where their presence was noted by many observers. There was no communication of any sort between New Delhi and the traveling Maharajah. Menon and Mahajan set out by air from New Delhi to Jammu at about 10.00 a.m. on 27 October, and the Maharajah learned from them for the first time the result of his Prime Minister’s negotiations in New Delhi in the early afternoon of that day.

The key point, of course, a has already been noted above, is that it is now obvious that these documents could only have been signed after the overt Indian intervention in the State of Jammu and Kashmir. When the Indian troops arrived at Srinagar air field, that State was still independent. Any agreements favourable to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the charge of having been produced under duress. It was, one presumes, to escape just such a charge that the false date 26 October 1947 was assigned to these two documents. The deliberately distorted account of that very senior Indian official, V.P. Menon, to which reference has already been made, was no doubt executed for the same end. Falsification of such a fundamental element as date of signature, however, once established, can only cast grave doubt over the validity of the document as a whole .
Alistair Lamb

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

UMS:
You did not really respond to my last post.

We can keep on going further back and say that partition was a stupid idea. Your thinking that Kashmir would have remained independent post-1947, while surrounded by India, China and Pakistan is your dream. It was proven by Pakistani tribal/army attack on Kashmir that led to what you described quoting Allistair Campbell. Even if Allistair Campbell is right about the chronology, one thing is clear Hari Singh was not going to join Pakistan and idenpendent kashmir was not possible as already proven by Pak attack. Splitting hair over this is useless exercise.

Looking back will not solve Kashmir and especially when you are looking for the faults in India and ignore Pakistani faults. It is not healthy to say the least. Wisdom demands you look ahead and learn from the history–both yours and others–so that your future generations do not curse you. It also means quitting unrealistic demands like “independent Kashmir” when you have no serious leader to name and the separatists are scared to contest the elections. Heavy defeat of Sajid Lone in Loksabha election tells that Kashmiris people do not like separatists. So where do you stand?

Whatever happens to the K-issue in future, certain things are clear that there will not be a plebiscite. Plebiscite is irrelevent due to screwed up demographics, which BTW again you blame on a careful planning by India to shift K-Pundits. You failed as a comminity so you just do not deserve this plebiscite. PERIOD. Asking “Indepedent Kashmir” is like Dalai Lama asking for Tibet as free country. Evidently, free Kashmir is unaceptable to India and Pakistan. Through back channel talks, India and Pakistan are going to come up with a solution and give it to you. So you better be prepared for all the solutions handed to you.

UMS: Here is something for a smile:

“An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly that made the world community smile.

A representative from India began: ‘Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about a rishi named Kashyapa of Kashmir (Kashyapa, son of Marichi, son of Brahma), after whom Kashmir is named.

When he struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath.’ He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Pakistani had stolen them.’

The Pakistani representative jumped up furiously and shouted, ‘What are you talking about? The Pakistanis weren’t there at that time.’

The Indian representative smiled and said, ‘And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech.’

“…………….And they say Kashmir belongs to them.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

UMS:
Correction to my post.
It is Alistair Lamb, not Alistair Campbell

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

guys
– ums is the author & moderator.

Posted by anup | Report as abusive

Fayaz i am proud of u through out ur career u have done a very good job .May Allah protect u n bless u with his blessings

Posted by Farzana mumtaz | Report as abusive

Indians must wonder why kashmiris dont want to be a part well look at the two women who were raped a few days earlier by brave indian troops who infest kashmir with 700,000 these troops have become a plague which is the root cause of suffering in kashmir and south asia India needs to stop its obsession of being a regional power and end its brutal occupation of kashmir the difference between azad kashmir and jammu is simply that azad is azad no 700,000 pakistani troops to occupy just a few to stop the 700,000 indians crossing in azad and making it into occupied just look the state of IOK and wake up india and then you indians wonder why you get bombed in buses and trains its becuase of your crimes in kashmir look at the news another day of anti hindustani protests when will the indians learn i hope not when all the kashmiris get tempted to avenge there brothers and mothers then india will learn what the oppressed kashmiris can really do p.s my cousin died becuase of Indias “anti terror2 actions oh he was 5 years old dangerous i bet to these hijras in indian army

Posted by Kashmiri in occupied valley | Report as abusive

UMS:
You write: “When the Indian troops arrived at Srinagar air field, that State was still independent. Any agreements favourable to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the charge of having been produced under duress.”
Let us assume, hypothetically, that you are correct that “Any agreements favourable to India signed after such intervention cannot escape the charge of having been produced under duress.” Tell us, under the duress of which party was the Maharaja of Kashmir after he had fled from Srinagar? Was he put under duress by India? Evidently not. The forces that caused his departure from Srinagar were the forces sent in by Pakistan. So the duress was generated by Pakistan. And, if that turned counterproductive for it, tough luck!
Let us examine it from another angle. Maharaja had signed Stand-Still agreements with both India and Pakistan while he was mulling over what to do. When Pakistan sent in its forces, regular and irregular, wouldn’t India have been duty-bound to send in its forces, with or without the Maharaja’s consent, to protect its interests in that state? It would have been, similar to Turkey landing its forces on the island of Cyprus where they still stand. There are other instances also of legitimacy of such remedial actions. India did not send in its forces until after Maharaja had conveyed his request to Government of India -verbal or written, even though it was aware that his state was being overrun by those aggressors. What importance does the date of actual signing the Instrument of Accession have? When you are in dire straits, as the Maharaja had been put in and the state was in the danger of total capitulation, do you think you wait for the couriers with documents, duly signed and attested and notarised before you take remedial action? In such cases, verbal assurances of intent are enough. Raising such flimsy arguments shows utter lack of the appreciation of the real world.
Even when the Instrument of Accession, duly signed by the Maharaja had arrived in Delhi, Nehru refused to accept it unless and until it was supported by Sheikh Abdullah, as the leader of the only insurgency in the state. Only when this was complied with, were the forces dispatched. By that time, the enemy had reached the gates of its capital, Srinagar.
You , I am sure are aware, that Pakistan’s case was made out at the UN by the only eminent jurist Pakistan has produced, Sir Zafrullah Khan. I am sure you would consider him to be astute enough to have noticed this “anomaly” which you have discovered now after 60 odd years. If he did not, was it because he did not attach any weight to it, as only a competent lawyer would? If he did and yet could not convince the UN of its legitimacy, what happens to your argument?
In the end, let me put a question to you. Why hasn’t Pakistan ever taken its case to the International Court where it could convince the world that it had a legitimate claim to Kashmir? By doing so, it could expose the “fraud” that India had perpetrated. That should be enough of an incentive, don’t you think?
Of course, now you can’t do so because Pakistan signed the Simla Agreement. Again, you could take it to the International Court and plead that Pakistan was under duress when signing that agreement and so it should be declared null and void.
If above words are quoted from Alistair Lamb’s book, no one attaches much importance to those. But, if you think we ought to, take the case to International Court and have a nice day!

Posted by G.Din | Report as abusive

G Din and UMS:

I have posted on Myra’s thread also that why POK Kashmiris are not talked about when we talk about atrocities and injustice to Kashmiris. None of the kashmiris have commented about what their Muslim community is doing in AZAD KASHMIR. If this is the best they can produce in 60yrs, guess what Kashmiris will have if they choose to be with Pakistan. It is imp to talk about human rights status and independence in Azad Kashmir if a Kashmiri wants to make an inteligent decision.

All that media has been feeding repetitively is Indian Kashmir, and completely ignoring POK Kahmiris.

Talking about POK is important since that Kashmir is POK after tribals invaded India. It is funny that the Kashmiris want to stick to UN decisions taken 60yrs ago despite the fact that they have been proven wrong with time, as is evident from the state of Pakistan today.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Dear Rajive,

It is very easy to say “lets not go back in history” but the reality is that you need to tackle this issue at the root problem, it will re surface every single time.

It has been 62 years and we are still discussing this issue, and I’m sure we will discuss this for decades to come if we do not resolve this issue as per the aspirations of the state subjects of J&K.

In regards to K-pandit being shifted, i merely mentioned the example of how they were moved,relocated for their safety out of Kashmir when 230 of them died and the same (actually not the same as 2000 muslims were slaughtered in Gujarat) we only saw inaction from the local and central government, food for thought my freind.

Every society has committed a crime which they regret and wish to reverse and hopefully when the K-pandits do come back to the valley they might be able to forgive us.

In regards to the human right violations that have been committed by the Indian institutions, that is unforgivable! The recent rape of two women as an example of this human cry has not justification.

Nonetheless, I do believe i should give you some facts, and the problem is that you cannot dispute these as All Human right agencies are not allowed in J&K by the Government of India:

80,000 dead

45,000 orphans

10,000 missing

7,000 rapes

14,000 jailed

23,000 widows

In regards to your point about leadership, do not worry our Mahatma will come!

India started its struggle for Independence in 1857, Mahatma Gandhi returned to India to be part of the struggle in full capacity in 1915.

The British Empire use to call India the Jewel in their crown.

History always repeats itself my friend. Our time will come.

In regards to the joke stated by you, I am definitely not smiling and I’m sure the 500,000 pandits and the millions who are living under the gun, will agree with me.

In regards to your comment about handing over a solution to us by our MASTERS, that mentality has not gotten us anywhere.

Posted by UMS | Report as abusive

Dear UMS:

@Kashmir when 230 of them died and the same (actually not the same as 2000 muslims were slaughtered in Gujarat) we only saw inaction from the local and central government, food for thought my freind.
-First for your own good, stop shedding Muslim-specific tears. Do not get stuck with India-vs Muslims attitude. India has one full Pakistan of Muslims who except Babri and Gujrat are doing as well as anyone else. Look for positives and you will see a lot. 3000 Sikhs who died in riots in India and Hindus in Gujrat—save some tears for them for Kashmiriyat sake. I am from Punjab. Sikh terrorists selectively killed Hindus, but Sikh populace supported Hindus. Hindus migrated from smaller towns to bigger towns and also to outside of Punjab, but no one put forward this stinking conspiracy theory that Indian govt planned all that.

Muslims are killing Muslims in Pakistan, so I guess they should be shifted to a safer place since they are not allowed in Sindh and Punjab. Give this idea to SWATIS and I bet many will migrate to India for this violence and the ethnic hatred they face. Stress on Muslim will not help you.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

UMS:
@It is very easy to say “lets not go back in history” but the reality is that you need to tackle this issue at the root problem, it will re surface every single time.
–Agreed it is easier said than done. Then where do we stop? Should I also look into the Mughal history and pull out the #s which will read like: Millions dead, Millions orphans, Millions missing, Million rapes, Millions jailed, Million widows and ALSO MILLIONS CONVERTED BY FORCE during ~1000yrs of Mughal rule. Babri Masjid issue was the fundamentalist Hindus way of tackling this issue. Then the exodus of Hindus from Kashmir is a black spot in your history. How do we tackle this? It is easy for you to pay lip service that K-Pundits should be included over the K-issue. Such a hue and cry over Yatra issue; Kashmiriyat if it ever was is gone if you know the details; “Muslim” centric victim mentality has to go or suffer for ever since past cannot be undone. Sane Muslims from Gujrat feel so if you care to read a bit more..

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn -content-library/dawn/news/world/the-mai nstreaming-of-india-s-muslim-population

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

after reading few comments by sum extremisits, who was talking about if we go back in history, i would request u not to go back in history cause u will be embaraced. why because this whole reigon was buddhish area then hinduism was born, when hindus gained abit of ground they atarted slaughtering the buddhists, they gave them one option whether convert to hindus or run for life. which made buddhish people run up north for life and some gave up to hinduism. so dn’t go back in history cause it is a slap on your face. about Islam its still spreading fast in india, and no one is forced today as extreme anti-pakistani, anti kashmiri and anti muslim government is in control.shame on those who proud of indian brutality in kashmir

Posted by umair | Report as abusive

Umair, You are totally wrong and misguided.
Buddhisim was borm from hinduism. And slaughtering is a culture from desert, not of Hinduism or Buddhism.

Posted by Pp | Report as abusive

Plz tk cr of urself
Our best wishes r alwayz wid u.

Posted by jiya | Report as abusive

Umair: I am not much surprised that you do not know that orgin of Budhism is from Hinduism. The reason is you have been schooled in post Zia era when your education system was designed such that history has been distorted to suit the convenience of Pakistani establishment and create hatred against its neighbors. Read this MSUT READ report prepared by eminent Pakistani scholars about it.

http://www.sdpi.org/whats_new/reporton/S tate%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Umair:
How is it possible that in India “Islam is spreading” if you say Indian govt is “anti-pakistani, anti kashmiri and anti muslim government”. Does not it tell that the govt is not anti-Muslim. It has nothing to with Pakistan. Pakistan is separate, so face it.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Without taking any sides I would say that your photographs speak volumes. Keep them coming, but take care of your self.
Its sad that this is happening and no one is the gainer.

Posted by Joe Zachs | Report as abusive

I agree that the Kashmiris have faced the suffocation and suppression of militery governance for decades now. No militery regime can allow a healthy and properous enviroment. When a group of men get the power to dictate without questioning, they are bound to misuse their power at some level.

Yes, Kashmir should be free of troops. Yes the Kashmiris should live free lives. My only concern is… if the Indian troops are withdrawn … then what? Will the Kashmiris be left alone by Pakistan? Pakistan is strugling to survive under the conflict between the Taliban and its unstable government. Do you think Kashmir will be better off with Pakistan using Kashmiri soil as a home for the Taliban? Will the Kashmiris be better off if their children are taken away by the Taliban to be trained as terrorists?

Kashmir is very close to my heart for personal reasons. What is happening today, brings tears to my eyes makes me want to scream with frustration. I just want Kashmir and its people to be happy and peaceful. But I do not think the Indian troops are the cause of the desease that Kashmir suffers from today. The Indian troops are a symptom. We need to fight the casue not the symptom. Artheritis does not get cured by pain killers.

Posted by Shilpi | Report as abusive

The Jammu and Kashmir, which has been turned into graveyards and garrison, will express its God gifted beauty when dispute over it is resolved in accordance with the aspirations of its people. Black law had made life of people miserable. Withdrawal of Indian troops from Kashmir is important for the peaceful resolution.
http://www.kashmirvoice.org

Posted by Kashmala | Report as abusive