DRAG             DRAG

Portraits of the Enemies

For the past four years Karim Ben Khelifa has been traveling to some of the world’s longest standing conflicts.

to photograph, film and interview
the foot soldiers on both sides.
in Israel




South Sudan



El Salvador

Use the enemy line
to navigate the space between the fighters.


My name is Tazim Ahmed Wani, I am 29 years old. I am a constable.
My enemy is the one who sees my country as the enemy.

I joined the police force nine years ago because I saw Kashmir burning and this was hurting my heart. That’s why I left the comfort of my home to join the Indian forces. I have seen the eyes of my enemies.

I am not afraid while I am on duty. I have killed many enemies. It is not right to take a life, but the one who sees my country as an enemy - I have to kill him and I feel proud of doing that.

The result of every war is peace.

In the coming twenty years, I will try to put my country within the developed nations of the world. Freedom is everything for us.

Terrorism is a curse for our society and it is not the right thing. I wish the same thing as every human is wishing, like love, peace and happiness.



My name is Asim. . I’m 15 years old.My enemy is India.

I have been a stone pelter for two years. I do so because they have been torturing us and they don’t let us go outside our home.

They arrest us unnecessary, they have draconian power. They harass and rape our women.

I’m not afraid of anything. I haven't killed anyone with my stones but I have injured some of them. I throw stones because India's policies are against us.

The outcome of this struggle will be that they will finally leave our land. Then we will be free and will be able to move forward.

Freedom for me is that Islam rules our society and that we follow our Prophet Mohamed’s teachings, Peace Be Upon Him.

Terrorism is nothing for me. I wish from life to see freedom for our people and to be liberated from India.



My name is Kashmir Singh, I am 40 years old. I am a policeman.

My enemy is the one who breaks the law of my country.

I joined the police force 23 years ago to serve my country. I have met my enemies face to face and they do not scare me.

We have been attacked by our enemies several times and I have killed many of them.

It is not right to kill anyone, but if someone endangers us and the laws, we might have to kill him in order to protect ourselves.

The outcome of this war will be peace and harmony.

In the next twenty years, India will grow to become the first country in the world.

Freedom is a blessing for us.

Terrorism is harmful for everyone and we will fight it until the end.

I wish peace and harmony for my life.



My name is Bilal Ahmed. I’m 32 years old.

My enemy is India. I have been throwing stones since 1993 because India is constantly harassing us. I have been face to face with my enemies.

I am not afraid of anything except God. I haven’t killed anyone because I am a muslim and Islam forbids us to harm the innocent. God has created every human being and I have no right to go against God’s will.

I’m afraid of only one thing: that we are not safe under the rule of India. Recently two sisters in Shopian were raped and martyred by Indian soldiers.

Inch’Allah, we will be free. Though it is impossible to know how long it will take, we are marching towards freedom. Freedom from India is a blessing for us.

We are not terrorists, we are Muslims. Terrorists are those who take our sisters, rape and kill them.

I wish from life to die for Islam.



My name is Sandeep Singh, I am 32 years old. I am a head constable.

My enemy is the one who spread hatred in my country.

I joined the police in 1997 because I have a spirit of patriotism in my heart. This lead me to kill enemies of my country.

I have seen my enemy in front of me many times. I am not afraid of anything and I am proud of one thing: that I faced my enemies.

I fought many encounters and lot of people have died during those fights. I am not comfortable with taking a human life away, but the one who disturbs the peace of Kashmir, it is the right thing to eliminate him.



My name is Junaid U Islam, I am 22 years old.

My enemy is India.

I am a senior stone pelter. I started throwing stones when I felt oppressed by Indian forces. The reason for throwing stones is only to access freedom.

I am not afraid of anything, I only want our freedom.

I have not killed anyone but I am fighting for freedom.

No one should interfere with our freedom. Those days, when we are out at night, we get harassed by the Indian forces. We are oppressed, India is after the dignity of our mothers and sisters.

It is not right to take anyone’s life. Kashmiris have paid a healthy price and the ones who fell won’t come back to enjoy the freedom we will have in the future.

Freedom with God’s help.

I see myself fighting for the next twenty years.

Freedom is our goal. Terrorism is counter productive to our cause.

I wish I will see freedom for our people and myself . I want to see Kashmir and the world governed by the laws of Islam.