Though hardly an unfamiliar role for them, Muslim residents of the Indian portion of the disputed Kashmir region find themselves once again at the center of worsening relations between the neighboring nuclear powers.
This time, the tension is coming as the Indian government points the finger at Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a group whose primary mission is Kashmiri separatism, for last week’s Mumbai terror attacks. The allegations come as a result of claims made by the only gunman captured in the multi-day standoff, and seems to have growing credence in spite of the fact that the LeT publicly condemned the attacks when they were still going on.
Pro-India political groups in Kashmir have urged the Indian government to exercise restraint and avoid engaging in “punitive measures” against Pakistan, while Kashmir’s separatist factions publicly deplore last week’s attacks and hope, perhaps beyond hope, that the outrage over the violence doesn’t spill over into public sentiment to crack down on their movement.
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