The insurgency in Kashmir has existed in various forms. Thousands of lives have been lost since 1989 due to the intensification of both the insurgency and the fight against it.
A widespread armed insurgency started in Kashmir with the disputed 1987 election with some elements from the State’s assembly forming militant wings which acted as a catalyst for the emergence of armed insurgency in the region.
The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has been accused by India of supporting and trainingmujahideen. to fight in Jammu and Kashmir. According to official figures released in Jammu and Kashmir assembly, there were 3,400 disappearance cases and the conflict has left more than 47,000 people dead as of July 2009. However, the number of insurgency-related deaths in the state have fallen sharply since the start of a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan.
After independence from colonial rule India and Pakistan fought a war over the princely state of Kashmir. At the end of the war India controlled the most valuable parts of Kashmir. While there were sporadic periods of violence there was no organized insurgency movement.
During this period legislative elections in Jammu and Kashmir were first held in 1951 and Sheikh Abdullah’s party stood unopposed. However Sheikh Abdullah would fall in and out of favour with the central government and would often be dismissed only to be re-appointed later on. This was a time of political instability in Jammu and Kashmir and it went through several periods of President’s rule by the Federal Government.
After Sheikh Abdullah’s death, his son Farooq Abdullah took over as Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah eventually fell out of favour with theCentral Government and the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi had him dismissed. A year later Farooq Abdullah announced an alliance with the ruling Congress party for the elections of 1987. The elections were allegedly rigged in favour of Farooq Abdullah.
This led to the rise of an armed insurgency movement composed, in part, of those who unfairly lost elections. Pakistan supplied these groups with logistical support, arms, recuits and training.
Beginning in 2004 Pakistan began to end its support for insurgents in Kashmir. This happened because terrorist groups linked to Kashmir twice tried to assassinate Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf. His successor, Asif Ali Zardari has continued the policy, calling insurgents in Kashmir “terrorists”. Although it is unclear if Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, thought to be the agency aiding and controlling the insurgency is following Pakistan’s commitment to end support for the insurgency in Kashmir.
Despite the change in the nature of the insurgency from a phenomenon supported by external forces to a primarily domestic driven movement the Indian government has continued to send large numbers of troops to the Indian border and to crack down on civil liberties.
There have been widespread protests against Indian rule.
Once the most formidable face of Kashmir militancy, Hizbul Mujahideen is slowly fading away as its remaining commanders and cadres are being taken out on a regular interval by security forces.