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.
Indian and Pakistani border forces exchanged heavy fire in violation of 2021 ceasefire amid uptick in militant infiltration attempts, while security operations in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K) triggered deadly gun battles.
India and Pakistan exchanged fire, violating Line of Control ceasefire. After India claimed Pakistani border troops late Oct opened fire unprovoked in RS Pura and Arnia sectors of border in Jammu region, which led to exchange of heavy fire and shelling, Indian forces 9 Nov claimed Pakistani border troops opened fire again in Arnia and Ramgarh sectors of border in Jammu region. Move prompted Indian forces to retaliate, killing one Indian security forces member; gunfire marks another violation of ceasefire since 2003 agreement was renewed indefinitely in Feb 2021, which brings total violations in 2023 to six. New Delhi also claimed uptick in attempted infiltrations of militants from Pakistan in Rajouri and Poonch sector in Jammu region and Kupwara and Baramulla sectors in Kashmir region, which may further increase ahead of harsher winter weather; border troops 15 Nov killed two alleged infiltrators in Uri sector.
Security operations inside J&K triggered deadly clashes. Marking uptick in lethality, security forces 16-17 Nov killed five militants in two-day gun battle in Kulgam district and security operation 22-23 Nov left two LeT militants and five security personnel dead in Rajouri district. Earlier, security forces 1 Nov arrested four alleged militant associates of Laskhar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) in Baramulla district and 2 Nov arrested two alleged militant associates of Al-Badr militant outfit in Srinagar city. Security forces 9 Nov killed one militant of The Resistance Front in Shopian district; 17 Nov killed alleged militant in Rajouri.
High Court granted bail to imprisoned journalists. High Court of J&K 17 Nov granted bail to Fahad Shah, editor of news portal The Kashmir Walla imprisoned since Feb 2022 under anti-terrorism laws for publishing article in 2011; court quashed some charges, such as “abetting terrorism, waging war against the country and promoting enmity” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Court 9 Nov granted bail to journalist Sajad Ahmad Dar, arrested in Jan 2022 under Public Safety Act.
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.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.