Kashmir, A Vale of Tears.
Page 1/5.
reportage
Photographs by:
Brian Walski.
Dal Lake
 

This valley is a famed bit of earthly splendor; a high cool refuge from the searing heat of India's plains. But the paradise today is dotted with more than a half-million soldiers, regular artillery duels and massacres of women and children.

Since 1947 India and Pakistan have claimed the rugged land at the foothills of the Himalayas, often called paradise on earth- Kashmir, as theirs. They have fought over it and flexed muscles by testing nuclear bombs to maintain the balance of power over it. Still the land is divided by religious and political differences separated by a line drawn as the British seceded fifty years ago.

 

While India insists it is defending sovereign territory, Pakistan agitates for elections in the region mandated by the United Nations to let Kashmiris choose between the two. Separatists meanwhile demand full independence.

Children suffer daily, armies kill and maim innocent civillians and politicians threaten full-scale war in the hopes of one day claiming the province that each country believes is rightfully theirs.

© Brian Walski 1999

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