September 1, 1994

The massive proliferation of small arms and light weapons in South Asia is directly linked to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, and the subsequent creation by the United States of a system, commonly known as the Afghan pipeline, to funnel weapons covertly to the Afghan resistance. The Afghan pipeline, set up by the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, enabled the transfer of tens of thousands of tons of weaponry to the mujahidin, and then later, to the Sikh and Kashmiri militants. The human rights situations in Punjab and Kashmir have been acutely affected by the militants’ acquisition of weapons of all types, leading to numerous types of abuses against civilians.

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