Andy Spyra is the winner of the Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award 2010 for his portfolio ‘Kashmir’. The issue of the Kashmir-conflict that led him to seek another approach in photography.
Although Kashmir is, for good reason, called “paradise on earth” it is also known as the “Valley of Tears.” The Kashmir insurgency - one of the world's longest-running conflicts - began 20 years ago in 1989.
The Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan has been accused by India of supporting and training mujahideen to fight in Jammu and Kashmir. While, International Human Right Groups have accused Indian army of committing grave Human rights violations in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
According to official figures released in Jammu and Kashmir assembly(Indian controlled), there were 3,400 disappearance cases and the insurgency has left more than 47,000 people dead till July 2009. However, the number of insurgency-related deaths in the state have fallen sharply since the start of a slow-moving peace process between India and Pakistan.
On this Tuesday, police said they killed a senior Pakistani leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based group that sends fighters to Kashmir. And a senior Indian army officer, Colonel Neeraj Sood, has been killed on Tuesday night. India and Pakistan will kick off a string of back-to-back meetings this Thursday.
Some resources for you before the meeting:
- The World Factbook: Pakistan, by CIA. link
- Lashkar-i-Taiba : the fallacy of subservient proxies and the future of Islamist terrorism in India link
- My Kashmir : conflict and the prospects for enduring peace / Wajahat Habibullah. link.
- Decades of terror : exploring human rights abuses in Kashmir and the disputed territories link.
- Kashmir: a problem in search of a solution link
- India and Pakistan engagement: prospects for breakthrough or breakdown? link