Kashmir: Fed-up youths & political point-scoring keep 70-year war alive
Added 05-16-18 03:37:02am EST - “Born from clashing religious beliefs and political ideals after breaking away from British rule, India and Pakistan’s 70-year conflict over Indian-administered Kashmir is strewn with intermittent killings and political sparring.” - Rt.com
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Violence can rear its head in Kashmir at almost any time and did so again the other week when five suspected armed separatists were gunned down by Indian soldiers and, in a separate incident, a tourist was killed as stone-throwing protesters clashed with police in Shopia.
The violent tug of war involving religious and nationalist groups from both Pakistan and India exists since independence in 1947, when British India broke up into the Muslim majority Pakistan and the largely Hindu populated India. The conflict is a veritable snare of political and armed actors who either want Kashmiri freedom, a union with Pakistan, or from an Indian government perspective, solidifying the status quo.
Since 1947 three wars have broken out between the two nations, as well as countless bloody skirmishes on the ground of the contested Kashmir region, which is around 70 percent Muslim, and owned by India. China has also claimed a stake to the Aksai Chin area near its border.
Last April, peaceful student protests descended into fierce confrontations with Jammu and Kashmir police over heavy handedness by security forces. It’s part of a new movement being witnessed in the region, one which, according to the International Kashmir Lobby Group, involves Kashmiri youths that up until recently had been politically withdrawn.
Ahmed Quraishi, executive director at the International Kashmir Lobby Group, told RT.com that recent protests have expanded beyond the usual political figures. He says there’s a greater push for a national identity among the next generation.
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