India says Pakistan still aiding Kashmir rebels

25 April 2009

Srinagar: India's army on Saturday accused Pakistani forces of helping Muslim guerrillas attempting to sneak into its disputed Kashmir region from the Pakistani side. The Indian army produced a man they said was a Pakistani national who was among 120 people who had infiltrated into the Himalayan region this month, including around 30 militants, 40 porters and guides. Most of the militants were killed in separate gun battles, Brigadier Gurmit Singh, a senior army officer, told a news conference in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital. 'The weapons, communication equipment ... the method of communication between infiltrating militants and the launch pad, it is quite evident that the armed forces across (Pakistan) do support them (militants),' Singh said. He said large quantity of arms and ammunition, including 30 AK-47 rifles, 13,000 rounds and 245 grenades were recovered from a militant hideout near the Line of Control, a military control line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. India consistently accuses Pakistan of aiding a violent separatist revolt in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where tens of thousands of people have been killed since a revolt against New Delhi's rule broke out in 1989. 'I was told that there was oppression in Kashmir, I was motivated for joining the jihad and imparted training in Pakistan and sent here to join the other militants,' Moieen Ullah, the captured militant, said. The two countries, who have fought two of their three wars over the disputed Kashmir region that both claim in full but rule only in part, launched a slow moving peace process in 2004. Violence involving Muslim militants and Indian troops has declined, but people are still killed in daily shootouts. Suspected separatist militants shot dead an activist of the ruling National Conference party on Friday evening, police said. India's general election began last week, but voting in the Kashmir valley has been split into three phases starting from April 30.