On a map of the western Himalayas, the valley of Kashmir shows up as a smooth, oval-shaped patch amid a sea of surrounding peaks in what is today India’s Jammu and Kashmir state. For thousands of years, travelers, free-booters, and empire builders have set down their breathless impressions of this valley—the French writer François Bernier called it the “paradise of the Indies”—with its towering pine forests, deep lakes, flower-carpeted meadows, and fields of iridescent saffron. The seventeenth-century Mughal emperor Jehangir sighed on his deathbed that his last wish was to visit Kashmir. Indians today revere the valley as the place they long to visit, and it serves as the setting for countless romantic Indian films.
But for all that is written of Kashmir’s natural splendor, far less good has been spoken of the Kashmir people themselves. “Sullen, desperate and suspicious” is how one British writer described them in the late nineteenth century,1 while their overlords during the same period, the Dogra Maharajahs, dismissed the native Kashmiris as “worshippers of tyranny.” If those slurs have any truth to them, then they reflect the unfortunate history of the valley’s inhabitants, an ancient people who over the centuries have developed their own distinct identity, including language, dress, customs, and even, to some degree, appearance. Kashmiris often stand out because of their thin faces and hawkish noses, a trait that Kashmiris attribute variously to Afghan, Persian, and even, half seriously, some lost connection with the Jewish race.
Islam also sets the Kashmiris apart from much of the rest of India. Persian missionaries converted most of the predominantly Hindu Kashmiris in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. But even Sunni Islam is tempered by what proponents of Kashmiri nationalism call Kashmiriat, the uniqueness of Kashmir. They point to the Himalayan look of its mosques, which could be mistaken for Nepalese Hindu temples, to their friendly coexistence throughout most of the past four centuries with the Pandits, the Kashmiri Hindus who had never converted to Islam. They point as well to the fact that the leaders of India’s own Muslim population of approximately 100 million have failed to support the Kashmiri national cause.
The Kashmir character has also been affected by nearly 450 years of grinding oppression. Right up until independence in 1947, the valley was ruled by a succession of tyrannical Afghan, Sikh, and local potentates. At times, virtually the entire population was reduced to slave labor, and there was widespread starvation. Those generations of abuse made the Kashmiris close-knit, withdrawn, and “suspicious,” with a large potential for rebellion.
Today, rebellion has broken out, as Kashmir’s first generation of well-educated young, the sons and daughters of small-time traders, artisans, farmers, and government employees, has taken up arms to fight Indian rule—ironically, the least oppressive of the many regimes the Kashmiris have lived under. Unfortunately for India, it is confronted with the first Kashmiri generation that is sufficiently well fed to fight and sufficiently well informed to articulate a sense of grievance. Several insurgent groups, all advocating secession from India, are engaged in bloody guerrilla war with Indian forces. The valley has become a battleground, and in the narrow streets of the capital, Srinagar, automatic weapons fire breaks out every day among the ramshackle, ancient houses, where rebels and Indian forces stalk each other. Kashmiris were at first a bit surprised by their own audacity, and it was not uncommon to hear even those opposed to the rebellion remark, as one mullah did to me with immense pride. “People used to say that Kashmiris are cowards, but now we have shown that we too can use the Kalashnikov.”
No one calls Kashmiris “worshippers of tyranny” now, but the gunmen’s campaign has become a tragic folly. In early 1990, when tens of thousands of Kashmiris turned out for spontaneous anti-Indian demonstrations, many Kashmiris believed that they would soon achieve their goal of secession from India. The reason, correspondents heard over and over again, was a conviction that some ineluctable force for justice was at work in the world. Thanks to the BBC, even illiterate Kashmiris knew that the Soviets had retreated from Afghanistan, that the Berlin Wall had come down. With the egoism and naiveté peculiar to people who live in small, isolated places, Kashmiris thought that their turn was next.
Hamid Sheikh, a top leader in the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) until he was captured in August 1990 (he was recently released for medical reasons and then killed by security forces last November), told me in early 1990 that his movement had no military strategy as such. His main aim was simply “to create the problem, and our biggest success has been to put it before the world.” He believed that once the injustices of Indian rule—and the consequent rebellion—were widely known, that the UN, the US, the Islamic world, and other powers, in some combination, would come to Kashmir’s rescue.
But Hamid Sheikh, like many of his countrymen, did not understand that claims of “justice” can count for little among nations preoccupied with events like the collapse of Soviet power. The Kurds have also learned that lesson the hard way. Neither Washington nor most of the Islamic world (with the exceptions of Iran and Pakistan) nor other Western countries have supported the Kashmiris. How that may change in the case of Muslim countries after Hindu fanatics razed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, central north India, remains to be seen. The Indian slaughter of hundreds of unarmed Kashmiri demonstrators in the first half of 1990, and a “pattern of gross and systematic human rights abuses” since then, as the excellent 1991 Asia Watch report Kashmir Under Siege put it, provoke expressions of concern in Washington and other capitals. But no country has been willing to put its relations with New Delhi openly at risk over Kashmir.
Since there has not been any strong international pressure on Kashmir, New Delhi has accepted the price of a war which ties down about 250,000 troops and security forces, and in which between 2,000 and 3,000 (depending on the source) people are killed each year, about 300 of them members of the security forces. Even if those numbers increase significantly, as they appear to be in the latter half of 1992, it is not considered a very high price by Indian standards, Kashmir’s governor, Girish Saxena, a former chief of Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s top intelligence and dirty tricks agency, tells reporters, “We can keep this up for years, the way we did in Nagaland”—referring to a longstanding rebellion by tribes in the northeast.
Most Kashmiris see that Governor Saxena is probably right. As a result, what began as a spontaneous, immensely popular uprising has settled into a guerrilla war that leaves many Kashmiris with a growing sense of futility. They are unhappy with the young Kashmiri guerrilla fighters, who increasingly threaten merchants and others with violence in order to extort funds; they are annoyed with Pakistan, whose intelligence services have tried to give the movement an Islamic, pro-Pakistan character; and, most of all, they are full of hatred for India, whose troops maintain a state of terror in Kashmir. The ill-trained and -disciplined security forces have a record of gunning down suspects and innocents alike in cold blood, raping women, detaining people without any regard for due process, and routinely torturing prisoners. Despite the poor prospects of the rebellion, few Kashmiris seem willing to make peace with New Delhi. As a Kashmiri journalist told me, “They know that if they disown their boys, and make a deal with New Delhi, the Indians will make fools of them once again.”
The Kashmiris feel that they have been made fools of not only by New Delhi, but also, after the British left India, by their own leaders. The root of the disaster lies in the 1947 partition, which divided India and Pakistan. Drawing that boundary presented many problems, but none bigger than the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, which one British writer called “a completely artificial area, a geographical monstrosity” that covered Buddhist Ladakh, predominantly Hindu Jammu, the mainly Muslim valley of Kashmir, where the rebellion is going on today, and a number of Muslim, but ethnically distinct, areas, in what is today Pakistan’s Azad Kashmir and the so-called northern territories.
Maharajah Hari Singh, a member of a Hindu ruling family known for its oppressive rule since the early nineteenth century, had to choose between taking his predominantly Muslim kingdom into India or Pakistan. He dithered, and a rebellion backed by Pakistan broke out in Muslim regions close to the Pakistan border and rapidly spread toward Srinagar, the kingdom’s summer capital. Hari Singh fled to New Delhi and pleaded with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Lord Mountbatten, then governor general of India, to send troops.
They agreed, but only on the condition that Hari Singh would join with India. The desperate maharajah agreed, and Mountbatten then promised in a letter
that as soon as law and order have been restored in Kashmir and her soil cleared of the invader, the question of the state’s accession should be settled by a reference to the people.
Several days later in an All India Radio broadcast, Nehru confirmed, “We have declared that the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by the people.” Indian troops reached Srinagar in time to save the capital, and eventually managed to gain control of about two thirds of Hari Singh’s domain; the rest fell to Pakistan.
Pakistanis have long believed that Nehru and Mountbatten conspired to bring about Hari Singh’s accession to India. The latest case for such a conspiracy, more a polemic than a solid historical work, is Alastair Lamb’s Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy. Lamb raises questions about the unexplained transfer of a border district of Punjab called Gurdaspur to India rather than to Pakistan. It was predominantly Muslim, and, according to the standards agreed to by both sides at the time, ought to have gone to Pakistan, but it also happened that through Gurdaspur lay India’s only access to the Kashmir valley.
Lamb does not prove his charges of a conspiracy; he is more successful when he tries to show that Pakistan was no more guilty than India of meddling in Jammu and Kashmir at the time of partition. According to the conventional view of this period, the Pakistanis were working behind the scenes to provoke the 1947 uprising. Lamb argues, however, that even if the Pakistan government gave help to the rebels the rebellions were genuine, and took place in regions with a long history of discontent. Lamb seems both cautious and fair when he concludes that there is “no simple legalistic explanation of the Kashmir dispute; and none which confers absolute moral right on one side only.”
The origins of discontent in Kashmir today lie in New Delhi’s failure to honor its promise of self-determination for Kashmiris, and its subsequent attempts to manipulate Kashmiri politics. Despite the hopes raised by Mountbatten and Nehru that a referendum would take place, and a strong 1948 UN Security Council Resolution on the same lines, India stalled, arguing (with UN support) that a plebiscite could be held only when Pakistan withdrew its troops from the parts of the state under its control. Pakistan refused, arguing that India should also withdraw, and the issue has since been deadlocked.
Whether or not Nehru ever intended to keep his promise, it is clear that he hoped Kashmir’s political leaders would want to join India. Immediately after the maharajah’s accession, he appointed Sheikh Abdullah, leader of the National Conference, a secular, leftist, Kashmiri nationalist party, at the head of Jammu and Kashmir’s new government. Nehru believed that Abdullah, who had a considerable popular following, shared his own vision of a secular India where Hindu and Muslim would live together peaceably. Nehru was right in thinking that the sheikh rejected the politics of Muslim identity, but he did not understand that the sheikh was also a Kashmir nationalist who dreamed of Kashmir as the Switzerland of the Himalayas, with India as its distant yet indulgent protector.
India’s 1950 constitution gave the Jammu and Kashmir government a degree of autonomy unique in India. The state, though it is officially called a part of India, was granted independent powers except in matters of defense, foreign affairs, and communications, such as the telephone system. Nehru hoped that Sheikh Abdullah would respond to the special arrangement by voluntarily bringing Kashmir closer to India. Sheikh Abdullah did the opposite: he repeatedly talked of independence in private and in public.
In 1953, Nehru, under intense pressure from aggressive nationalists in New Delhi, had the Sheikh’s government dismissed and Abdullah himself arrested. New Delhi installed as governor a compliant Kashmiri Muslim named Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, the first of four Kashmiri Muslims whom New Delhi helped to prop up by tolerating rigged elections and widespread corruption. Bakshi and his successors brought Kashmir back into India, passing legislation that wiped out most of the features of independence provided in 1950.
Sheikh Abdullah was released several times in the subsequent years, but he was soon re-arrested, usually after making public demands for a plebiscite on Kashmir’s future. But even the modern founder of Kashmiri nationalism had his price. In 1975, New Delhi turned over power to him—the chief minister stepped aside on New Delhi’s instructions—after Sheikh Abdullah signed an agreement in which he once and for all affirmed Kashmir’s place in the Indian union. It was a sellout that young people in Kashmir recall with great bitterness.
By the 1980s, a new generation of young Kashmiris did not believe in Sheikh Abdullah and the National Conference as their parents had. They were products of a state education system that had grown quickly since the 1960s to provide, in Srinagar alone, two universities, a medical school, an engineering college, and a polytechnic, and they benefited from rising living standards thanks to a rich agricultural economy, the export of fruits, saffron, and nuts, and most of all a thriving tourist trade. Suddenly young men like JKLF leader Hamid Sheikh, the son of a lowly cobbler, were turning to politics.
Education and improved living standards in third world countries, despite the expectations of government officials, often bring about frustration and even rebellion. The younger generation of Kashmiris was uneasy with the knowledge that their own political leaders had betrayed the hopes of Kashmiri nationalism, and that New Delhi in fact ruled the valley through its local proxies. That sense of betrayal was also made more acute by the spread of madrases, Islamic schools paralleling the state system, which were run by Jamaat Islami, an Islamic fundamentalist group with close ties to Pakistan. Most of the young men who would become Kashmiri guerrilla leaders, including those with a more nationalist than Islamic outlook, attended the schools at some stage.
During the late 1980s, the pressures against New Delhi and against the National Conference began to increase. Kashmiris recall the 1987 showing in Srinagar’s movie theaters of the Lion of the Desert, in which Anthony Quinn plays Omar Mochtar, a rebel Arab leader who fights the Italian colonial forces in Libya to the bitter end. When he meets with the Italians, he insists that he will not compromise. Those lines provoked young Kashmiris to start chanting, “Death to Sheikh Abdullah, Death to Sheikh Abdullah” in the theaters and to burn the late nationalist leader in effigy outside. The film became so inflammatory and popular that it was eventually banned.
That rage grew in response to the clumsy politics of Farooq Abdullah, the Sheikh’s son, who took power after his father died in 1982. Farooq, a medical doctor by training, tried to imitate his father’s strategy of behaving defiantly for the benefit of the Kashmir public while reassuring Delhi that he was really on its side. But if his father once meant some of what he said, no one believed his son did. Indeed, in private, Farooq called young militants “fools” who would never succeed because “India will never permit it.” At the same time, in Kashmiri eyes his government was even more corrupt than the other New Delhi–approved state governments had been. Young Kashmiris say they became completely fed up with Farooq during the 1987 state government election, in which Farooq joined in coalition with Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress Party and used the police to crack down harshly on his opponents.
The opposition in the 1987 election was made up of a coalition of Islamic and nationalist Kashmiri parties called the Muslim United Front (MUF), all of whom were opposed to Farooq and India. A large number of today’s rebels were campaign workers for the MUF in 1987. In the spring of 1990, I met one with the code name Nadeem, a calm, well-spoken twenty-four-year-old who was one of the commanders of the most powerful rebel group in the valley. He was a political activist with MUF, and he had been detained without charge—and illegally—for nine months. He had been tortured, he said, and I asked him to prove it. He dropped his trousers to show the pink, gnarled scar tissue that covered the front of both his thighs, from his knees to his groin. “They beat me with iron rods,” he said. “After that, I thought, why not become a militant, why not get revenge?”
By 1989, the JKLF had recruited several hundred fighters and announced the beginning of armed struggle; some very limited attacks took place and a few policemen and officials were killed. But then the JKLF kidnapped Rubiya Saeed, the daughter of the then Indian home minister, Mufti Mohammed Saeed, and a few days later the government released five captured JKLF men in exchange for her. In Srinagar, crowds turned out in the cold winter streets to cheer the JKLF’s success. The security forces panicked and opened fire, killing five people. Unwittingly, the JKLF had set off a mass uprising.
In the following days, the government imposed curfews and organized extensive house-to-house searches to find the JKLF men, using the Central Reserve Police, a federal force of men alien to the valley, who tend to act with great brutality and were accused both of rape and of stealing as they carried out their raids. That crackdown led angry Kashmiris to stage larger protests, some involving hundreds of thousands of people, which in turn provoked more shootings of unarmed demonstrators.
By mid-January, the government of V.P. Singh in New Delhi was in a state of panic, and decided to send Jagmohan, a senior civil servant, to replace the current governor and give support to Chief Minister Abdullah (who was subsequently dismissed when the state was placed under direct rule from Delhi). It was a strange choice for Singh’s leftist government, which had earlier emphasized the need to understand troubled states like Kashmir. Jagmohan is a Hindu nationalist who combines, as he amply demonstrates in his extremely disingenuous memoir, My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir, a messiah complex with astonishing ignorance of the forces involved in the rebellion. He claims to believe that he was much loved by the Kashmiris, whom he had served as governor several years previously, because, as he put it, he stood for “the days when justice, fair play, and common man-oriented development were seen, and the fair face of India was visible.”
Jagmohan arrived in Srinagar a few days before the worst of the killings. On the nights of January 21 and 22, 1990, the Central Reserve Police killed one hundred or more unarmed demonstrators. The butchery was so shameless—some of the wounded were even delivered a coup de grâce where they lay—that it set off confrontations between the Central Reserve Police and Kashmiri police.
Until that point, many Kashmiris disapproved of the rebellion because they saw no hope for Kashmir either as part of Pakistan, whose jingoistic Islam alarmed them, or as an independent state caught between two large and antagonistic neighbors. But the January killings changed their attitude. Kashmiris would talk with tears in their eyes about how proud they were that young men who, after 450 years of oppression, had finally “taken up the gun.” Virtually the entire Kashmiri police and civil service were in sympathy with the rebels. At road-blocks, Kashmiri police would joke, “Do you have a bomb? Good. Please go blow up the airport.” This was the same police force that in 1987 acted as a loyal arm of the government in suppressing the MUF.
The turn of public opinion against India in the winter and spring of 1990 befuddled Jagmohan. In an April 1990 interview with the Times of India, he dismissed any argument the Kashmiris might have against India and said that they were “like frightened pigeons in the net of terrorism. Terrorism is the real problem.” Ashok Jaitley, a highly respected senior officer of the Indian Administrative Service who worked under Jagmohan, became one of the governor’s most severe critics. “What Jagmohan did [for the revolution] in five months,” he told me, the militants “could not have achieved in five years.”
Jagmohan was dismissed in May 1990, after security forces opened fire on the funeral procession of Mirwaiz Maulvi Farooq, the most respected religious leader in Srinagar, and killed fifty-one mourners. He was replaced by Girish Saxena, a more sophisticated man, who argued that the counterinsurgency campaign must strike a balance between human rights, which were worth protecting for tactical and strategic reasons, and the need for an efficient and ruthless crackdown on the guerrillas, who were rapidly gaining recruits.
Saxena instructed the security forces to fire only when they could actually see armed assailants, not blast away at anything that moved. Those guidelines had some impact, but as the killing of forty Kashmiris in Sopore in early January this year demonstrates, Indian security forces are far from under control. Saxena also takes credit for initiating disciplinary cases against seventy-five members of the security forces. Still, the government refuses to disclose the names of the men charged, or the details of the cases, on the grounds that such publicity would “demoralize” the soldiers and police. The reported effort to clean up security force abuses is primarily a public relations move to distract international attention from the systematic use of torture, murder, and illegal detention in Kashmir.
Privately Indian officials have told me that they have little choice except to use the third degree, since their intelligence sources collapsed in 1990 when the Kashmiri police chose to sit on the sidelines. They claim, moreover, that the policy of torture has yielded impressive results; on the strength of information extracted in torture cells they have found many hidden stores of supplies of weapons and have arrested many of the principal guerrilla leaders. I have heard Indian police interrogators joke openly about the ease with which they can break Kashmiris, who they say are not nearly as tough as Sikh guerrillas in Punjab.
In my own visits to hospitals I saw more than a few patients recuperating from broken bones, burns (from irons and electric shock), genital injuries, severe bruising, gunshot wounds, and other ghastly injuries. On one occasion, I met a schoolteacher who turned out to be the unfortunate owner of an orchard where guns were found. He was seized by Indian army soldiers, who rammed a sharp wooden stake up his rectum and through his diaphragm. When the torturers discovered he had nothing to say, they threw him in a ditch by a roadside. He died an agonizing death several days later. An independent Indian news film crew, working on a video news program called Eyewitness, interviewed him not long after I did, just before he died, but Indian authorities banned the interview. Some 370 Kashmiris have died in custody, according to the Kashmir Bar Association, and twenty-eight such cases are documented by Amnesty International in India: Torture, Rape and Deaths in Custody.2
The Indian government ritually accuses the Pakistani government of having been behind the uprising all along, as it was behind a short-lived one in 1965. But in fact, Benazir Bhutto’s government, as well as Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI was the real source of power on security matters in Pakistan under Bhutto), were caught off guard by events in January 1990, and do not appear to have had any part in them. It was almost entirely the work of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, a secular, pro-independence group disliked by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.
The JKLF is disliked by Pakistan’s ISI because it is neither pro-Pakistan nor militantly Islamic; nor will it take orders from the ISI. It was bound to lose power because Pakistan military intelligence was determined to gain control of the rebellion, not a difficult objective since the only sanctuary for the rebels was Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan’s ISI had its own favorites to promote. Beginning in the mid-1980s, the most promising students in the Kashmiri madrases, the schools run by the Islamic fundamentalist group Jamaat Islami, began crossing into Pakistan, from where many went to join the jihad in Afghanistan. When the Kashmiri rebellion broke out, in the summer of 1989, those same Islamic militants began to filter back to Pakistan in preparation for the Kashmiri jihad. The most notable of the new groups they formed was Hezbul Mujaheddin, the military arm of the Jamaat, the group clearly favored by ISI with weapons and funds and today the strongest of the rebel movements. Hezbul favors the creation of a Sunni Islamic regime that will eventually be incorporated into Pakistan.
By late 1990, the JKLF was in decline, as Pakistan cut off its weapons and harassed its members so that they would join the pro-Pakistan groups. Inside Kashmir, at least a dozen Hezbul and JKLF guerrillas died in clashes, and one rebel leader changed the name of his outfit from the Jammu Kashmir Students’ Liberation Front to the Islamic Brotherhood. One of his lieutenants was a little shamefaced when he admitted to me, “We had to do this to stay on the good side of the Pakistanis.”
JKLF is still a force, but Hezbul Mujaheddin and other Islamic, pro-Pakistan groups are clearly in the ascendant, thanks to Pakistan’s help. Yet there is little evidence that those groups will be able to bring about Islamic revolution in Kashmir; there is not much genuine fervor for a jihad, despite the arrival in Kashmir of a small number of Afghan mujaheddin to help inspire the Kashmiris. Like Muslims in India and Pakistan, most Kashmiris are shrewd and levelheaded, not easily taken in by imported or imposed zealotry. Several members of Hezbul Mujahedin have confessed to me and others that their allegiance to the organization has more to do with access to weapons and training than with a commitment to Hezbul’s aims.
The Islamic hard-liners of Pakistan’s intelligence organizations see the Kashmiri cause as a jihad, just as the war in Afghanistan was. They also see the uprising as revenge for India’s humiliation of Pakistan in the 1971 war for East Pakistan, and, in strategic terms, a way of keeping their large, threatening neighborhood off balance. But even the hawks in the Pakistani establishment don’t like to be asked if they think the rebellion will succeed. General Asad Durrani, then chief of the ISI, almost sounded penitent when he told me, “I think it is our fault that [the rebels] had unrealistic expectations. We kept telling them that all they had to do was fight (and they would succeed).”3
Pakistan shows no signs of stopping its support of the movement. That probably means that the Indians will fail to pacify the valley any time soon unless they adopt a very extreme course—advocated by Indian’s Hindu nationalists—of forcibly pushing the Kashmiri Muslim population across the border into Pakistan. The other extreme—to finally hold the plebiscite offered by Nehru’s party forty-five years ago, or grant far-reaching autonomy to Kashmir—is most unlikely in view of the pugnacious nationalism dominant in India today.4 Prime minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, moreover, could hardly make concessions today in the face of a raging Hindu chauvinist movement threatening both his government and the secular basis of the Indian constitution.
Some Indian writers, mainly leftists, like Sumanta Banerjee, are questioning the “the moral validity of the Indian nation-state in its present form”5 in view of India’s oppressive rule in Kashmir, but such soul-searching has no more effect on the New Delhi government than Amnesty International’s warning that Indian security forces are acting brutally in Kashmir and many other states. India years ago became a sort of despotic democracy, in which civil liberties are not guaranteed to anyone who has a complaint against political authority.
The middle course for India is to try to cultivate better relations with Kashmiris, and to establish a more tolerant political life in the valley, which is what Governor Saxena claims to favor. To that end, he has released a few important dissident Kashmiri leaders from prison. Given the daily killings, arrests, and torture, some Kashmiris would probably be willing to swallow their pride and cooperate in exchange for peace. But many say that India’s political leaders will never permit them anything like a genuinely open political system, free from New Delhi’s meddling. In any case, the hard-line gunmen would quickly cut down any Kashmiri peacemakers. And most of the politicians in New Delhi believe that Kashmiris are never going to become truly loyal Indians. The sad fact is that the Kashmiri conflict has become an intractable Himalayan Ulster, only more bloody and prolonged, owing to the brutal designs of both India and Pakistan.
March 4, 1993
This quote is from Walter L. Lawrence, The Valley of Kashmir, (Sringagar: Kesar Publishers, 1981). Lawrence was a British administrator who worked in the Maharajah’s court in the late nineteenth century. His study of the valley and its people is full of useful insights a century later. ↩
Its report, India: Torture, Rape and Deaths in Custody, is a careful and thoughtful study of human rights abuses in Kashmir and other states in India. ↩
But these regrets are apparently out-weighed by the promise of destabilizing India through covert support for insurgencies. Privately, some Pakistani intelligence officials are hopeful that the recent Hindu-Muslim riots present an opportunity to radicalize Muslims in other parts of India. ↩
Independence for Kashmir, or at least those parts in rebellion, is proposed from time to time, but it is highly unlikely that either India or Palestine could tolerate that solution. ↩
Banerjee is a journalist who was a contributor to one of the first human rights reports on Kashmir, Initiative on Kashmir (Committee for Initiative on Kashmir, 1990). The quote is from an article entitled “Redefining Integration,” in Seminar, April 1992. ↩