Small Wars Journal

From Scholar to Militant: Why More Young Kashmiris are Joining an Insurgency Against India

From Scholar to Militant: Why More Young Kashmiris are Joining an Insurgency Against India by Joanna Slater – Washington Post

Bhat’s brief transition from academia to insurgency was part of a troubling trend. Growing numbers of young Kashmiris turned to militancy in 2018, according to official figures, giving new energy to an armed struggle that as recently as a few years ago appeared to be diminishing.

 

Some of the recruits, like Bhat, are highly educated and have promising careers ahead of them; others are high school dropouts from rural villages. But each one embraced violence, drawn to a three-decade insurgency against Indian rule in its portion of Kashmir, the Himalayan region claimed by India and Pakistan.

 

One of the recent recruits was Adil Ahmed Dar, a 19-year-old suicide bomber who nearly sparked a war between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

 

Dar drove an explosives-laden vehicle into a security convoy on Feb. 14, killing 40 paramilitary personnel. It was the worst such attack in the history of the insurgency, and Jaish-e-Muhammad, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Indian security officials accuse Pakistani authorities of sheltering the leadership of militant groups fighting in Kashmir, as well as providing them with guidance, training and material support. Pakistan denies the accusations but recently launched a crackdown on militant groups inside its borders.

 

While India has repeatedly denounced Pakistan, it has remained nearly silent on the increase in local participation in the insurgency…

Read on.