Kashmir democracy under the barrel of Indian guns

By Yasmin Qureshi, ZNet, June 12, 2010

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Yasmin Qureshi’s ZSpace Page

I had wanted to go to Kashmir ever since I visited Palestine in 2007. There are many similarities in the nature of the occupation as well as the struggles, both being nearly 63 years old.  One difference is that while Israel is seen as an external occupying force in Palestine, the Kashmir issue is considered an ‘internal’ matter or a conflict between Pakistan and India and the voice of Kashmiris is often lost. As a result there are fewer international organizations monitoring the region and little information about the extent and impact of the occupation gets out.

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One Response to “Kashmir democracy under the barrel of Indian guns”

  1. sudhan Says:

    Gauhar Siraj writes:

    Dear Mr. Nasir Khan,

    Asslamu alaikum.

    This is regarding the article “Democracy Under the Barrel of a Gun / The Fate of Kashmir” by Ms.Yasmin Qureshi, which you have aired on your blog with a link to ZSustainers. I am writing to say that Yasmin has unknowingly made an error which I wish to bring to your knowledge so that incorrect information does not get perpetuated.

    In her write up Yasmin says this, “With the rise in arrests, torture, killings and rape by Indian soldiers, young men started taking up arms. Pakistan took advantage of the frustrations of the Kashmiris and started arming groups like Lashkar-i-Tayyaba and Harkatul Mujahedeen. The US-lead mujahedeen resistance movement in Afghanistan against the Soviets also had an influence in shaping the 1990s resistance. More than 300,000 Kashmiris, mostly Hindu pundits were displaced.”

    This figure of 300,000 Hindus having migrated from the Valley is not correct.

    Ms. Anuradha Bhasin Jhamwal, a Hindu herself and the executive director of Jammu City based Kashmir Times has squarely put this figure to a lie in her well researched and substantiated article of 2004 in COMMUNALISM COMBAT. Here is how Ms.Jhamwal has described the logic of the numbers in her article:

    “But first came the propaganda with its exaggerated statistics of Pandit killings and the number of those displaced. Statistics show that there couldn’t have been more than 160,000 Pandits in the Valley at the time of the exodus. But figures were inflated to 4 lakhs as many of those already settled outside the Valley also began to register themselves as displaced.”

    “11- Estimate of population of Hindus in Kashmir Valley in 1990: The 1981 census in the Kashmir Valley records 125,000 Hindus (1981 Jammu and Kashmir Census Report). Taking the 30 per cent increase in the total population over the period 1971-1981 and extrapolating it to the period 1981-1990, we get an estimated total Hindu population of the Valley in 1990 as 162,500.”

    This lie of 300,000 was floated by the Kashmiri Hindus and it seems to have fooled even the rights activists now. Here is the link to Ms. Anuradha Bhasin Jhamwal’s 2004 article: http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2005/jan05/cover.html.

    Thank you.

    Gauhar Siraj
    New Delhi.

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