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Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF)

The Kashmiri people first formed military units in the late 1940s to defend themselves against the maharajah's forces and then the Indian forces and to vindicate their right to self- determination. At present there are several opposition military factions of Kashmiris resisting India of which the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) is one of the oldest and widely supported.

Indian security forces in Kashmir currently confront at least a dozen major insurgent groups of varying size and ideological orientation. The more prominent groups include the secular pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the radical Islamic and pro-Pakistani groups Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HUM), Hizbollah, Harkat-ul-Ansar, and Ikhwanul Muslimeen.

At present JKLF is established in all the Districts and Tehsils of Azad Kashmir, in Gilgit, Diamer and Skardu Districts of Gilgit-Baltistan and in the main cities of Pakistan. In August 1990 almost the entire JKLF leadership was arrested, and in September 1995 Yasin Malik and some of his associates revolted against the Central Organisation and floated a parallel group. In March 1996 37 JKLF members, comprising almost the entire leadership of the political and militant wings of JKLF, were killed by Indian armed forces. JKLF has [rather inactive] branches in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The branch in New York has been quite active, staging demos outside the UN headquarters every now and then. The branches in Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman) and Hong Kong help the organisation financially.

Jammu Kashmir Students Liberation Front (JKSLF or just SLF), the student wing of JKLF, was formed in April 1987. Its first convenor was Tahir Hameed. It was established in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) towards the end of 1989. JKSLF has been the real force behind JKLF having remained very active in holding public meetings, launching campaigns and arranging protest demonstrations.

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