July 2005 News

US trip will be used to highlight rise in Kashmir violence: Saran

14 July 2005
The Daily Times
Iftikhar Gilani

New Delhi: India has taken strong note of the rise in violence in held Jammu and Kashmir. The issue will figure prominently during Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's three-day tour to Washington which starts from Saturday, Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said on Wednesday.'Terrorism will be high on the agenda' during Prime Minister Singh's discussions with President George Bush and other leaders, said Saran on Wednesday.Quoting Pakistani media reports, Indian officials said that Pakistan had rejuvenated the militant infrastructure after a brief lull. They believe that it would be conveyed to the international community that these were not good omens for the peace process. According to figures available with the Indian Home Ministry, 915 people have lost their lives in Jammu and Kashmir by July 10 and the death toll this year may surpass last year's 1,810.Indian officials believe that off late, Pakistan has been extending support to Sikh militants and to ethnic insurgencies in India's northeast. They claim that they have evidence that the left wing extremists are being supplied arms and ammunitions from across the border.A major infiltration attempt was reported in the high mountain pass in Gurez sector on Tuesday. The Indian army engaged in a serious gun battle for a third day there. Indian defence officials said that an unspecified number of militants chose the completely snowbound area to the left of the 16,000-foot high Kabul Gali to sneak into Indian-held territory, triggering a major gun battle.They said that the Pakistani Northern Light infantry had the advantage of overlooking Indian positions in the Gurez as well as Tilel and Mushkoh sectors and some of their posts were above altitudes of 16,000 feet.Indian officials claimed that this was the second major attempt at infiltration in the past week. Earlier, Indian forces confronted militants in Bhimbar Gali area of the Rajouri district on July 8. The Indians claimed that the eight heavily armed militants were trying to sneak in.The Indian Army also said that it had unearthed a group involved in recruiting local youth to militant outfits in Jammu and Kashmir. Defence spokesman Lt Col VK Batra, in a statement, said that the group was allegedly headed by a religious leader from Kulgam in south Kashmir district of Anantnag.


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