The 17th century Mughal Emperor Jahangir upon seeing the spectacular beauty of Kashmir said, “If there is paradise on earth, It is this, it is this, it is this.” Today, Kashmir is reduced to a veritable hell on earth. It has the dubious distinction of being the most militarized zone in the world. A rebellion against Indian rule, which erupted in 1989, has taken 70,000 lives. More than 8,000 people have been disappeared. Human rights violations are rampant. Yet barely any of this is the topic of media scrutiny or of concern to Washington policymakers who see New Delhi as a so-called strategic partner. India has successfully sold the line that Kashmiri resistance to its hegemony is illegitimate and is composed of terrorists who are linked to neighboring Pakistan, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Parvaiz Bukhari is an independent Kashmir-based journalist whose articles appear in major South Asian newspapers, journals and magazines.