Militants in Indian-administered Kashmir have increased the targeted killing of Hindus, who are a small minority in the region, spreading panic among them. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Praveen Donthi draws upon interviews with residents to explore the implications of this violence.
Tensions persisted between India and Pakistan as insecurity continued in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), which marked five years without elected government.
Hostile rhetoric continued between India and Pakistan. Answering questions about Pakistan at press briefing, Indian FM S. Jaishankar 8 June said India would not tolerate “cross-border terrorism from Pakistan” and “Pakistan knows what it needs to do” to move bilateral relations forward; regarding objections from Pakistan to new map installed at Indian parliament, Jaishankar retorted “We don’t have hope in Pakistan for understanding [this matter]”. Joint statement late June with U.S. following Indian PM Narendra Modi’s state visit called on Pakistan to prevent terrorist attacks (see India). Indian border security forces 5 and 10 June allegedly shot down drones carrying drugs into Punjab province from Pakistan.
Militant attacks and security operations continued J&K. Security forces 1 June shot dead alleged Pakistani intruder in Jammu’s Samba district and next day killed militant in Rajouri district’s forest. Security forces 13 June killed two militants in Kupwara district. Security forces 14 June foiled infiltration attempt in Jammu’s Poonch sector. Security forces 16 June shot dead five alleged foreign militants near Line of Control in Kupwara district and 27 June killed an alleged Al Badr militant in Kulgam district. In major infiltration attempt, security forces 16 June killed five militants allegedly trying to infiltrate Kupwara district. Pakistan 24 June claimed Indian security forces killed two civilians in Sattwal sector along Line of Control. General Officer Commanding of Chinar Corps 1 June said there was no Afghan Taliban infiltration into Kashmir; his remarks addressed concerns about Taliban or North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) weaponry left in Afghanistan following Taliban’s takeover in 2021.
J&K marked five years without elected state govt. Region 19 June reached five-year anniversary since state govt was dissolved following collapse of ruling coalition’s majority in state assembly; five years marks longest spell of central rule in J&K since peak of militancy in region in period 1990-96. National Conference party leader Omar Abdullah 19 June wrote, “Democracy ends where J&K begins”, while People’s Democratic Party of Kashmir 20 June called it “death anniversary”.
Crisis Group’s Watch List identifies ten countries or regions at risk of deadly conflict or escalation thereof in 2022. In these places, early action, driven or supported by the EU and its member states, could enhance prospects for peace and stability.
As the decades-old conflict continues in Kashmir, with incidents occurring every week, dangerous tensions make future violence possible. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2022, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to push for India and Pakistan to rebuild mutual respect and peaceful relations by resuming formal bilateral ties and re-engaging with Kashmiri political leaders.
One year ago, India rescinded constitutional provisions giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the disputed territory also claimed by Pakistan. Kashmiri militancy is growing, often with Pakistani encouragement. Allies should urge New Delhi to relax its clampdown and Islamabad to stop backing jihadist proxies.
Reciprocal airstrikes by India and Pakistan have been accompanied by shelling, troop reinforcements and small arms fire. In this Q&A calling for restraint between the nuclear-armed neighbours, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director Laurel Miller notes that the airspace violations alone were the worst for 50 years.
A 14 February suicide attack by Pakistan-based militants was their bloodiest strike in Indian-administered Kashmir in over three decades. In this Q&A, our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller warns that even a limited Indian retaliatory strike could spark a sharp escalation in conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
Their recent dialogue process provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability, but Pakistan and India must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites.
Even if India and Pakistan appear willing to allow more interaction across the Line of Control (LOC) that separates the parts of Kashmir they administer, any Kashmir-based dialogue will fail if they do not put its inhabitants first.
When the third round of the normalisation talks concludes in July 2006, India and Pakistan will be no closer than when they began the process in February 2004 to resolving differences, including over Kashmir.
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