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J & K: base for industry of violence

Professor Navnita Chadha Behera says that Kashmiri jihad is the goose that lays the golden egg.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2007 19:09 IST

Militancy in Kashmir "is a goose that lays the golden eggs" as power brokers, civil-military officials and militants in Pakistan and Pak-Occupied Kashmir enjoy access to unaudited funds and have a direct stake "in the industry of violence," says a new book by an expert.

"Too many interest groups ranging from the power brokers in Islamabad and rulers in Azad Kashmir to jihadi leaders and civil-military officials who have enjoyed access to unaudited funds have a direct stake in the industry of violence," said Navnita Chadha Behera in her book Demystifying Kashmir.

"They can reportedly take a lull in business for some time but few seem ready to wind it up," Ms Behera, a Professor of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Nelson Mandela Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Jamia Millia Islamia and a former visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution, said in her 358-page book.

She said religious extremism and 'jihadi' culture are part of the social dynamics emanating from the Deobandi beliefs and practices of Islam that have seeped deep into Pakistan's body politic since the onset of the Afghan 'jihad'.

"A mere reshuffling of Pakistan's intelligence agencies and the army's top personnel or banning of the militias may not be enough to recast Islamabad's domestic and foreign policies unless accompanied by a rolling back of this social change, which is indeed a tall order", Behera said.

She is also the author of State, Identity and Violence: Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (2000) and the editor of Gender, Conflict and Migration (2006) and State, People and Security: The South Asian Context (2001).

Tracing the history of Kashmir from pre-partition India to the situation today, the book explores the political and military components of India's and Pakistan's Kashmir strategy, the self-determination debate and the insurgency that began in1989.

The conclusion focuses on what Behera terms the four P's: the parameters, players, policies, and prognosis of the ongoing peace process in Kashmir.

In his foreward to the Book, Strobe Talbott, former US Deputy Secretary of State, and President of Brooklyn Institution, said Behera has contributed "substantially to our understanding about the complex dynamics of this seemingly intractable dispute".