THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
July 13, 2010
Asia Times

Al-Qaeda Aims To Cash In On Kashmir

by Syed Saleem Shahzad

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan-sponsored proxy operations that were largely abandoned several years ago have been revived at both the political level and on the armed insurgency front in Indian-administered Kashmir.

For al-Qaeda, watching from Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, this provides an opportunity for which it has waited a long time - to hijack Pakistan's "bleed India" operations for its own cause, that is, to pull India into the region's war theater.

The struggle for the right of self-determination in Indian-administered Kashmir, which died down following Pakistan's crackdown on Kashmiri militant groups under American pressure from 2002 onwards, has flared again.

Over the past four weeks, more than 15 people have died in clashes between the local Muslim Kashmiri population and police and paramilitary soldiers, mostly in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Last week, for the first time ever, the army was sent into Srinagar. . . .

The dispute centers on the Neelum River that flows from Indian-administered Kashmir into Pakistan. Under pressure from the US to reduce tensions because their rivalry spills over into Afghanistan and complicates efforts to bring peace there, India and Pakistan are scheduled this week to discuss the appointment of a panel of neutral experts. They will consider India's plans to dam the river for a 330-megawatt hydro-electric power project. . . .

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Arundhati Roy, "Freedom Is The Only Thing The Kashmiri Wants," Outlook India, September 1, 2008

Victoria Schofield, "Overview: Tenth International Kashmir Peace Conference, Washington DC, USA," Kashmiri American Council, July 29, 2009

[What is new is that this time the public anger against the killing of children and teenagers has drawn in even the most apolitical of Kashmiris.--Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, "Fuelling the Rage in Kashmir," Economic & Political Weekly, July 10, 2010]

[The fundamental problem is that the status quo, with India in effective control of most of Jammu and Kashmir, favours India.

. . . the challenge of an effective peace process in South Asia will be to cut through the chimera of "confidence building measures" which lead nowhere, and to frame an agreement which goes far enough in addressing the legitimate grievances of Kashmiris to make the loss of Kashmir acceptable to the majority of Pakistanis.--Robert Grenier, "Losing Kashmir," aljazeera.net, July 14, 2010]

[It's not too much of a secret that for more than a decade (and perhaps much longer) Israel's Mossad has been advising, some say directing, India's intelligence agencies. The cover story is co-operation in the "war against global terrorism". But it's not unreasonable to speculate that agents of Zionism and its neo-con associates are complicit in stoking Hindu-Muslim tensions.--Alan Hart, "India at War With Itself: A Global Nuclear Tinderbox Fueled by Israel," veteranstoday.com, July 14, 2010]

[Reisner did not identify the generals, although he made it clear that their idea of breaking down every door in Kashmir which is suspected of hiding weapons with impunity was not an isolated view and that it represented the collective approach of the Indian security forces.--K. P. Nayar, "Israeli colonel spills Kashmir beans: Barak policy-maker quotes Indian officers on use of force in the Valley to counter terrorism," telegraphindia.com, August 5, 2010]

Sudha Ramachandran, "Now it's the turn of 'children of the conflict'," atimes.com, August 6, 2010

Najeeb Mubarki, "The politics of protest in Kashmir," Economic Times, August 6, 2010

Eric S. Margolis, "Burning Kashmir," ericmargolis.com, September 17, 2010

Shuddhabrata Sengupta, "Kashmir's Abu Gharaib," Kafila.org, September, 2010

Mohan Malik, "Beijing playing its Kashmir card," atimes.com, October 8, 2010

Jason Burke, "WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir," Guardian, December 16, 2010

Mirza Waheed, "On Kashmir India acts as a police state, not as a democracy: Delhi has been unwilling to solve this tragic and brutal conflict, and has scuttled any attempt at meaningful discourse," Guardian, May 29, 2011

[Press treatment of the story about Pakistani government funding of a Kashmiri lobbying organization seems to have less to do with lobbying than with the identity of the particular government involved and the temperature of relations between it and Washington.--Paul R. Pillar, "How to Lobby for a Foreign Government (and not get arrested)," nationalinterest.org, July 20, 2011]

[The Soviet Union thwarted every effort of the United States through the United Nations to reach a just solution to the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir. The non-aligned movement (which at its inception in 1961 included India, Egypt, Ghana, Yugoslavia, and Indonesia) opposed Pakistan at every juncture.--S. Amjad Hussain, "U.S.-Pakistani relations: How low can they go?," toledoblade.com, June 27, 2011]

[Tens of thousands of people died in the insurgency, which began in 1989 and was partly fueled by weapons, cash and training from Pakistan.--Lydia Polgreen, "U.S.- Pakistani relations: How low can they go," nytimes.com, August 22, 2011]

Shashi Tharoor, "Time for India to seize initiative on peace in Kashmir?," koreaherald.com, June 27, 2012

[Anyone who was really interested in solving the mystery of the parliament attack would have followed the dense trail of evidence on offer. No one did, thereby ensuring the real authors of the conspiracy will remain unidentified and uninvestigated.

The real story and the tragedy of what happened to Guru is too immense to be contained in a courtroom. The real story would lead us to the Kashmir valley, that potential nuclear flashpoint, and the most densely militarised zone in the world, where half a million Indian soldiers (one to every four civilians) and a maze of army camps and torture chambers that would put Abu Ghraib in the shade are bringing secularism and democracy to the Kashmiri people. Since 1990, when the struggle for self-determination became militant, 68,000 people have died, 10,000 have disappeared, and at least 100,000 have been tortured.--Arundhati Roy, "The Hanging of Afzal Guru: A Stain on Indian Democracy," counterpunch.org, February 11, 2013]

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