The state human rights commission of the Indian-ruled portion of Kashmir reported its investigators had found 2,156 bodies buried in unmarked graves in 38 locations. Most were young men. Many bore bullets wounds.
Grisly and horrifying as this discovery was, there was hardly a peep from India’s allies, notably the United States and Britain, who have raised such a hue and cry over civilian deaths in Libya, Iran and Syria. India shrugged off the report.
There may be many more bodies to be found. Most, or all, were the product of the decades-old uprising by Kashmir’s Muslim majority against often brutal Indian rule that the outside world has largely ignored.
The fabled state of Kashmir lies in majestic isolation amid the towering mountain ranges separating the plains of India from the steppes and deserts of Central Asia. Nineteenth Century geopoliticians called Kashmir one of the world’s primary strategic pivots.
Historic Kashmir, with its distinctive Indo-European and Tibetan-Mongol peoples, has ended up divided between three nations: India, Pakistan, and China.
Some nine million Kashmiris live in the Indian-ruled two thirds of Kashmir; over three million in the Pakistani portion, known as “Azad Kashmir,” or in Pakistan proper, and small numbers in the frigid Aksai Chin plateau at over 5,000 meters altitude.