Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Violence threatens Kashmir peace

Observers are almost unanimous that the land row is an effect rather than a cause of antagonism between the two regions.

They say the simmering discontent dates back to the ending of the monarchy in Kashmir in 1947.

The monarch, Maharaja Hari Singh, was a Hindu who belonged to the main ethnic Dogra community of Jammu.

"When the monarchy ended and a popular government was installed under the leadership of Sheikh Abdullah, the power base shifted to the valley of Kashmir which has a larger population than Jammu," says Professor Noor Ahmed Baba of Kashmir University.

He argues that the people of Jammu felt disenfranchised then and that feeling remains even now.

Emphasis added.

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