Sheikh's Feed
Jun 1, 2010
via India Insight

Of Kashmir’s “staged” killings and south Asian peace process


When the prime ministers of India and Pakistan held talks on April 29 and signalled an unexpected thaw in their frigid relations, troops in Indian Kashmir reportedly lured three civilians to work as porters.

The next day, security forces allegedly gunned down three on the Line of Control (LoC) and passed them off as infiltrating militants from the Pakistan side.

May 29, 2010
via India Insight

In Kashmir, nearly half favour independence


Nearly half of the people living in the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir want their disputed and divided state to become an independent country, according to a poll published by think tank Chatham House.

London-based Chatham House says the poll is the first to be conducted on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC), a military control line that has separated Indian and Pakistani controlled Kashmir since the U.N.-brokered ceasefire between two rivals in 1949.

May 20, 2010
via India Insight

Amnesty International on rare visit to Kashmir


New Delhi has allowed a team from rights watchdog Amnesty International to visit strife-torn Kashmir for the first time since an armed rebellion against Indian rule broke out over two decades ago.

The two-member team arrived earlier this week to assess the human rights situation in the region where officials say more than 47,000 people have been killed since 1989.

May 18, 2010

Kashmir steps up war on poppy as insurgency wanes

PULWAMA, India (Reuters) – Police in Kashmir, usually accustomed to fighting separatist rebels, are swooping in on a different kind of enemy nowadays — vast fields of poppy, the source of heroin.

Authorities say they have stepped up efforts to destroy poppy fields spread over more than 5,000 acres in three districts of south Kashmir, an area where few years ago rebels and troops fought pitched gun battles every day.

Apr 28, 2010
via India Insight

India-Pakistan “secret pact” – was Kashmir accord just a signature away?


India and Pakistan held secret talks for more than three years, reached an accord on the thorny Kashmir issue and had almost unveiled it in 2007 before domestic turmoil in Pakistan derailed it, former Pakistani foreign minister Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri has revealed.

Kasuri says the two nuclear-armed rivals, who rule the Himalayan region in parts, had agreed to full demilitarisation of both the Indian and Pakistani parts of Kashmir with a package of loose autonomy on both sides of the Line of Control, a military control line that divides the region between two nations.

Mar 31, 2010
via India Insight

Afghan endgame and fears of rise in Kashmir violence


The Indian army says rebel violence will escalate in Kashmir in summer as hundreds of militants are waiting in the Pakistani part of Kashmir to infiltrate into the Indian side and step up attacks.

Even an internal assessment of the Home Ministry says the summer of 2010 will be as bloodier as or even worse than the mid-nineties.

Mar 30, 2010
via India Insight

Separatists make contact with China to ‘discuss’ Kashmir


The chief of Kashmir’s moderate separatist alliance recently met a Chinese delegation in Geneva, the first such contact by Kashmiri separatists with Chinese officials since a simmering discontent against Indian rule broke out in 1989.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, met the Chinese Director Foreign Affairs, Ying Gang, in Geneva on the sidelines of the 13th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council and discussed Beijing’s possible role in the resolution of the dispute.

Mar 17, 2010
via India Insight

Kashmiri separatists seek Saudi mediation to end dispute


Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a senior Kashmiri separatist leader, has urged Saudi Arabia to use its influence and bring India and Pakistan closer to solve the decades-long conflict over the disputed Himalayan region.

Farooq arrived in the Kingdom last Thursday to perform the Umrah pilgrimage and his visit, two weeks after the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is being considered significant.

Feb 24, 2010

Pakistan envoy meets Kashmir leaders ahead of talks

SRINAGAR, India, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Pakistan’s top diplomat met Kashmiri separatist leaders in India on Wednesday, a day before he was due to hold the first official talks with his Indian counterpart since the 2008 Mumbai attack.

The meeting came on the same day Indian border guards said their troops came under fire from Pakistan in the Samba area of southern Kashmir, although Pakistan denied any shooting by its troops.

Salman Bashir’s meeting with the Kashmiri leaders will likely reinforce Islamabad’s demand that Thursday’s talks with India include all outstanding issues between the two countries.

India wants the talks to have a narrow focus on Pakistan’s actions on terrorism. New Delhi broke off talks after the Mumbai attacks, saying Pakistan had to first crackdown on militants.

"This (meeting) gives Pakistan an additional moral and political argument that the talks between the two countries have to be comprehensive, composite and need to focus on Kashmir," said Noor Ahmad Baba, dean of social sciences at Kashmir University.

Bashir met three Kashmiri leaders in New Delhi, including the chief of the main Kashmiri separatist alliance, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and hardline leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

"I stressed on a tripartite dialogue over Kashmir," Geelani told Reuters, referring to a demand that Kashmiris be included in any negotiation between India and Pakistan over the disputed region which has sparked two of the three wars the two countries have fought since 1947.

Bashir’s meeting is unlikely to go down well with New Delhi which blames Pakistan of aiding a 20-year-long separatist insurgency in Kashmir that killed tens of thousands of people. It is a charge Islamabad denies.

Progress in the talks between Bashir and his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao could have ripple effects on the battle against militants in Pakistan and efforts to get Islamabad to go after the Taliban, by reducing its logic of keeping massive forces on the eastern border with India.

Earlier on Wednesday, Indian border guards said they came under fire from Pakistan.

"The firing from across the border started early morning. A BSF (Border Security Force) personnel was injured," Vinod Sharma, a spokesman for the border guards, told Reuters.

Pakistan denied any shooting by its troops.

"Our troops were not involved in any firing. There may be some problem on their own side," said Nadeem Raza, a spokesman for Pakistan’s paramilitary Rangers. (Additional reporting by Zeeshan Haider in Islamabad) (Writing by Krittivas Mukherjee)

Feb 24, 2010

India says fired at by Pakistan guards ahead of talks

SRINAGAR, India, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Indian border guards said their troops came under fire from Pakistan on Wednesday, a day before the two nuclear-armed neighbours are set for the first official talks since the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

"The firing from across the border started early morning. A BSF (Border Security Force) personnel was injured," Vinod Sharma, a spokesman for the border guards, told Reuters.

The shooting took place in the Samba area of south Kashmir, the Himalayan region at the core of decades of hostility between India and Pakistan and the cause of two of their three wars since independence from British rule in 1947.

The foreign secretaries of the two countries will meet on Thursday for talks that could eventually pave the way for the resumption of the formal peace process broken off after the 2008 Mumbai strike that killed 166 people.

For more stories on the talks, click [ID:nSGE61N00P]

There has been a spate of clashes in the past few months along the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing mostly Muslim Kashmir between Hindu-majority India and Pakistan, an Islamic nation.

India accuses Pakistani troops of cross-border firing to help militants cross the disputed border to join a 20-year revolt in Kashmir and violate a 2003 ceasefire agreement reached between the two armies.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir since the revolt against New Delhi’s rule broke out in 1989.

Both claim the region in full but rule it in part. Tensions ran high on the Indian side in February as a series of civilian deaths — blamed on the heavy-handedness of Indian security forces — sparked renewed protests against New Delhi’s rule.

In the latest violence related to the revolt, three Indian soldiers and three militants were killed in a 24-hour gunbattle in the Sopore area of north Kashmir that ended on Wednesday, police said. (Editing by Matthias Williams and Raju Gopalakrishnan)