Indian Army Accuses Pakistan Of Helping Insurgents

11 July 2008
Associated Press

Srinagar: The Indian army on Friday lodged a protest with Pakistani forces, accusing them of providing cover for Islamic militants trying to sneak into India's portion of Kashmir. India accused Pakistani forces of 'assisting infiltration by resorting to unprovoked firing' on Indian positions at a meeting between the army commanders of the two countries, said army spokesman Lt. Col. S.D. Goswami. Pakistani soldiers provided cover for Islamic militants trying to enter illegally into the Indian portion of Kashmir to attack Indian targets, Goswami said. Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas rejected the allegation. Abbas said it was the Indian army that violated a 2003 cease-fire in Kashmir on Thursday by firing mortars and small arms without any provocation in the Battal sector of Kashmir. 'We have lodged a strong protest with them over the breach of cease-fire,' Abbas said. Goswami denied the Indian army fired on Pakistani positions in the disputed Himalayan region. Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both in its entirety. India accuses Pakistan of providing arms and training to Islamic rebels fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. Pakistan denies the charge. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, two over control of Kashmir, since they won independence from Britain in 1947. More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict. The frontier has been largely quiet since the 2003 cease-fire between India and Pakistan, and relations have warmed amid a peace process.