IN NOVEMBER, VILLAGERS GATHER AROUND THE SPOT WHERE AN ELDERLY MAN WAS KILLED DURING AN ARMY SEARCH. SINCE 1989, WHEN THE ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN SEPARATIST GUERILLAS AND THE INDIAN ARMY BEGAN IN KASHMIR, THE WAR HAS CONSUMED 45,000 LIVES ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL ESTIMATES, AND 100,000 ACCORDING TO UNOFFICIAL ONES. THE CONTROL OVER THIS HIMALAYAN REGION DIVIDED BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAS BEEN THE MAIN REASON FOR CONTINUOUS HOSTILITY BETWEEN THE TWO NUCLEAR NEIGHBORS. THE TWO HAVE FOUGHT THREE WARS SINCE THEIR INDEPENDENCE IN 1947, AND WERE AT THE VERGE OF A NUCLEAR CONFRONTATION IN 2002 AFTER KASHMIRI SEPARATIST MILITANTS CARRIED OUT A MASSIVE SUICIDE ATTACK ON THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT IN DELHI. THE RECENT THAW IN INDO-PAK RELATIONS LED TO A TRUCE LAST YEAR, BUT HUMAN LIVES CONTINUE TO BE DEVOURED BY THE CONFLICT ON A DAILY BASIS. IN 2004 ALONE, ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL ESTIMATES, 720 CIVILIANS PERISHED IN KASHMIR.  April 29 2005 (image by javeedshah)
IN NOVEMBER, VILLAGERS GATHER AROUND THE SPOT WHERE AN ELDERLY MAN WAS KILLED DURING AN ARMY SEARCH. SINCE 1989, WHEN THE ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN SEPARATIST GUERILLAS AND THE INDIAN ARMY BEGAN IN KASHMIR, THE WAR HAS CONSUMED 45,000 LIVES ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL ESTIMATES, AND 100,000 ACCORDING TO UNOFFICIAL ONES. THE CONTROL OVER THIS HIMALAYAN REGION DIVIDED BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN HAS BEEN THE MAIN REASON FOR CONTINUOUS HOSTILITY BETWEEN THE TWO NUCLEAR NEIGHBORS. THE TWO HAVE FOUGHT THREE WARS SINCE THEIR INDEPENDENCE IN 1947, AND WERE AT THE VERGE OF A NUCLEAR CONFRONTATION IN 2002 AFTER KASHMIRI SEPARATIST MILITANTS CARRIED OUT A MASSIVE SUICIDE ATTACK ON THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT IN DELHI. THE RECENT THAW IN INDO-PAK RELATIONS LED TO A TRUCE LAST YEAR, BUT HUMAN LIVES CONTINUE TO BE DEVOURED BY THE CONFLICT ON A DAILY BASIS. IN 2004 ALONE, ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL ESTIMATES, 720 CIVILIANS PERISHED IN KASHMIR. April 29 2005
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