ASSESSMENTS

A Rift Opens in the Kashmir Valley

MIN READJun 15, 2017 | 09:15 GMT

During clashes in early June, a protester in Srinagar, Kashmir, lobs a tear gas canister back at Indian security forces.

(TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

Until recently, Zakir Musa was a commander for Hizbul Mujahideen, an insurgent organization boasting some 200 fighters scattered throughout the districts adjacent to Kashmir's capital, Srinagar. But on May 12, audio statements were released in which Musa disavowed both Pakistan and the fight for Kashmir to secede from India. He stated his desire to implement a hard-line interpretation of Islamic law in Kashmir, and claimed that nationalism and democracy were not Islamic. For Pakistan, Musa represents a threat to its strategy of co-opting the Kashmiri insurgency to put pressure on India. Musa's Islamist ideology raises the specter of transnational jihadism establishing a foothold in Kashmir, a prospect that neither Islamabad nor New Delhi want....

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