Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Internecine Violence in Kashmiri Movement

Violence between ethnic and religious groups has become notorious in India, especially in Kashmir, a province that is under dispute between India and Pakistan and those who would choose a third path. Since the two nations have begun negotiating, violence has increased. Some fo the dimensions are obvious: Indians visiting Kashmir have been killed in grenade attacks. In other instances, attacks reflect a political divide between those Kashmiri who would choose one nation and those who would choose the other.

But the violence has expanded along new dimensions as anti-New Dehli groups are attacking one another. Some separatists have seen the negotiations between India and Pakistan as the opportunity to advocate for their own national interests. But other separatists see participation in negotiations as a betrayal of Kashmiri ambitions. Muslims who attempt to deal with the national government or with Hindu leaders have been attacked by their own. Such was the case when the cousin of Sunni cleric and leader Umar Farooq was shot when he was at prayers:
the killing appears to have been a message to the young Mr. Farooq, who this year transgressed - at least in hard-liners' eyes - by going to New Delhi to open a dialogue with India.

Farooq, who supports separation of Kashmir, insists that the Kashmiri participate in negotiations that take place between Pakistan and India so that their interests become known.
Mr. Farooq said that ... Kashmiris could not afford to be spectators. "You don't get what you deserve," he said. "You get what you negotiate." He argues that the time of militancy is over.


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