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The overall insurgents-forces kill ratio since 1989 is about 4:1 (22,000 militants to 5500 forces personnel).An Indian Brigadier begrudgingly told a friend of mine that this kill ratio means is the sign of a successful insurgency because a couple of hundred insurgents armed with nothing more than AK-47 rifles are pitted against half a million soldiers, paramilitary forces and policemen.
An afterthought to protracted conflicts like Palestine that have managed to capture the world’s attention.
Kashmir was never catastrophic enough to move the world, to get noticed sufficiently.
That number does not take into account a vast invisible army of intelligence operatives and informers.
This is the staggering number of forces deployed in occupied Kashmir: Between 200,000 to 250,000 army soldiers, between 65,000 to 80,000 paramilitary central reserve police force personnel, between 20,000 to 30,000 border security forces and other paramilitary groups, 85000 local police and 36000 special police officers (which is like an irregular mercenary police force engaged on a salary of just under $80 a month), and 25,000 to 30,000 village defence committee personnel (a civilian militia armed by the state mostly comprising Hindus).
It is not close to even a compromised solution agreeable to the three conflicting parties: Kashmiris, India and Pakistan.
How does one then evaluate the three decades of the anti-India revolt in Kashmir keeping in mind the inadequacy of the typical success-failure binary at this stage?
Right now, this highly popular insurgency can only be termed as a colossal tragedy wilfully overlooked and unnoticed by the world.
On the Margins The insurgency in Kashmir began around the time the Soviet Union collapsed, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, and Francis Fukuyama announced the ‘End of History’. For the world at large, Kashmir has always remained a sideshow compared to the much bloodier wars and insurgencies elsewhere.
The average life of an insurgent in Kashmir is a year or two at present.
A couple of children picked up arms in this dramatic fashion before the Ph D scholar, and were killed in gunfights with soldiers and policemen within a couple of years of becoming militants.