Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir

Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir

caption="Kashmir" : Shown in green is the Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. The dark-brown region represents Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir while the Aksai Chin is under Chinese control.
place=Jammu and Kashmir
result=Conflict ongoing, largely subsided
combatant1=Kashmiri separatists
casualties3=60,000 deadfact|date=May 2008

Violence in Kashmir has existed in various forms, mainly in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian side of the disputed territory. Kashmir has been the target of a campaign of militancy by all sides in the conflict. Thousands of lives have been lost since 1989 due to the intensified insurgency. Casualties include civilians, Indian security forces, and Kashmiri and non-Kashmiri militants.

The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has been accused by India and the United States, of supporting and training mujahideen [ [ Pakistan's shadowy secret service - BBC News] ] [ [ Nato's top brass accuse Pakistan over Taliban aid - Telegraph ] ] to fight in Afghanistan [ [ At Border, Signs of Pakistani Role in Taliban Surge - New York Times] ] and Kashmir. [ [ A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SUSPECTS; Death of Reporter Puts Focus On Pakistan Intelligence Unit - New York Times] ]

Militancy and military

Though there had been instances of sporadic conflict in many regions for many years, intensified attacks occurred in the late 1980s, when Mujahideen fighters from Afghanistan slowly infiltrated the region, with Pakistan's help, following the end of the Soviet-Afghan War in 1989.cite web|url= |title=Kashmir insurgency Timeline] Since then, violence has increased significantly in strength. Many separatists have carried out attacks on Indian civilians and Indian army installations in response to what they see as Indian army occupation.cite web|url= |title=Facts on Kashmiri Terrorism]

India frequently asserts that most of the separatist militant groups are based in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir (also known as Azad Kashmir). Some like the All Parties Hurriyat Conference and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, openly demand an independent Kashmir. Other militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed favour a Pakistani-Kashmir. These groups have contacts with Taliban and Bin Laden. Both the organisations no longer operate under these names after they were banned by the Indian and Pakistani government, and by other countries including the US and UK. Of the larger militant groups, the Hizbul Mujahideen, a militant organisation based in Indian administered Kashmir, unlike other groups, has only kept its name.cite web|url= |title=Information regarding militants international links] Despite casualties, the militants are still believed to number thousands rather than hundreds. Several new separatist organisations have also emerged. According to US Intelligence, Al-Qaeda also has a main base in Pakistani Kashmir and is helping to foment terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. [] []

It is hard to determine the total number of casualties. According to a report by the Government of India in the year 2000, 31,000 Indian civilians had lost their lives due to the insurgency. Human rights groups and local NGOs put the total figure at more than 84,000 (2005 figure).cite web|url= |title=Information on the terrorist camps in Pakistan] Militancy had reached its peak in 1994 when the region saw more than 6,043 incidents and has since declined. However, Kashmir continues to remain as the most volatile region in the world with an average of 2,500 incidents every year.cite web|url= |title=The surrogate war in Kashmir] According to an Indian estimate in 2005 there were about 2,000 militants in the Kashmir valley alone; 1,200 of them belong to the Hizbul Mujahideen. Not all Kashmiri separatists and militant organizations share the same ideology. Some fight in the name of religion, some are openly pro-Pakistan and some favour an independent Kashmir.

Due to the presence of these numerous anti-India insurgent groups India has been compelled to deploy massive number of troops in the Indian administered "Jammu and Kashmir" for the task of counter insurgency. New Delhi has never made an official count, but military analysts estimate that anywhere from 30,000 to nearly 33,000 security personnel are most likely involved, supported by thousands of Indian paramilitary groups such as the Rashtriya rifles, and the Romeo Force(all a part of Indian army). [ [,,3-1363447,00.html] , [] , [] Multiple sources for the number of Indian counter-insurgency troops in the region] notes of the Indian Armed forces in Kashmir that:

Some reports estimate that India deploys approximately 400,000 combined army and paramilitary forces in Kashmir, most of which are stationed in the interior, 80,000 of which are deployed along the LoC. Pakistani forces deployed along the LoC are reported to number in the 40,000-50,000 range
[ [ Stimson - The Kashmir Dispute ] ]

Times Online reports that around 250,000 Indian troops are stationed in Kashmir, [ [ India’s leader makes peace overtures in Kashmir - Times Online ] ] while Pravda.RU, a widely read Russian News source notes that 350,000-600,000 troops may be deployed in Kashmir. [ [ Reduction of India troops in Kashmir - Pravda.Ru ] ]

Militant groups

Over the last two years, a militant group, Lashkar-e-Toiba has split into two factions: "Al Mansurin" and "Al Nasirin". Another new group reported to have emerged is the Save Kashmir Movement. Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (formerly known as Harkat-ul-Ansar) and Lashkar-e-Toiba are believed to be operating from Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir and Muridke, Pakistan respectively.ref|figure Other less well known groups are the Freedom Force and Farzandan-e-Milat. A smaller group, Al-Badr, has been active in Kashmir for many years and is still believed to be functioning.cite web|url= |title=List of terrorist organisations] All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an organisation that uses moderate means to press for the rights of the Kashmiris, is often considered as the "mediator" between New Delhi and insurgent groups.

Not much is known about collaboration between the various groups, but most say they are members of an alliance known as the United Jihad Council (UJC).cite web|url= |title=Info regarding UJC and its members] The two groups which India says were behind the December 2001 attack on the Indian parliament in New Delhindash known then as Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba are believed to be members of the "UJC". India says that it was Jaish-e-Mohammed that attacked the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly in Srinagar in October 2001.cite web |url= |title=Article on Indian Parliament Attack] It is also known that the Jaish-e-Mohammed was responsible for the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 to Kandahar, which forced the Government of India to release Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammed.cite web|url= |title=IC 814 Hijacking] Recruits from various parts of the world have been sent to Pakistan-administered Kashmir for training and advice. cite web |url=,8599,1254773,00.html|title=Where Some British Extremists Go On Holiday]

India and Pakistan

A 1994 report by Human Rights Watch group lends support to both Indian and Pakistani charges. In support of Indian claims, it states that "

There is compelling evidence that elements of the Pakistani government have sponsored a significant flow of arms to Kashmiri militants [from arms bazaars in the North West Frontier Province] , as well as an extensive training program.
While in support of Pakistani claims, its states that "the human rights record of the Indian government in Punjab and Kashmir is appalling. Abuses in Kashmir are clearly on the rise"."cite web|url=|title=Introduction to Kashmir conflict] The US government has also supported the claim that anti-India terror groups exist in India. [ [ Dawn, Pakistan] ] India claims that there are also other Afghan, Egyptian, Yemeni and Bangladeshi terrorists active in Jammu and Kashmir. The Council on Foreign Relations states that Pakistan’s military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) both include personnel who sympathize with—or even assist—Islamist militants adding that "ISI has provided covert but well-documented support to terrorist groups active in Kashmir, among other outfits." [ [ Terrorism Havens: Pakistan] - Council on Foreign Relations ] In a recent infiltration bid, a Pakistan Army officer was shot dead, with India citing that this was clear and conclusive evidence of Pakistani involvement in the insurgency. [ [ Pakistan army officer killed in Kashmir encounter] ] The UN Security Council has also confirmed the existence of terrorist groups based in [Pakistani] Kashmir and urged Pakistan to crack down on terrorist groups which had been operating in Kashmir and killing innocent people. [ [ Crack down on ultras, UN tells Pak] ]

Pakistan describes the separatists as "freedom fighters" and says that it supports their effort for the cause of the Kashmiris only morally and diplomatically. Pakistan however admits that there has been 'cross border infiltration of militants' across the line of controls LOC. In 2002, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf tried to clamp down on the militants [] operating from Pakistan [] . India, however, claims that Islamabad supports these groups financially and militarily. Sources have maintained that Pakistan's intelligence organisation, Inter Services Intelligence, is the main supplier of funds and arms to these groups;cite web|url=|title="Directorate for ISI" article on FAS, Intelligence Resource Program] a claim that Islamabad has dismissed. According to the Indian news site, British Government had stated in 2002 that there is a 'clear link' between Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence and three major militant groupscite web|url= |title=Information regarding links between ISI and militants] An article in The Guardian had uncovered evidence that Pakistani militants were openly raising funds and training new recruits and that the ISI's Kashmir Cell was instrumental in funding and controlling the militant outfits.cite web|url=,2763,722049,00.html |title=Dangerous game of state-sponsored terror...] Richard Bennett, a British military and intelligence analyst states that the ISI has armed and trained generations of Islamist extremists and has directed many of their attacks both within the Kashmir and in India's major cities. [ [ Kashmir militants are a danger to world peace by Richard M Bennett] ]

Indian sources also allege that there are between 2,600 to 3,000 militants receiving training in camps across Pakistan and Pakistan Administered Kashmir. During a peace summit between former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian former-Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in January 2004, Islamabad assured India that it would do everything possible to curb the activities any training camps on its territory. However, violence has continued in Kashmir despite a 3 year long peace process between India and Pakistan. There were as many as 166 incidents in June 2005 alone in which some 201 people have died.cite web|url= |title=July 22, 2005 edition of the Hindustan Times newspaper - report by journalist Nilova Roy Chaudhury] Fact|date=January 2008

According to Indian sources there are about 37 training camps in Pakistan, 49 in Azad Kashmir and 22 in Afghanistan.ref|Kashinfo The FBI also has produced images of camps operating in Pakistan. [ [ FBI has images of terror camp in Pak] ] India claims that every year thousands of armed insurgents infiltrate into Indian-administered Kashmir and carry out attacks against Indian Security Forces and Kashmiri civilians. In June 2005, the Indian Army had foiled at least 72 infiltration attempts along the Line of Control in Kashmir.ref|HT India alleges that despite the commitments made by Pervez Musharraf, Islamabad has done little to stop the training camps on its soil. According to India, most of the militants in Kashmir come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Yemen and Bangladesh. Not all Kashmiri separatists and militant organizations share the same ideology. Some fight in the name of religion, some are pro-Pakistan and some favour an independent Kashmir. While the vast majority of militants are Muslims, one report indicated a minority of fighter (40 to 50) are Hindu militants who have either taken up arms or provided safe cover for militants.cite web|url= |title=Kashmir’s new headache: Hindu militants]

Human rights violations

Human rights violations by India

A 1996 Human Rights Watch report accuses the Indian military and Indian-government backed paramilitaries of "committ [ing] serious and widespread human rights violations in Kashmir." [] One such alleged massacre occurred on January 6, 1993 in the town of Sopore. "TIME Magazine" described the incident as such: "In retaliation for the killing of one soldier, paramilitary forces rampaged through Sopore's market setting buildings ablaze and shooting bystanders. The Indian government pronounced the event 'unfortunate' and claimed that an ammunition dump had been hit by gunfire, setting off fires that killed most of the victims." [ [,9171,977469,00.html Blood Tide Rising - TIME ] ] In addition to this, there have been claims of disappearances by the police or the army in Kashmir by several human rights organizations. [ [ India ] ] [ [ BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Kashmir's extra-judicial killings ] ]

Human rights violations by militants

Islamic militants are accused of violence against the Kashmir populace. [ [ K P S Gill: The Kashmiri Pandits: An Ethnic Cleansing the World Forgot - Islamist Extremism & Terrorism in South Asia ] ] Thousands of civilian Kashmiri Hindus have been killed in Kashmir over the past 10 years by Islamic militants organisations or Muslim mobs. [ Rights Abuses Behind Kashmir Fighting (Human Rights Watch, 16-7-1999) ] ] Human rights organisations put the figure of the number killed since the late 80's at 11,000. Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits have emigrated as a result of the violence. Estimates of the displaced varies from 170,000 to 700,000. Thousands of Pandits have to move to Jammu because of terrorism.Alexander Evans, A departure from history: Kashmiri Pandits, 1990–2001, Contemporary South Asia (Volume 11, Number 1, 1 March 2002, pp. 19-37)]

Militant acts

*1989 kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed daughter of the then Home Minister of India Mufti Sayeed.
*1995 kidnapping of western tourists in Jammu and Kashmir six foreign trekkers from Anantnag district were kidnapped by Al Faran, One was beheaded later, one escaped and other four remain untraced presumable killed.
* Wandhama Massacre - In January 1998, 24 Kashmiri Pandits living in the village of Wandhama were massacred by Pakistani militants. According to the testimony of one of the survivors, the militants dressed themselves as officers of the Indian Army, entered their houses and then started firing blindly. The incident was significant because it coincided with former US president Bill Clinton's visit to India and New Delhi used the massacre to present a case against the alleged Pakistan-supported terrorism in Kashmir.cite web|url= |title=Wandhama Massacre report]
* Sangrampora Killings - On March 22 1997, 7 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in Sangrampora village in the Budgam district.cite web|url= |title=Sangrampora killings]
*2001 terrorist attack on Jammu and Kashmir legislative assembly On October 1, 2001, a bombing at the Legislative Assembly in Srinagar killed 38.cite news|title=Pakistan Asks India to Revive Talks Aimed at Bringing Peace to Kashmir |publisher=The New York Times |author=Dugger, Celia |date=2001, October 9]
* Qasim Nagar Attack - On July 13, 2003, armed militants believed to be a part of the Lashkar-e-Toiba threw hand grenades at the Qasim Nagar market in Srinagar and then fired on civilians standing nearby killing twenty-seven and injuring many more.cite web|url= |title=Human Rights Watch World Report 2003: India]
* Assassination of Abdul Ghani Lone - Abdul Ghani Lone, a prominent All Party Hurriyat Conference leader, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen during a memorial rally in Srinagar. The assassination resulted in wide-scale demonstrations against the Indian forces for failing to provide enough security cover for Mr. Lone.
* July 20 2005 Srinagar Bombing - A car bomb exploded near an armoured Indian Army vehicle in the famous Church Lane area in Srinagar killing 4 Indian Army personnel, one civilian and the suicide bomber. Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack.cite web|url= |title=20 July 2005 Srinagar attack]
* Budshah Chowk attack - A militant attack on July 29, 2005 at Srinigar's city centre, Budshah Chowk, killed 2 and left more than 17 people injured. Most of those injured were media journalists.cite web|url=,000900010002.htm |title=July 29 attack in Srinagar]
* Murder of Ghulam Nabi Lone - On October 18, 2005 suspected Kashmiri militants killed Jammu and Kashmir's then education minister Ghulam Nabi Lone. Militant group called Al Mansurin claimed responsibility for the attack.cite web|url= |title=Nabi Lone's assassination]
* On May 3 2006 militants massacred 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts in Jammu and Kashmir. [cite web|url= |title=Massacre of 35 Hindus in Doda and Udhampur districts of Jammu]
*On June 12 2006 one person was killed and 31 were wounded when terrorists hurled three grenades on Vaishnodevi shrine-bound buses at the general bus stand here this morning. [cite web|url=|title=Terror in Jammu, Anantnag]
* On July 7, 2006, over 190 people were killed and over 700 injured from bombs planted on 7 commuter trains in Mumbai by Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists.

Indian Statistics

The following statistics were compiled by Indian Army:
*Number of Kashmiri militant camps in Pakistan-administered Kashmir: 49
*Total number of Kashmir militant camps in Pakistan: 37
*Number of Kashmiri militant camps in Afghanistan: 22 (During Taliban rule)
*Number of militants* operating in Jammu and Kashmir: 3200 (1996 estimatecite web
title=VII. Violations by Militant Organizations
date=May 1996
work=Human Rights Watch/Asia: India: India's Secret Army in Kashmir, New Patterns of Abuse Emerge in the Conflict
publisher=Human Rights Watch
] )
*Number of Kashmiri Militants in Indian jails: 125
*Number of Indian civilians killed by Kashmiri Militants* since 1988: over 29,000
*Number of explosions carried out by the Militants* in India: 4,730
*Total number of Kashmiri Pandits displaced from the state: over 750,000
*Amount of explosives recovered from Kashmiri Militants* in India: 60 tons or 30,000 kg (estimate)
*Major Kashmiri Militant training camps:Fact|date=January 2008

Note: Pakistan denies the existence of such training camps on their territory, and the existence of such camps is a matter of controversy.

Recent developments

Violent activities in the region declined in 2004. There are two main reasons for this: warming of relations between New Delhi and Pakistan which consequently lead to a ceasefire between the two countries in 2003 and the fencing of the LOC being carried out by the Indian Army. Moreover, coming under intense international pressure, Islamabad was compelled to take actions against the militants' training camps on its territory. In 2004, the two countries also agreed upon decreasing the number of troops present in the region.

Under pressure, Kashmiri militant organisations have made an offer for talks and negotiations with New Delhi, which was accepted by India. India's Border Security Force blamed the Pakistani military for providing cover-fire for the militants whenever they infiltrated into Indian territory from Pakistan. However, ever since the ceasefire has come into action, the militants have received no back-up from Pakistani Military, which has contributed significantly to the decline in "cross-border terrorism" [ [ `Cross-border terrorism has not ended'] The Hindu - June 14, 2003] in the state. Even the recently elected Pakistani President, Asif Ali Zardari admitted that the militants operating in Kashmir were indeed terrorists"" [] []


The insurgents who initially started their movement as a pro-Kashmiri independence movement, have gone through a lot of change in their ideology. Most of the insurgents portray their struggle as a religious one.

Indian analysts allege that by supporting these insurgents, Pakistan is trying to wage a proxy war against India while Pakistan claims that it regards most of these insurgent groups as "freedom fighters" rather than militants.

Internationally known to be the most deadly theatre of conflict, nearly 10 million people, including Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists have been fighting a daily battle for survival.

Films and Books

* " [ Yahaan] "ndash A love story of an idealistic Indian army soldier and a local Kashmiri girl.

* " [ The Kashmir Question: Retrospect and Prospect] "ndash by Sumit Ganguly
* " [ South Asia in the World: Problem solving perspectives on security, sustainable development, and good governance] "ndash by Oddny Wiggen and Ramesh Chandra Thakur
* Kashmir: Beyond the valendash by M J Akbar


Manoj Joshi, "Lost Rebellion: Kashmir in the Nineties" (New Delhi, Penguin Books, 1999)


# [ BBC Timeline on Kashmir conflict.]
# [ Lashkar-e-toiba's profile]
# [ List of terrorist attacks in Kashmir]
# [ Article on Nadimarg killings]
# [ Amarnath killings report]
# [ Plight of Kashmiri Pundits]
# [ Schofield, Victoria. 'Kashmir: The origins of the dispute', "BBC News UK Edition" (January 16 2002)] Retrieved May 20 2005
# [,001300430001.htm HT story - Kashmiri militants warn against return of Pandits]

ee also

;Related articles
* Kashmir
* Terrorism in India
* Islamic terrorism
* Terrorism in Pakistan
* Indo-Pakistani Wars
* Kargil War or the Indo-Pakistani War of 1999
* "LOC Kargil", a 2003 Bollywood war film based on "Kargil War" or the "Indo-Pakistani War of 1999", directed by J.P.Dutta
* All Parties Hurriyat Conference
* List of topics on the land and the people of “Jammu and Kashmir”

;Militant groups
* Lashkar-e-Toiba
* Jaish-e-Mohammed
* Hizbul Mujahideen
* Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
* Al-Qaeda

External links

* [ Foundation against Continuing terrorism]
* [ Jammu and Kashmir Govt. official website]
* [ Kashmir Newz, news and content provider from Kashmir]
* [ Death in Kashmir]
* [ Indian report on Proxy-War being carried out by Islamabad]
* [ A Pakistani site supporting Kashmiri terrorism]
* [ The Kashmir Dispute]
* [ Ignore Musharraf, we are winning in J&K] - Public Affairs Magazine
* [ Video Documentary on the Kashmiri Pandit Situation]
* [ "Conflict in Kashmir: Selected Internet Resources by the Library, University of California, Berkeley, USA"; University of California at Berkeley Library Bibliographies and Web-Bibliographies list]

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