insurgents

Altaf Qadri on the Deadly Standoff in Kashmir

This photographic essay on the bloody conflict in Kashmir is from European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) photographer Altaf Qadri: For decades, neither Pakistan nor India wanted a solution to the Kashmir standoff because the existence of an external enemy enabled both sides, when it suited them, to divert attention from domestic problems. How could you demand food, work, security or freedoms when the nation is under threat? That argument wins every time. While politicians were winning, Kashmiris were paying a terrible price in pain and are torn apart, physically, emotionally, legally and financially. A fertile valley which once was called "Paradise on Earth" becomes a dangerous place to live, its harvest merely razor wire and mines. Indian authorities argue that abuses by their forces are rare and those responsible are punished. But in fact official investigations are infrequent, punishments, if any, are light, and the practices continue. While some abuses, particularly indiscriminate shootings of civilians and reprisal killings, were worse in the early years of the insurgency, summary executions of persons taken into custody have never abated and have even increased during periodic counterinsurgency operations. The Kashmir conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives, according to Indian officials. Separatists and Pakistan put the death toll at between 80,000 and 100,000.

 

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Technorati Tags: abuse, altaf qadri, daily life, death, girl, guard, gun, india, kashmir, massacre, pakistan, war, woman

Just Another Checkpoint

Here is a curious series by Bill Putnam, who has been in Iraq for 21 months.

From Putnam: Every so often the various Iraqi police units in Bayji will shut the city down and search it for wanted insurgents, terrorists or criminals. Every road, highway and even goat trail leading in or out is blocked by Iraqi army infantry or Security Infrastructure Battalions. Then IP and special police units called ERU go in and "systematically" search the city. I couldn't go in to the city to witness this event. I was stuck at a blocking position manned by IA infantry and the Americans from Abu Co., 1st of the 187th Infantry. Traffic was backed up for almost five kilometers in either direction during the search. Trucks of police and IA sped past us while civilians stood by and watched. The sun beat down and people eventually got restless. Despite operations like this being a regular event here, they didn't understand what was going on. I have no idea if anyone was detained. PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_02 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_03 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_05 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_07 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_11 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_12 PUTNAM_060405BAYJI_15

Poll

Which Photo Agency Is Hardest To Deal With? (Please use the comment section to address some of the issues you see.)
Getty
29%
Corbis
7%
Sipa
5%
Blackstar
4%
WireImage
6%
Panos
1%
Agency VU
2%
Lookat Photos
4%
VII
6%
Magnum
11%
Aurora
1%
Gamma
5%
WPN
5%
Zuma Press
8%
Polaris
5%
Total votes: 690
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