Posts Tagged ‘Kashmir’

Pakistan slams US blacklisting of Kashmir ‘terror’ group

August 17, 2017

AFP

© AFP | Pakistani supporters of Kashmiri separatist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, shout slogans against the United States during a protest in Muzaffarabad

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan on Thursday criticised the United States for blacklisting the Kashmiri separatist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen as a terrorist organisation, calling the move “unjustified”.The State Department designation bans US citizens and residents from dealing with the group and any assets found to belong to it in areas under US jurisdiction will be frozen.

“We are disappointed with the US decision in view of the fact that Kashmir is an internationally recognised dispute with UN Security Council resolutions pending implementation for the last 70 years,” Nafees Zakariya, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters in the capital Islamabad.

The move was “completely unjustified”, he said.

After Washington announced the decision on Wednesday, several hundred activists gathered in Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and chanted anti-US slogans.

Washington had already designated the group’s leader, Syed Salahuddin, a “global terrorist”, but he still operates in Pakistani Kashmir, where his group has strong support.

The designation comes the week both India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence from the British Empire — and the start of bitter rivalry and decades of conflict over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Since 1989, rebel groups have fought in Indian-held Kashmir, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan, and tens of thousands — mostly civilians — have been killed.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming militants, while Islamabad denies the allegation, saying it only provides diplomatic support to Kashmiris seeking self-determination.

US blacklists Kashmir ‘terror’ group

August 16, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | The US designation comes on the week that both India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence from the British Empire — and the start of a bitter rivalry and decades of conflict over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States added the Kashmiri separatist group Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to its blacklist of terrorist organizations on Wednesday, amid renewed protests against Indian rule in the region.US authorities had already designated the group’s leader, Syed Salahuddin, a “global terrorist”, but he is still able to operate in Pakistani Kashmir, where his group has strong support.

The State Department designation bans US citizens and residents from dealing with the group and any assets found to belong to the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in areas under US jurisdiction will be frozen.

“Today’s action notifies the US public and the international community that HM is a terrorist organization,” the department said.

“Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments.”

The US designation comes on the week that both India and Pakistan mark 70 years of independence from the British Empire — and the start of a bitter rivalry and decades of conflict over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Since 1989, rebel groups have fought in Indian Kashmir, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan, and tens of thousands — mostly civilians — have been killed.

On Sunday, two Indian soldiers and three rebels were killed in a gun battle after counter-insurgency forces surrounded separatists in a village just south of the city of Srinagar.

China, India Soldiers Hurl Stones at One Another in Kashmir

August 16, 2017

SRINAGAR, India — Officials say Indian and Chinese soldiers hurled stones at one another during an altercation in the high Himalayas in Indian-controlled Kashmir, escalating the tensions between two nations already engaged in a lengthy border standoff elsewhere.

Police and Indian army officials said Wednesday the Chinese soldiers hurled stones while attempting to enter Ladakh region near Pangong Lake on Tuesday but were confronted by Indian soldiers. They said Indian soldiers retaliated but neither side used guns.

Soldiers from the two countries are already locked in a bitter but non-violent standoff in Doklam, an area disputed between China and India’s ally Bhutan, where New Delhi sent its soldiers in June to stop China from constructing a strategic road.

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70 years of pain across the India-Pakistan border

August 14, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File / by Narinder Nanu in Wagah, India and Sajjad Qayyum in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan | Indian and Pakistani border guards take part in the ceremony at the India-Pakistan border in Wagah

WAGAH (INDIA) (AFP) – From barbed grins in a carefully synchronised daily flag ceremony to murderous exchanges across barbed wire in Kashmir, the India-Pakistan border is a 70-year-old scar that will not heal.Thousands will cheer at the Wagah border crossing this week as the two countries celebrate the anniversaries of their independence, when British India was carved into two nations.

The upheaval that followed left at least one million dead in a brutal migration that took millions of Muslims to Pakistan and millions of Hindus to India.

But all these years after the trauma of Partition, they have not agreed a border, nor their history — Pakistan marks independence on August 14 each year, India one day later. And the killing goes on.

Wagah, near Amritsar, is the only functioning border post between the rivals. The flag ceremony there draws crowds of up to 20,000 each day.

There is wild applause as pumped-up troops, their eyes bulging, perform a stamping march toward the border gates at sundown.

The flags are lowered, a soldier from each side shakes hands with a forced smile and the gates close.

Fists occasionally fly between Indian and Pakistani soldiers during the ceremony, but there is worse along the border.

Kashmir, divided between the rivals and claimed by both, is on a permanent conflict alert with near daily clashes and shelling across the Line of Control (LoC), the official name of the disputed frontier.

A woman relative of 28-year-old Muhammad Haseeb was killed as she worked in a field in the Nakyal sector on the Pakistani side just days before the partition anniversary.

“We don’t know when we will become the victim of a bullet,” he said.

Tens of thousands, mainly civilians, have died in Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir in the past 30 years. India says about 40 militants have been killed this year trying to sneak across the border. Nine Indian soldiers have been killed on the LoC.

Prospects for improvement look slim.

– Entente needed –

Cricket is the national game for both countries, but they have not played a five-day Test match against each other in either country since 2007.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Pakistan in 2015. But ties are in deep freeze again since Pakistan detained and sentenced to death Kulbushan Jadhav, a former Indian naval officer it accuses of espionage.

For most politicians, observers and activists, India and Pakistan just cannot get over its split.

Pakistan has been in new political chaos with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ousted over corruption allegations. But some on both sides blame Modi’s hardline stance.

“So long as there is a Hindu India that acts like a mirror to a Muslim Pakistan I don’t see any chance of a reconciliation,” said Mani Shankar Aiyar, an outspoken former Indian minister who as a diplomat was his country’s first consul general in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Aiyar says that India and Pakistan need an Anglo-French style “Entente Cordiale” and then to get down to serious talks.

Prominent Pakistani political analyst Hasan Askari said both countries have grievances and that relations can barely get any worse.

“The present tension between India and Pakistan is unnatural. Therefore I don’t expect this to stay as it is for all the time to come,” he told AFP.

“As no dialogue is taking place, this relationship is really bad,” he added.

“India has truly reduced this relationship to a single issue — terrorism — whereas the Pakistani argument is that we can talk about all contentious issues. They can be put on the table and discussed.”

Askari said there could be no talks while India obsesses about militant activity.

“This means there?s hardly any possibility of a dialogue in the near future because the government of Pakistan can’t even commit to its own people that there’ll be no terrorist activity, not to speak of any commitment to India.”

Away from the politics and military posturing, Guneeta Singh Ballah, founder of the 1947 Partition Archive that has interviewed thousands of survivors of the partition, sees hope in the new generation on either side of the frontier.

“The generation who did not go through the death and destruction had more hatred for the other side than their parents,” she said.

“I think that the new generation is more engaged in wanting to get over the past,” she said.

If millions of expatriate Pakistanis and Indians can get along in the United States, Australia, Britain and the Middle East “why can’t they make it work at home?” she asked.

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by Narinder Nanu in Wagah, India and Sajjad Qayyum in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan

3 Rebels, 2 Indian Soldiers Killed in Kashmir Fighting

August 13, 2017

SRINAGAR, India — Three Kashmiri rebels and two Indian soldiers have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region, police said Sunday.

The fighting erupted Saturday after Indian troops raided southern Awneera village on a tip that at least seven rebels fighting New Delhi’s rule over Kashmir were hiding there, said top police officer S.P. Vaid.

He said militants lobbed hand grenades and fired automatic rifles from two civilian homes and an apple orchard, killing two soldiers. At least three other soldiers were wounded.

Police said the firing stopped late in the night but resumed early Sunday, when three rebels were killed. Vaid said they were affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest Kashmiri insurgent group.

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Hizbul Mujahideen

Residents said a civilian home was destroyed after troops blasted it with explosives.

Anti-India protests followed the fighting Saturday and Sunday, leading to clashes between rock-throwing residents and government forces who fired shotgun pellets and tear gas.

At least seven protesters were reported injured in the clashes.

Separately, two police officials and a soldier were injured after rebels sprayed gunfire at government forces laying a cordon in northeastern Hajin area early Sunday.

Also Sunday, a civilian who was wounded in a petrol bomb attack in the region’s main city of Srinagar died in a hospital. Police said unknown perpetrators hurled the bomb at a police party on Saturday but missed the target, hitting the passer-by.

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants. The anti-India protests and clashes have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that “tough action” would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Rebel groups demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population and most people support the rebels’ cause against Indian rule. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, which Pakistan denies.

5 Terrorists Killed In Kashmir — Jammu And Machil Sector, Major Infiltration Bid Foiled

August 7, 2017

All India | Written by Sheikh Zaffar Iqbal | Updated: August 07, 2017 21:56 IST

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Kashmir Line of Control
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SRINAGAR:  A major infiltration bid was prevented in Jammu and Kashmir’s Machil Sector on Monday evening when five infiltrators who were trying to cross the Line of Control were killed by security forces.

“A major infiltration bid was foiled today in the Machil sector by alert troops,” a defence spokesman said in Srinagar.

“Five weapons have been recovered from the terrorists. The operation is still going on in the area,” Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.

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Around 40 terrorists trying to cross the Line of Control have been killed by security forces this year.

Meanwhile, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire in Uri sector and fired towards Indian posts, the Army said.

 http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/5-terrorists-killed-in-jammu-and-kashmirs-machil-sector-major-infiltration-bid-foiled-1734654
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3 Kashmir Rebels Killed in Fighting With Indian Troops

August 5, 2017

SRINAGAR, India — A gunbattle between Indian troops and Kashmiri rebels on Saturday killed three insurgents in the disputed Himalayan region and triggered a new round of anti-India protests and clashes.

The fighting began after government forces raided a cluster of homes on a tip that rebels were hiding in northwestern Sopore area, said police Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan. He said that as the soldiers began searching homes, they came under gunfire from militants.

Image result for Inspector-General Muneer Ahmed Khan, india, photos

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) Inspector-General of Police Muneer Ahmed Khan appealed public to give Kashmir Police time to end the violence

In the ensuing battle, three rebels were killed and a police official injured, he said.

As the news of the killings spread, protests and clashes erupted in several parts of the region as residents chanted slogans against Indian rule and in favor of rebels who have fought against New Delhi’s rule since 1989.

Soldiers fired at rock-throwing protesters in Bandipora area and wounded at least three civilians.

In an escalating confrontation in the last seven days, at least 10 rebels and four civilians have died in five gunbattles and subsequent anti-India clashes. Two Indian army soldiers also have been killed in a rebel ambush.

In a first, non-local Hindu militant arrested in Kashmir: Police

Photo: Mubashir Khan/GK — Muneer Ahmed Khan Inspector General of police Kashmir shows Sandeep Kumar a Hindu nonlocal militant during a news conference

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety. Rebel groups demand that Kashmir be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population and most people support the rebels’ cause against Indian rule.

Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants. The anti-India protests and clashes have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that “tough action” would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, which Pakistan denies.

Rebel groups have largely been suppressed by Indian forces in recent years and public opposition to Indian rule is now principally expressed through street protests.

See also:

http://www.greaterkashmir.com/news/front-page/in-a-first-non-local-hindu-militant-arrested-in-kashmir-police/254416.html

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Two rebels, two Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir — Lashkar-e-Taiba involved on India’s border

August 3, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Indian paramilitary troopers stand guard after Kashmiri separatists called for a one-day strike to protest a civilian killing in Srinagar on August 2, 2017

SRINAGAR (INDIA) (AFP) – Two Indian soldiers and two rebels were killed in armed clashes on Thursday, officials said, in another day of bloodshed in Kashmir where tensions are high following the death of a prominent militant.The rebels were killed in Kulgam, south of the main city of Srinagar in Indian-administered Kashmir, when they walked into an ambush laid by Indian soldiers.

“It was a deliberate and swift operation,” an army officer told AFP.

In a separate incident, two Indian troops were killed and another injured in a shootout with militants in Shopian district, the officer said on condition of anonymity.

The soldiers came under fire as they surrounded a house suspected of harbouring militants, and were evacuated from the scene. It was not clear if the rebels inside evaded capture.

“Three soldiers were evacuated by air but two of them died before reaching a military hospital,” a police officer said.

The violence comes just days after Indian forces killed top militant commander Abu Dujana, who headed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group in Kashmir.

His death sparked protests and violent clashes across Kashmir, in which two civilians, including a teenage student, were killed.

Schools and colleges remained shut Thursday amid fears of further protests against Indian rule.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the restive region in full.

For decades rebel groups, including LeT, have fought 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence or a merger of the former Himalayan kingdom with Pakistan.

The fighting and India’s counterinsurgency campaign since 1989 has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.

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Anti-India Strike, Security Lockdown Shuts Disputed Kashmir After Indian Troops Killed Lashkar-e-Taiba Terrorist, 17-Year-Old Boy

August 2, 2017

SRINAGAR, India — A teenage boy has died in Indian-controlled Kashmir a day after he was wounded by government forces during anti-India protests, triggering a fresh strike by separatists.

The 17-year-old died early Wednesday at a hospital in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar, where businesses and shops have been shut to protest his death.

Authorities clamped a curfew in the old parts of Srinagar in anticipation of more protests against Indian rule. The boy died Tuesday during demonstrations that erupted after troops killed two top rebels in a gunbattle and fatally shot a civilian.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and both the countries claim it in its entirety. Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 against Indian rule. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

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Government forces kill top LeT commander in Indian Kashmir

August 1, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Protests and clashes over the killing of Abu Dujana, a top commander of militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, spread to the Kashmir capital of Srinagar

SRINAGAR (INDIA) (AFP) – Indian forces on Tuesday killed a top commander of Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba during a raid in Kashmir and hailed it as a “major achievement”.Abu Dujana, considered one of the key fighters battling security forces in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir, was trapped in a house in a pre-dawn operation, and killed along with an aide, police said.

A civilian was also killed and at least 20 people were injured when government forces fired teargas and bullets at hundreds of villagers who tried to march on the site of the firefight, a police source said.

Police special counterinsurgency forces surrounded the village of Harkipora, south of the Kashmir capital of Srinagar, after a tip off that the militant and aide were inside a house. A fierce gunfight followed, police sources said.

“LeT chief commander Abu Dujana of Pakistan along with his accomplice killed in Harkipora Pulwama, huge achievement for police and SF (security forces),” a police statement said.

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Witnesses said one of two houses from which the militants fired was set ablaze by soldiers and another was blown up using heavy explosives.

A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Dujana’s aide was identified as a teenage local rebel and their bodies were charred “nearly beyond recognition”.

The civilian casualties came as hundreds of villagers tried to march towards the site of the firefight throwing stones and shouting slogans like “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom”, the officer said.

Stone-throwing civilians, sometimes entire communities, have increasingly gone out onto the streets to support rebels trapped by military cordons in a bid to help them escape.

Witnesses said protests and clashes spread to other areas in southern parts of the Kashmir valley as well as Lal Chowk, the main commercial center of Srinagar.

Government forces have been hunting for years for Dujana, who had a reputation for being “smart and a master of disguise”. He was believed to have escaped at least five previous military cordons.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full.

Rebels groups, including LeT, have for decades fought roughly 500,000 Indian soldiers deployed in the Indian-controlled section of the territory, demanding independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.

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