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Lives half-lived: The hidden cost of Kashmir conflict

April 13, 2017 Leave a comment

MUZAFFARABAD (AFP): Muhammad Ashraf´s eyes fill with tears, overwhelmed by grief and joy all at once, as he recounts being reunited with his family 26 years after they were torn apart by insurgency in Indian-held Kashmir.
“My son was 12 years old when we separated. Now my grandson is 16,” he told AFP of his odyssey to see his loved ones again, bittersweet for its brevity and because it lay bare how much he missed out on.

In 1990 Ashraf was serving with Indian security forces far from his family´s village, in Indian-held Kashmir near Pakistani territory, as a violent insurgency against New Delhi gathered pace.

By October that year, amid reports of mass detentions and widespread torture as authorities tried to crack down on freedom fighters, Ashraf´s family fled in fear.

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