A ceasefire took hold Thursday in disputed Kashmir after Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar appealed for talks with her Indian counterpart to help defuse tensions.
“No fresh incidents of firing or violation of the ceasefire agreement have been reported from the Line of Control,” said Rajesh Kalia, the spokesman for the Indian army’s Northern Command.
Three Pakistani soldiers and two Indian troops have been killed along the de facto border known as the Line of Control since January 6. India says one of its two soldiers was beheaded.
The ceasefire agreement was reached during a phone call on Wednesday between India’s General Vinod Bhatia and Pakistan’s General Ashfaq Nadeem.
“An understanding has been arrived at between the two director-generals of military operations to de-escalate the situation along the Line of Control,” said Indian army spokesman Jagdeep Dahiya.
The Pakistani military confirmed the telephone conversation, saying in a statement that “both sides agreed on the need to reduce tension on the LOC.”
The Pakistani foreign minister said in New York on Wednesday, “We will be open to a discussion, a dialogue, at the level of the foreign ministers to be able to resolve” the issue of the Line of Control (LOC) “incidents and to re-commit ourselves to the respect for the ceasefire.”
Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 60 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the region in full but each only has control over a section of the territory.
Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count, although other sources say the death toll could be as high as 90,000.
NEW DELHI – Prominent Indian writer and human rights activist, Arundhati Roy has said that the Indian army and police are using rape as a weapon against the people of Kashmir and parts of India like Manipur.
Arundhati Roy in a media interview in New Delhi while commenting on the issue of the recent Delhi rape incident said that when rape was used as a means of domination by the Upper Caste of the Hindus or by the army and police in India, it always went unpunished.
She said that rape was legitimately used, as the Indian laws protected the culprits when they did it. Arundhati Roy questioned why Indians did not demand the death penalty for the perpetrators of such crimes in occupied Kashmir.
APHC (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani in a statement in New Delhi while denouncing the incident criticized the Indian people’s silence over numerous such occurrences in Kashmir. He referred to the tragedies of Kunan-Poshpora, Chanapora and Shopian and said that the culprits in these cases were identified but, even though, were not punished.
And in Srinagar, Jamaat-e-Islami and APHC leader, Zafar Akbar Butt in separate statements raised concerns over double standards adopted by Indian civil society towards the people especially rape victims in the territory.
A majority of Kashmiri youth using Facebook and other social network websites expressed surprise that the entirety of India was demanding the execution of Delhi rapists, but the troops involved in the gory incident of Kunan Poshpora in the occupied territory were protected by the system.
- Delhi gang rape case unveils India’s double standards (sananews.net)
- Muslim leader reminds Indians about raped Kashmiri women (worldbulletin.net)
- Justice for IOK rape victims demanded (sananews.net)
Massive protest demonstrations have broken out in the Indian-administered Kashmir over the death of a young man allegedly killed by Indian army soldiers.
Protesters on Saturday blocked the main highway to Baramullah district, situated 75 kilometers (46 miles) northwest of Srinagar, the main city of Indian-administered Kashmir, and said they will not bury the body of the slain individual — identified as 22-year-old Ashiq Hussain Rather — until the soldiers involved in his killing were arrested.
Police resorted to baton charges and used teargas to try to disperse the protesters.
Hussain was killed on Friday outside his home in the Lasser village of Baramulla district.
“The (Indian) troopers shot Ashiq without any provocation,” said Muddasir Ahhamd, a relative of Rather’s, adding that, “After the incident, they tried to keep us indoors but ultimately they ran away when we raised hue and cry.”
Meanwhile, normal life was paralyzed in the Muslim-dominated areas of Indian-administered Kashmir on Saturday after a pro-freedom group called for a shutdown. The strike call was issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) on the 28th execution anniversary of its founder, Mohammed Maqbool Bhat.
Hundreds of paramilitary troopers and policemen were deployed to Srinagar to impose restrictions and prevent protest rallies.
Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full and have fought two wars over the region since 1947. New Delhi has been repeatedly criticized for resorting to force rather than finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute.
In 2010, the Kashmir Valley was rocked by a series of protests in which at least 110 people were reported killed. The protest rallies were sparked when Indian forces shot dead a student in June of that year.
- Protests erupt in IHK after youth slain by Indian army (nation.com.pk)