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.”


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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


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


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

“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! 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

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


—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” -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.

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!!!

@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


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


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

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

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

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

– 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

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

@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.. -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. tate%20of%20Curr&TextBooks.pdf

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

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.

Posted by Kashmala | Report as abusive