Experts: Kashmir Issue Could Raise the Stakes for Militancy

India’s recent decision to revoke the special status of Indian-controlled Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority state, has some experts concerned that the action could raise the stakes for militancy among several active terror groups in the region.The presidential order to revoke Article 370 of the Indian constitution, ending Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy in administrative matters, was preceded by massive troop movement and a lockdown in the state. Internet, cellphones and landline telephones reportedly were cut off.Several terror and militant groups operate in Jammu and Kashmir, including Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba. The latter has two other front organizations — Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniyat (FIF) — both of which allegedly collect charities under the pretext of helping the poor but instead fund the Kashmir cause.The situation is so volatile that Pakistan can easily exploit it and use Kashmiris as cannon fodder,” Gilani said.

“Thousands of people have moved to the cease-fire line from Pakistan’s side, knowing that it is a case of now or never.”“The international pressure has shifted in favor of stopping Pakistani support for terrorism. That has increased India’s expectations that Pakistan will not support militants in Kashmir,” he added.There are fears that the indigenous Kashmiri groups operating within Indian-administered Kashmir could build ties with transnational terror groups like Islamic State and al-Qaida........................

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