The Meadow : Kashmir 1995 - Where the Terror Began Hardback
The Kashmir Kidnapping that changed the face of modern terrorism.
In July 1995, ten Western backpackers take a trip of a lifetime. hey have come in search of many things - nirvana, exhilaration, a sense of self.
But over the course of the next week, their holidays take a terrifying turn when they become entangled in a nail-biting hostage drama that will suck them into an alien world of jihad and Islamic fundamentalism.
In the months that follow, their fates will become caught-up in a bloody struggle between India and Pakistan, fought out in the airless heights of Kashmir.
With the world looking on, four of the captured travellers will vanish off the face of the earth, never to be seen again, creating one of the region's great mysteries.
Written with access to diaries, letters, unprocessed film and personal recollections from those enmeshed in the drama, drawing on classified police reports and secret tape recordings of Indian government negotiations, as well as interviews with the jihadis themselves and excerpts from their journals, Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark's book is a real-life thriller, a startling but compelling story told from the perspective of all involved. The Meadow charts how the fates of two groups of young men from different hemispheres became inextricably entwined on the mountain trails they followed.
It tells of the terrifying escape of one hostage, the heart-rending secret letters another wrote on birch bark and hid in his clothing as he contemplated his situation, and how, with a brutal beheading, the kidnappers took an irreversible step into the abyss.
Packed with explosive revelations, The Meadow provides the first definitive answers as to what happened to the missing backpackers, revealing how the kidnapping of July 1995 changed the face of modern jihad, its architects going on to sow the seeds of a cold-hearted war against the West.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 528 pages, With index
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 29/03/2012
- Category: Photographs: collections
- ISBN: 9780007368167
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Review by adpaton
In 1995 backpackers were assured by authorities that Kashmir was a Paradise and guaranteed absolutely safe, but when a group of tourists camping in an idyllic mountainside meadow was kidnapped by Pakistani-backed Islamic militants, authorities were not exactly surprised. The beautiful region of Kashmir was a battleground between Hindus, supported by the Indian Government, and Muslims, sponsored by Pakistan: of the men who were taken, only one escaped, determined to lead authorities in a rescue attempt. The authorities however were not that interested.In this thrilling [although arguably over-researched and lengthy] account, journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark suggest that the hostages – who have never been found – were used as pawns by both the Jihadists, wanting to draw attention to the situation in Kashmir, and the Indian Government who was enjoying the adverse International publicity Pakistan was garnering as a state backing terrorists. The events of 1995, they argue, opened a new era in the terror war, and led directly to the kidnapping and execution of Daniel Pearl, the rise of al Qaeda and the events of 9/11. A fascinating and meticulous read.