Who killed 733 civilians in Jammu & Kashmir in 2004?

Or why the Daily Times must check facts and calm down headline writers.

Or why the Daily Times must check facts and calm down its headline writers.

What’s come over Pakistan’s Daily Times? A few days ago its editorial insinuated that the massacre of villagers in Jammu & Kashmir could have actually been carried out by Indian intelligence agencies. And today it carries a story with a headline that announces “Indian forces killed 733 Kashmiris in 2004: US State Department“. Shocking eh? So let’s see what that US State Department report actually says:

The [Indian] Home Ministry reported that security forces killed 927 insurgents and terrorists during the year. The ministry also reported that insurgent and terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir declined in 2004 with 733 civilians (including 92 women, 32 children, and 62 political workers), 330 security force members, and 976 insurgents killed. [US State Department]

Well, the facts came from the Indian government and they point to the fact that 733 civilians died as a result of terrorist attacks.

The Asian Center for Human Rights (ACHR) that the State Department report cites, according to the Daily Times “alleged that 733 civilians were killed in 2004”. Let’s see what the ACHR report actually says:

Ruled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress alliance, Jammu and Kashmir reportedly witnessed nearly one-fourth decrease in insurgency related violence in 2004 in comparison to 2003. There were 2,565 militancy-related incidents in 2004 as against 3,401 incidents in 2003. Similarly, the number of civilian killings has also come down from 836 in 2003 to 733 in 2004. [ACHR]

It is unfathomable how the Daily Times could interpret this to mean that the 733 civilians were killed by Indian troops. Further, ACHR attributes those figures to an article in The Kashmir Times dated 2 Jan 2005. That article itself is unavailable, but its headline makes it clear that the report was based on the same Indian government data.

So it is incorrect to suggest that Indian troops killed 733 civilians. Also the source of the data is not the US State Department or some human rights NGO, but the Indian government itself.

The story may have been filed by an overzealous reporter, but that such a factually incorrect and misleading copy made it to print only reveals that even the barest minimum of editorial verification is considered unnecessary when it comes to covering those ‘Indian atrocities in Kashmir’. Even in the pages of as strong a proponent of people-to-people contacts as the Daily Times, demonisation lives on. Sadly or tellingly?

11 thoughts on “Who killed 733 civilians in Jammu & Kashmir in 2004?”

  1. Well this is the Paki propaganda that the Pakis and the Kashmiri Muslims take as gospel truth. The fact is more Kashmiri Muslims are killed by Paki terrorists than JK Hindus. This fact is doctored by Pakis and Kashmiri Seperatists so as to be seen as the army killing Kashmiri Muslim Civilians.

  2. Excellent rebuttal N. While we are at it, will the Najam Sethi or someone else at the Daily Times please stand up and announce the number of ‘miscreants’ killed in Balochistan by aerial bombardment and helicopter gun ships?


  3. I’ve seen the same blinders on otherwise rational Pakistanis when it comes to Israel. They’re indoctrinated to think of an antagonistic “Hindu” India. Would it surprise them to know that the non-Hindu population of India exceeds the population of all countries except China, India and the US? Or that most Indians couldn’t care less about them beyond the cricket field and ending their interference in Kashmir? But what’s the point – these horses, repeatedly taken to the water, would rather die of thirst.

  4. Folks, I get so amused when Pakistani acquaintances of mine, so readily believe these stories which talk about Indian intelligence agencies perpetrating the massacres to make Pakistan look bad. And whats more, all of them are from Punjab in Pakistan. That does say something about them.

  5. I used to believe that moderate, peaceloving, rational and sensible pakis existed. until i started meeting them online and made a few acquaintances. except for just 2 of them, everyone else i came across(atleast around a 100 by now) is a plain round NUT.

  6. anonymous: I’ve talked to Pakistanis with MBA’s – working in giant companies in the US (some of them US citizens) – still hint darkly about Mossad’s role in 9-11. These folks eat pork, drink booze and haven’t seen the inside of a mosque in years – but still cling fondly to their conspiracy theories. Seems more like a cultural inferiority complex than anything religious.

  7. What did you think they would write – “Militants sponsored by us have achieved the Great Feat of Killing 733 Civilians though on a Year on Year basis this has been less than Internal Estimates”


  8. I do hope you were joking or being sarcastic when you said the Daily Times is a great proponent of people to people talks. After interacting with many Pakistanis of many stripes- I have come to a blessed conclusion, that they think – most of them anyways- that Hindus are sub-human and hence its worthwhile to use every trick in the book and then some, to win the war, whether it be propoganda or otherwise. Ergo 1971 was a Russian- American conspiracy, 1965 a glorious victory after India “attacked without provocation”, Kargil a victory, but that bastard Nawaz lost it…etc etc.
    Every country is religious, especially India, but there are few places in the world, where bigotry and hatred of the “other” has taken such deep roots as in Pakistan. Hence, the propoganda war- anything and everything goes, and the Indian rapists, child murderers etc deserve everything coming to them (for thats the image sought to be conveyed by Pak press). The Pak press is not India’s angst ridden Leftist global citizen etc type english media. Its venomous, committed to the two nation theory (they only whine about Paks failing law and order etc, economy etc..not about the basic fact that of course, Muslims by virtue of their faith are superior to the dastardly Hindus) and they will continue to write such gems. So good work, and needed to be un-PC and speak some basic truths which from own experience, I find to be true.

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