Author: Christopher Thomas
Publisher: Brunel Academic Publishers
ISBN/UPC (if available): 1858 45 316 X
The author draws on his decade of frontline experience as the London Times' South Asia Correspondent to present an even-handed analysis of the long-running Kashmir dispute.
Kashmir straddles a cultural, political and religious faultline. The former princely state, with a Hindu Maharajah ruling over a predominantly Muslim population, was divided between India and Pakistan in the first of their three wars in 1947-48. It is now the world's most likely nuclear battleground. Pakistan, an Islamic republic, was created out of the belief that Muslims are a 'nation' and should be separate. India bases its secular ideology on a belief that Muslims, Hindu and people of all religions can live together.
Kashmir is squeezed between South Asia's two regional superpowers as they test these rival beliefs. This is to the story of Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir, for centuries a model of religious tolerance but now torn apart by powerful outside forces.
A highly experienced foreign correspondent's plea for both India and Pakistan to get off Kashmir's back - a plague on both your houses.- Mark Tully, Author, Journalist, and broadcaster
His vivid prose captures the tragedy and intractability of this festering conflict, which is set in Himalayan valleys of stunning beauty, more fitting for poets than guerrillas. Spanning the years since Sufi sages strolled Srinagar's lakeshore pleasure gardens to the current post-atomic test tensions in the garrisons, Thomas lucidly portrays the melancholy and the menace shrouding this former kingdom.- Tim McGirk, Former Times Magazine Bureau Chief, New Delhi.
No one is more qualified to write this book than Chris Thomas. His ten years covering South Asia infuse every word with authority and insight into a conflict that could ignite a nuclear war some time soon. But this timely book is also full of concern for the human tragedy that is Kashmir, and the ignored people of a region that has stirred the hearts of visitors for thousands of years. - Daniel Lak, Former BBC Correspondent in India and Pakistan