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In the last weeks, tensions exploded between India and Pakistan. Warplanes screeched across the sky dropping bombs, and thousands of soldiers mobilized in Kashmir, bringing the two nuclear powers to red alert.
The other tragedy of the new Indo-Pakistan crisis is that we talk a lot about Kashmir without mentioning the Kashmiris. They are forgotten. In the Indian media, there is talk about air strikes, military responses and very few about Kashmiris who are currently living in fear. Many arrests have taken place in recent weeks.
Firing on protestors, beatings and physical assaults by Indian armed forces have been routinely reported. In particular, the misuse of pistols (pellet guns) throwing lead balls by the security forces against the crowd.
Since 1947, the Kashmiris are the hostages of India and Pakistan, the enemy brothers from the Partition. The two countries compete for territory covering Azad-Kashmir on the Pakistan side, and Jammu and Kashmir on the Indian side. For New Delhi as well as for Islamabad, Kashmir is considered to be part of the very DNA of the existence of both countries. This territorial conflict resulting from British decolonization led to four wars between the two nuclear powers of the region and is one of the oldest disputes managed by the United Nations.
Since 1948, resolution 39 provides for a referendum in which the Kashmiris must decide whether to join Pakistan or to join India. This consultation never took place. From then on, the phases of tension alternate with the phases of détente between Islamabad and New Delhi, without a permanent solution to the conflict having been found.