India’s battle against Pakistan-sponsored terror


In the enduring story of India’s commitment to preserving its sovereignty in the face of Islamist militancy and Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, the region of Jammu and Kashmir stands as a testament to this unwavering resolve.

The historical backdrop, marred by persecution, ethnic cleansing campaigns, and the influence of jihadists backed by Pakistan, only amplifies the significance of India’s control over the area. This sovereignty not only safeguards civil rights for the residents but also bolsters counterterrorism efforts and stability in the broader South Asian context.

Jammu and Kashmir, with its prevailing Muslim majority, remains situated within India’s borders, a connection rooted in deep historical and spiritual ties that span millennia. The region’s indigenous Hindus, who have inhabited Kashmir for over 5,000 years, possess a distinct ethno-religious culture.

While Kashmir once boasted a Hindu-majority population governed by Hindu rulers, the 14th century marked a turning point as Central Asian Muslims invaded the region.

Under Islamic rule, the Hindu populace endured persecution, which shifted with Sikh dominion in the early 1800s and a Hindu dynasty reigning from the mid-1800s until 1947. In that pivotal year, the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir integrated into the secular Republic of India. This integration prompted Pakistani Armed Forces to invade the region, met with Indian counteractions to thwart the attacks. Tragically, thousands of Hindu families were displaced from the parts of Kashmir now occupied by Pakistan, subjecting them to life-altering hardships.

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 in 1948, urging Pakistan to withdraw its military presence from the region. Regrettably, Pakistan rejected this resolution, escalating its military involvement and fanning the flames of unrest and terrorism. A multitude of civilian lives fell victim to terrorist acts carried out by militant groups operating with Pakistan’s backing.

Notably, the current demographic landscape of Jammu and Kashmir is a product of calculated actions. Between 1989 and 1991, a severe ethnic cleansing campaign orchestrated by an extremist group, the Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), targeted the indigenous Hindu population of the Kashmir Valley. Tragically, over 95 percent of these Hindus, commonly referred to as ‘Kashmiri Pandits,’ faced violent persecution, leading to their forced displacement and countless fatalities at the hands of JKLF terrorists. This campaign aimed to reshape the region’s demographics by eliminating non-Muslims.

The International Commission for Human Rights and Religious Freedom (ICHRRF) acknowledged these atrocities in 2022 as an act of genocide against Kashmiri Hindus. The grim accounts of this period reveal how indigenous Hindus were coerced to convert, flee, or face peril, as inflammatory messages from mosques incited fear and violence.

This unsettling history also intersects with the persistent presence of Pakistan-aided terror groups in the region, such as Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), both designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations by the United States. These groups have orchestrated major attacks, contributing to instability not only in India but posing a broader threat to global security.

Against this backdrop, the Indian government’s decision in 2019 to revoke Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution marked a turning point. These provisions, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, were legally dismantled, substantially improving security conditions and civil rights in the region, particularly for women, children, and minority groups. Women gained expanded property rights, protection from domestic violence, and enhanced access to education and economic opportunities.

Data from the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP) illustrates a decline in local support for insurgency and an overall increase in security in Kashmir. This progress has spurred a resurgence in tourism, with significant events being hosted in the region, like the G20 tourism conference in 2023.

While India’s historical, cultural, and spiritual bonds with Kashmir are undeniable, it’s essential to acknowledge that Pakistan occupies a significant portion known as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) and the Northern Areas.

The elimination of Hindus from PoK due to violence and forced conversions is a distressing reality, despite the region still being home to ancient Hindu sacred sites.

Ultimately, the ongoing violence in Kashmir is not a struggle for democracy or independence; it’s a jihadist endeavor aimed at destabilization, oppression, and the Islamization of the region. Pakistan’s role in fomenting this violence, along with hardline Islamist groups, seeks to create an Islamic state devoid of Hindus and with diminished status for women and minorities.

A Kashmir under Islamist or Pakistani control could mirror the harrowing conditions witnessed in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, perpetuating human rights abuses and violence, and sparking regional instability. Such a scenario would likely result in a new wave of refugees and terrorism, impacting not just South Asia but the global community.

To avert this dire outcome, Western cooperation with India in Kashmir and the wider region is imperative. By strengthening these collaborative efforts, the West can contribute to a more secure and stable future for all residents of Jammu and Kashmir, upholding the principles of human rights, democracy, and peace.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here