The Collaborator

Kamila Shamsie in The Guardian:

The-Collaborator The unnamed protagonist of Mirza Waheed's devastating debut novel grows up in “the forgotten last village before the border”. The border is not really a border but – in official parlance – the Line of Control, which divides the former princely state of Kashmir between India and Pakistan; the time period is the early 1990s, when the confrontation between the Indian state and Kashmiris demanding azaadi (freedom) turned particularly violent. Such a place, in such a time, cannot remain forgotten very long.

The novel starts when the eponymous narrator is 19, and the forgotten days of the village are long past. He is employed by a captain in the Indian army to go down into a valley near the village and collect the ID cards and weapons of the corpses – thousands of them – which are strewn about the valley floor. The corpses are those of Kashmiri “militants” or “freedom fighters”, depending on which side of history you're on, who crossed the Line of Control into Pakistan for training and were gunned down by the Indian army while crossing back. Their ID cards can be used for PR purposes when the Indian army issues press releases about the militants it has killed; the corpses themselves are just “dead meat”, left to rot.

More here.