Since partition, India and Pakistan have fought three wars over Jammu and Kashmir. For many Pakistanis, the accession of the predominantly Muslim princely state to India in 1947, and India’s policies since then are an unacceptable conspiracy to undermine the very existence of Pakistan. In 1989, young Kashmiris from the Valley launched a guerrilla war against the Indian rule, with the hope of gaining freedom (azaadi) or a measure of autonomy (khudmuktari). While India resorted to repression and heavy militarization to quell popular dissent, insurgents gradually began to articulate their struggle in the Islamic idiom of jihad1 In the post-9/11 environment, the conflict tends to attract international attention as yet another instance of the menace wrought on the paradigm of secular democracy by radical formulations of Islamic sovereignty. In this context, academic literature on Kashmir has primarily focused on the diplomatic vicissitudes between India and Pakistan, and on the genealogy of the Kashmir jihad and the related involvement of Pakistan’s military and secret services. Recent analyses suggest that in the present geopolitical situation, the possibility of peace in Kashmir now largely depends upon Islamabad’s ability and willingness to align itself on the “War on Terror,” and accordingly to sever its links with Islamist organizations (e.g., Schofield 2008; Swami 2007).
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