What is the history of Kashmiri Muslims

Terrorism and Fundamentalism in Kashmir

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and question

2. Kashmir: Happy Valley
2.1. History of Kashmir and International Conflicts
2.2. The Kashmiri Muslim Uprising
2.3. Geography and Population of Kashmir

3. Fundamentalism and Terrorism
3.1. Fundamentalism as the conflict with the outside
3.2. Terrorism as Violent Fundamentalism
3.3. Differentiation between terrorism and fundamentalism

4. Causes and characteristics of terrorism in Kashmir
4.1. Causes and manifestations
4.2. Pakistan's role in the conflict

5. From Popular Insurrection to Jihad: The Problem of Imported Fundamentalism
5.1. The "hostile takeover" of the uprising
5.2. Terrorists as "mercenaries"
5.3. The climate of fundamentalism
5.4. Pakistan's Principle Agent Problem

6. Summary outlook

7. Appendix
7.1. Languages ​​and religions in Kashmir
7.2. Known terrorist groups in Kashmir

8. List of literature and internet sources used

1. Introduction and question

Kashmir always moves into the field of view of the world public when a local conflict threatens to escalate into a war between two nuclear powers - the last time after the terrorist attack on the Indian central parliament on December 13, 2001 by militant Kashmiris[1]. However, this country has not found peace for 13 years now, "About 24,000 people have died in the decade-long insurgency"[2] But it is not only for this reason that Kashmir deserves more attention, but also because new structures of terrorism have been observed there for a long time, and the " ’Hydra“ terrorism[3] this conflict is unlikely to remain localized in the future. This work will not deal with "terrorism" as an isolated phenomenon, nor with terrorism as an isolated network[4] consider. Rather, terrorism and fundamentalism are related to each other - also through a delimitation of the two terms, which is sometimes blurred in the popular discussion.

This relationship between terrorism and fundamentalism is examined with the help of an economic theory of fundamentalism (Iannaccone 1997) and a kind of division of labor can be established for Kashmir, which is advantageous for both sides. In order to come to this thesis, however, it is necessary to do some preliminary work. First, as an introduction to the subject, it is necessary to provide a brief historical outline of the history of Kashmir, which is very brief and the emphasis is on recent and recent history (Chapter 2). Then it is necessary to define the terms fundamentalism and terrorism, at least provisionally (Chapter 3). After this relatively extensive but necessary preparatory work, the causes and sources of the “popular uprising” and the “new” terrorism in Kashmir, as well as its characteristics, are dealt with (Chapter 4). In the fifth chapter, these findings are integrated into a dynamic model, which in particular describes a dynamic component in the relationship between fundamentalism and terrorism on the basis of an economic model and which addresses Pakistan's difficult principal-agent problem. In the following sixth chapter a rather provisional conclusion is drawn and an attempt is made to give an outlook on the near future.

The investigation is limited to Kashmir, more precisely the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J & K)[5]. There are primarily practical reasons for this: Terrorism predominantly occurs there, and the relationship to fundamentalization is easy to see. Nevertheless, especially here, terrorism and fundamentalism cannot be viewed in isolation in one country. For this reason, considerations are made about India, Pakistan and, for example, Afghanistan as well. The starting point of this investigation, however, should be cashmere (in the J&K sense).

2. Cashmere: "Happy Valley"

2.1. History of Kashmir and International Conflicts

Due to its inaccessible geographical location and isolation, Kashmir was able to assert itself as a politically and culturally independent region for a long time[7]. Only with the advance of Islam in the 14th century was this independence increasingly questioned. Kashmir was conquered by the Mughal ruler Akbar in 1586, fell to Afghanistan in 1756 and to the Sikh in 1819. Due to its strategic importance as a gateway to India from the northwest, the British annexed Kashmir in the first Sikh war (1845) and, despite the Muslim majority, appointed a Hindu ruler who recognized British sovereignty and whose descendants ruled in the context of British India (Dogradynasty).[6]

India's independence on August 15, 1947 and the establishment of Pakistan as a Muslim-majority state, the situation in Kashmir was still undecided. The original partition plan worked out by the Viceroy Lord Mountbatten provided for the predominantly Muslim populated provinces of the British colony of India to be formed into the state of Pakistan, while post-colonial India was to consist of the provinces that were predominantly non-Muslim[8]. The Hindu ruler of Kashmir, Maharajah Hari Singh, chose not to join either Pakistan or India, even though the majority of the population was Muslim. Pakistan then supported infiltrations of "tribal warriors" and was able to put the ruler under military pressure. In distress, Singh turned to India for help. After a controversial accession agreement in the first Pakistani-Indian war (1947-1949), this occupied the southeastern part of the country including the fertile Kashmir high valley, while Pakistan annexed the northwestern part of the country. It was only through the mediation of the UN and a UN mission (UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan UNMOGIP) that continues to this day that a ceasefire was reached.

There was never an agreed withdrawal of Pakistani troops and a reduction in Indian contingents, nor was there a referendum on the future membership of Kashmir in Pakistan or India, which was promised by both sides[9]. The UN brokered armistice line (Cease Fire Line, CFL) gradually became a line of control (LOC) between the Pakistani-occupied Azad Kashmir and the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. In the Indo-Chinese War of 1962 India lost part of its territory to China, and in 1963 Pakistan ceded a small strip of the Kashmir it controlled to China. India continues to claim this part for itself.

The disputes between Pakistan and Kashmir escalated again in September 1965: India blamed Pakistan for an uprising in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and the conflict developed into the second Pakistani-Indian War over Kashmir (1965-1966). It was only in the Treaty of Tashkent (January 1966) brokered by the Soviet Union that the disputes could be settled on the basis of the status quo. The third armed conflict between Pakistan and India, this time in the war over the secession of Bangladesh from Pakistan (1971), also led to renewed fighting in Kashmir. At the Simla Conference (1972), Pakistan and India finally agreed to respect the Kashmiri ceasefire line.

Since then, there have been no more official wars between Pakistan and India, but there was a conflict over the inhospitable Siachen glacier, for which no course of the LOC had been agreed. A " fourth war[10] which, however, was fought with limited resources and not as a war, took place in 1999 when units supported by Pakistan occupied the positions of the Indian army on the inhospitable Kargil Heights, which had been abandoned in the winter. Only after long, costly fighting and international pressure on Pakistan did Pakistan's militiamen have to withdraw.

The last confrontation between Pakistan and India, but below the threshold of war, took place in 2001 when both sides moved troops to the border after an attack by Muslim fundamentalists on the Indian central parliament in New Delhi. In response to international pressure, including with regard to the “war on terror”, the military ruler of Pakistan has banned two Islamist terrorist groups[11] and India made other concessions, so that the confrontation subsequently eased.

2.2. The Kashmiri Muslim Uprising

For an investigation of the terror in Kashmir (and successively fundamentalism), however, the fever curve of the relations between India and Pakistan is less decisive, but rather the uprising that began around 1989/90, which continues to this day in the form of acts of violence and has been around 30,000 since its beginning Has claimed fatalities[13]. Important events at the beginning of the uprising were the first bomb attacks in the provincial capital for the summer, Srinigar and the kidnapping of the daughter of an interior minister belonging to the Union parties. Above all, the fact that the Indian central government has given in and released five imprisoned terrorists is seen by some authors as the reason for the "success" of the unrest[14]. The cause and effect of the uprising are dealt with in more detail in another context (in the fourth chapter).[12]

2.3. Geography and Population of Kashmir

Kashmir is a largely mountainous and heavily forested area that is relatively sparsely populated. For a brief overview of the population structure, it makes sense to divide it into three areas that are not congruent with the administrative districts. In the Kashmir Valley, the actual Kashmir Valley, predominantly Muslims dominate. After the flight of non-Muslim residents in 1992/93, the proportion may even have increased compared to 1981. At the same time, in Jammu the Hindus are in the majority (also here after the population shifts in 1992/93), probably even stronger, in Ladakh predominantly Buddhists dominate. Due to the absolute largest population in the Kashmir Valley, however, Muslims make up the relative majority in all of Kashmir. For this reason, cashmere represents a kind of " torn country “(Huntington 1996, 138-54), in which the separation of religions increased after 1992/93. That is why there are always plans for partition along the religious borders[15].

Figure not included in this excerpt

However, one should not draw these dividing lines too sharply between the religions: before 1992/93, for example, the difference in the religion practiced was relatively small, one felt and feels like a brotherly bond: " Neighbors of different faiths still seem to live as brothers, bhai-bhai. ”(Blank 1999, 47) and an idea of Kashmiriyats Committed. This idea is a secular idea connected with the thought of azadi (Independence). It is " a unique cultural sensibility shared by the region’s Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and even some Buddhists "(Blank 1999, 41)[16]. In addition, the Muslim majority of the population does not represent a monolithic block, for example, but is made up of different groups (Wirsing 1994, 125 ff; see also Appendix A). In some areas, for example, the Sufi tendency dominates, which is also present in Pakistan, but is exposed to non-state repression there.

3. Fundamentalism and Terrorism

After describing the political and religious environment, it is necessary to at least provisionally define the terms terrorism and fundamentalism that are frequently used in the later chapters. Just to make this clear again: it is neither correct nor helpful in a scientific context to equate terrorism and fundamentalism. From a political point of view, this equation may be useful, but it is of little interest in this context. Rather, the aim of the following chapters is to analyze the interrelationship between the two phenomena, which also requires a distinction. In order to make this distinction consistently and sensibly, it is now necessary to clarify the concepts of fundamentalism and terrorism.

3.1. Fundamentalism as the conflict with the outside

Fundamentalism and terrorism are often equated with irrationality in everyday discussions. In fact, however, the actions of fundamentalists with a broad concept of rationality with the consistency of value judgments are understandable (Keck 1999, p. 231.), a model based on the assumption of rational individuals " fruitful "(Iannaccone 1997, 103). But how can one develop a rational theory or an economic theory of fundamentalism? At this point, reference is made to the work of Iannaccone for detailed theoretical model considerations and empirical testing[17]. In the context of this work only the basic ideas from an essay are taken up in order to apply them to cashmere.

The definition of fundamentalism is narrowed to one criterion in an economic theory: the fundamentalist group causes “costs” for its members. Fundamentalist groups differ from religions by " the degree to which a group demands sacrifice and stigma, or equivalently, the degree to which it limits and thereby increases the cost of non-group activities, such as socializing with members of other religions or pursuing 'secular' pasttimes “(Iannaccone 1997, 104) Concentrating on the single argument of costs enables a clear analysis, but is also a simplification that cannot fully do justice to the complexity of the world. For the purposes of this work, however, this definition of fundamentalism, or rather sectarianism, as Iannaccone calls it[18], sufficient.

The fundamental problem in analyzing a fundamentalist group is why a rational individual chooses to join. Fundamentalist groups have in common that they place relatively high demands on membership, for example they are asked not to consume luxury goods such as alcohol, but also to be stigmatized by external clothing or behavior[19]. Joining a fundamentalist religion is therefore associated with costs, some of which are not inconsiderable. Then why can a fundamentalist group in the "market of religious communities"[20] claim if there are "cheaper providers" to meet religious needs? The reason for this lies in a fundamental problem of religious communities and other voluntary associations: the mutually produced benefits of such communities, such as mutual care, community services, participation, etc., are diminished by the free rider problem. Since participation in a large religious community does not generally include the obligation to participate appropriately in the services, the services provided by public religious communities decline. Fundamentalist groups circumvent this problem, however, by deterring free riders with a correctly chosen "price": " sectarian costs mitigate free-rider problems "(Iannaccone 1997, 105). A religious community that is “chargeable” through codes of conduct is organized more efficiently and therefore provides more overall benefits (relative to the number of members). And so it can be rational to decide to join such a community and not one that is “cheaper”.

But which people are preferred by sects? The advantage of the concept used here is that empirical findings, for example from the fundamentalism research project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, can be explained. Attracted by sects, an above-average number of the " poor, less educated, and minority members of a society “(Iannaccone 1997, 106), because for these groups the opportunity costs for not joining the sect are particularly high. That is at least the case for a group susceptible to fundamentalism. Elsewhere, however, mainly reference is made to the social dynamics (Riesebrodt 2001, 23), where fears of decline or prevented advancement are the reason for turning to “sects”. In this case, the individual sees more opportunities in the sect (despite the costs) than in society, not because the current situation is improving, but because they think they have higher chances of advancement. Instead of costs, expected costs are simply used, so that the profiles of the supporters of fundamentalist groups can be easily integrated into the theory.

The consequence of this concept is that the sect is forced to ’Optimal level’ of tension “(Iannaccone 1997, 107) with the environment, just as with a correctly chosen price the produced utility of a common good can be optimized. This level of conflict determines the costs for the religious community and thus the price for what was once a public good, religion.Too low a voltage level leads to the fact that the distributable benefit of the community through free riders is reduced, too high a voltage potential scares off potential members and greatly reduces the available resources, can even lead to the collapse of the sect (Iannaccone 1997, 107) .


[1] A representation from an Indian perspective can be found in Tripathi 2001.

[2] “The Valley of the Shadow” in: Economist, May 20, 1999 issue.

[3] Kuhlmann / Agüera 2001, p. 42.

[4] Hirschmann 2001, p. 11 ff or unknown: "New Forms of International Terrorism" (NZZ from 12.09.2001)

[5] In the following, for the sake of simplicity, always referred to as Kashmir, the Pakistani and Chinese-occupied areas are left out.

[6] Talbot 2000, 274

[7] The historical representation is based primarily on Internet sources, in particular on http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/section/kashmir_history.asp and http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/in_depth/south_asia / 2002 / kashmir_flashpoint /, http://fir.njnet.edu.cn/rrz/rrz/phil-fak/voelkerkunde/kashmir/1ahist.html, as well as the current online edition of Brockhaus. For more information on the history of Kashmir, see for example Schofield 2000.

[8] However, with special consideration of “other circumstances”. For example, it must be taken into account that Kashmir was not part of British rule.

[9] Independence from both sides was not provided for in the UN resolutions and this possibility to exclude is relatively undisputed between India and Pakistan.

[10] A detailed discussion can be found in Singh 1999.

[11] The Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed were banned.

[12] “The Kashmiri Muslim Uprising”, see Wirsing 1994, 113 ff. The term uprising is normative and therefore problematic, but is used in the following, expressly without judging the justification of this “uprising”.

[13] Source: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/states/jandk/data_sheets/annual_casualties.htm, figures up to the end of 2001. The figure from the Economist mentioned above (24,000 dead until 1999) was an estimate of Security forces and therefore tend to be conservative. Terrorists assume much higher numbers.

[14] So also Kartha 2001, 31f. However, one should not overestimate the importance of this single event.

[15] For example http://www.kashmirstudygroup.net/. Here you can also find a list of the population growth in the individual regions according to the years after 1981.

[16] The stability of such an identity in the sense of nation-building is being questioned primarily by the Pakistani side (e.g. at www.kashmir-information.com/Miscellaneous/DNKaul1.html).

[17] For the theoretical model, see Iannaccone 1992, for the empirical review of the same. 1994. In the following, reference is primarily made to Iannaccone 1997.

[18] The consequences of this renaming of the problem area to sects will be ignored in the following without much analytical loss. For this reason, however, other sources are also used to describe fundamentalisms, such as Riesebrodt 2001.

[19] In this context, think of the Burkha, for example.

[20] Market-like considerations with regard to religions can already be found in, for example, Hume and Smith, see Iannaccone 1997, 111f.

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