1987-1998 Timeline   Click here for detailed version

  • 1987: Farooq Abdullah wins the elections. The Muslim United Front (MUF) accuses that the elections have been rigged. The insurgency in the valley increases in momentum from this point on, given the consistent failure of democracy and limited employment opportunities. The MUF candidate Mohammad Yousuf Shah is not only cheated in the rigged elections, but also imprisoned and he would later become Syed Salahuddin, chief of militant outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahedin; His election aides called the HAJY group -Abdul Hamid Shaikh, Ashfaq Majid Wani, Javed Ahmed Mir and Mohammed Yasin Malik- would join the JKLF.
    Balraj Puri, Kashmir: Towards Insurgency, New Delhi 1993, p.52

    Amanullah Khan takes refuge in Pakistan, after being deported from England and begins to direct operations across the LoC; Young disaffected Kashmiris in the Valley such as the HAJY group are recruited by JKLF.

  • 1988: Protests begin in the Valley along with anti-India demonstrations, followed by police firing and curfew.
  • 1989: End of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan releases a great deal of militant energy and weapons to Kashmir. Pakistan provides arms and training to both indigenous and foreign militants in Kashmir, thus adding fuel to the smouldering fire of discontent in the valley.

  • 1990: In January, Jagmohan is appointed as the Governor; Farooq Abdullah resigns. On 20 January, an estimated 100 people are killed when a large group of unarmed protesters are fired upon by the Indian troops at the Gawakadal bridge. With this incident, it becomes an insurgency of the entire population.

    On 13 February, Lassa Kaul, director of Srinagar Doordarshan, is killed by the militants for implementing pro-indian media policy. In the end of February, an estimated 400,000 kashmiris take to the streets of Srinagar, demanding a plebiscite.

    On March 1, an estimated one million take to the streets and more than forty people are killed in police firing. Massive protest marches by unarmed civilians continue in Srinagar.

    Though the JKLF tries to explain that the killings of Pandits were not communal, the murders cause a scare among the minority Hindu community. The rise of new militant groups, some warnings in anonymous posters and some unexplained killings of innocent members of the community contribute to an atmosphere of insecurity for the Kashmiri Pandits; Joint reconciliation efforts by members from both Muslim and Pandit communities are actively discouraged by Jagmohan. Most of the estimated 162,500 Hindus in the Valley, including the entire Kashmiri Pandit community, flee the Valley in March.

  • 1990-2001: An officially estimated 10,000 desperate Kashmiri youth cross-over to Pakistan for training and procurement of arms. The indigenous militant groups include the pro-independence JKLF and the pro-Pakistan Hizb-ul-Mujahedin (Hizb); The Hizb which is backed by Pakistan, increases its strength dramatically; ISI (Inter Services Intelligence: Pakistan's secret service) favours the Hizb over the secular JKLF and cuts off financing to the JKLF and in some instances provides intelligence to India against JKLF; Since 1995, foreign militant outfits with Islamic agenda such as Lashkar-e-Toiba(LeT) and Harkat-ul-Mujahedin have dominated the militancy in Kashmir, besides the indigenous Hizb, all of them under the umbrella United Jehadi Council(UJC); Other indigenous and foreign militant organizations proliferate.

    Renegade militants supported by the Indian security forces are used for extrajudicial executions of militants (besides human right activists, journalists and other civilians) and later conveniently dismissed as "intergroup rivalries". Though militancy is mainly concentrated in the Valley and is largely non-communal, some militant outfits operate in the Jammu region also and wage a communal campaign; The most serious incident of a communal nature namely the murder of sixteen male Hindus in Kishtwar in August 1993 is condemned by the JKLF and the Hizb. Hindu fundamentalism by the local armed Village Defence Committee (VDC) backed by the Army and terrorism by Muslim insurgents in defense of the Muslim community, have fed each other. Some militant groups with Islamic agenda have attacked women sporadically for not wearing the veil, which has been condemned by the indigenous militants. The APHC has recently called for foreign militants to leave Kashmir , since they are tarnishing the image of their freedom struggle.
    Praveen Swami, The Kargil War, New Delhi 1999, pp.71-2.

    • Human Rights Watch,INDIA'S SECRET ARMY IN KASHMIR , New Delhi 1999, pp.71-2.
      Amnesty International, Disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir, 1999.