Kashmir is again engulfed in violence. Over the summer, mass protests have demonstrated widespread public disaffection with Indian rule over the disputed territory. In mid-September, an attack by militants against an Indian Army camp claimed 18 lives; the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi blamed Pakistan for being behind the attack, a charge that Pakistan has denied. Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors are mounting. An exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistan forces near their border on Thursday, in which Pakistan said two of its soldiers were killed, added to the tensions. Modi, who appeared to be relying on diplomacy rather than the military to press Pakistan, must continue his restraint.
The territory of Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both since the two countries claimed their independence in 1947. The Muslim-dominated area joined India, outraging Pakistanis who insist that it is an integral part of their Islamic republic. Indians dismiss the claim, countering that the process of incorporation was proper and that any concession to the Islamic majority could begin the unraveling of India’s multiethnic, multireligious society.
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