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Jun 30, 2010 | 18:10 GMT

2 mins read

Brief: Indian-Administered Kashmir Violence Blamed On Pakistani Militant Group

Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said June 30 that a Pakistan-based Islamist militant group was organizing violent anti-India protests in Indian-administered Kashmir for the past three weeks that have left 11 dead. After a high-level Cabinet meeting called by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the growing street unrest, Chidambaram told journalists that New Delhi believes Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that orchestrated the 2008 Mumbai attacks, was behind the protests. While violent anti-government protests by Muslim separatists and attacks from Islamist militant groups occur frequently in Indian-administered Kashmir, it is extremely rare for a militant group, especially LeT, to be accused of fomenting public unrest, which does not fit within the group's established tactical skill set. Orchestrating an armed raid or suicide attack requires a very different skill set from the more subtle skills of persuasion required to instigate civilians into acting, and fact that these demonstrations have occurred across Kashmir means a broad network of coordinated operatives would be required. It would be very dangerous for LeT operatives to act out in the open at demonstrations like this, and there is little evidence to suggest LeT has changed its operational focus. It appears as though New Delhi, in blaming LeT for these demonstrations, is attempting to portray them as the product of a banned militant group as a means of undermining support for Kashmiri separatists.

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