Is the freedom struggle in Kashmir merely "cross border terrorism" from the Pakistan side?
The indigenous nature of the current Kashmir freedom struggle is well known: it started almost 12 years ago in response to the killing of 100 peaceful Kashmiri demonstrators in Srinagar; over 83198 Kashmiris have sacrificed their lives in this struggle; thousands of Kashmiris have been injured, tortured or arbitrarily detained. No external influence could have persuaded the Kashmiri people to sustain their struggle for so long in the face of India's brutal military repression. It is only genuine and popular quest for freedom, which evokes such monumental sacrifices. Under the auspices of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Dr. Paula R. Newberg wrote: "Since 1989, the number of dead (in Srinagar) has reached tens of thousands, the exact number unknown. Mostly boys and men, they have died for their religious beliefs, their political beliefs or because they were in the way. The circumstances of birth have become the accidents of death".
The legitimate response to India's military repression cannot be denigrated as "terrorism". The targets of the Kashmiri freedom fighters have been the instruments of India's occupation, not innocent civilians who are Kashmiris.
Indeed, terrorist acts in Kashmir have been largely sponsored by Indian agencies and "agents provocateur". Amnesty International's report "IF they are dead; tell us", and Human Rights Watch report "India's secret army in Kashmir", both testify that India has used Kashmiri renegades to carry out the worst forms of repression and human rights violations in Kashmir. Such acts of terrorism are an integral element of the Indian strategy to malign the Kashmiri freedom movement and to exploit international abhorrence of terrorism. Renegade groups have been given names by India like "Ikhwan-ul-Muslemoon" and "Taliban" to play upon the fears in the western countries and to make the repression of Kashmiris more palatable.