by David Wolfe, Foreign Policy Journal, September 1, 2011
The recent acknowledgement by authorities of the mass graves discovered in Indian Administered Kashmir over three years ago by Dr. Angana Chatterji and her colleagues initially brought hope to a region that the truth of the last 60 years in this troubled region will finally come to light. Additionally, there is recognition that the graves are in fact civilians who had “disappeared”, and not, as the Indian Military claimed, “foreign combatants from Pakistan”, by not only local officials, but groups such as Amnesty International, as well as Hindu-based groups in both India and the Kashmir region. The recognition by Hindu-based organizations not only grants a greater sense of legitimacy, but highlights a fundamental complexity that the outside world continues to misunderstand with regards to the historical and ethnic complexities of the region. In fact, the mass graves reveal that local issues are at the heart of the matter, and that to some, that a terrorist from Pakistan and Indian Military Personnel are one in the same. It is through this recognition along communal lines that South African style ‘truth and reconciliation’ may be the ultimate way forward to solving this six decade long conflict.