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The Departed by Mehboob Jeelani

In Asia, history, politics, society, war on September 2, 2012 at 18:00

 

From: The Departed by Mehboob Jeelani, The Caravan, http://www.caravanmagazine.in

Two decades ago, after protests exploded across the state in the wake of the elections held in 1987, which were widely regarded as rigged, the idea of revolution smoldered in these men. Like millions of Kashmiris, they rallied around the slogan “No election, no selection, we want freedom!” Convinced that armed insurgency could eject India from Kashmir, tens of thousands of young men joined militant outfits, took pseudonyms, and smuggled themselves across the Line of Control (LoC) into Pakistan-administered Kashmir; some were killed before they even crossed the line. In Pakistan, they were taken, often blindfolded, to secret training camps, and taught to make bombs, fire anti-aircraft guns and wage guerrilla war. Many were brought to Afghanistan, where they were expected to acquire additional expertise and support the mujahideen fighting the Soviet-backed Afghan government.

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Reposted with permission from: The Caravan

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