India-Pakistan: October 25, 2003

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Positions continue to harden over Kashmir. India feels that it's national integrity is at stake, as Pakistan is asking for territory that has been controlled by India since it's founding in 1948. The Pakistanis are backing Islamic militants, who consider themselves on a religious mission to cleanse Kashmir of infidels (non-Moslems). The transfer of Kashmir to Pakistani control has become a national goal in Pakistan. Negotiating a settlement means someone has to sacrifice a major political asset. 

Violence in Kashmir continues to claim 5-10 lives a day. Separatist rebels terrorize Kashmiri Moslems to gain their cooperation, and terrorize Kashmiri non-Moslems to leave Kashmir. Recently, rebels announced that local Moslem villagers should not assist in surrender negotiations when some rebels are cornered by police in their village or neighborhood. The reason is that rebels in such situations will not surrender (although sometimes they do.) The police are often heavy handed when looking for rebels, but have become more discrete and careful dealing with civilians over the past few years.

 

 

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