Category: Islamic Emirate of Kashmir


May 28, 2017

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Government forces have enforced strict curfew in parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir after Indian soldiers killed a prominent rebel commander in the disputed region. Armed police and paramilitary soldiers on Sunday patrolled deserted streets and ordered residents indoors in the region’s main city of Srinagar and other towns to stop anti-India protests.

Thousands of people assembled in southern Tral area to take part in the funeral of the rebel leader Sabzar Ahmed Bhat, chanting slogans calling for Kashmir’s freedom from Indian rule. One civilian was killed and dozens of others injured as massive anti-India protests and clashes followed the killings across Kashmir on Saturday. Eight militants were shot dead by security forces.

India and Pakistan administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the territory in its entirety.

November 14, 2016

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s military says Indian troops fired on its soldiers in Kashmir on Monday, killing seven of them and prompting return fire, as officials warned that the tense standoff between the nuclear-armed rivals could escalate.

The two sides have traded fire repeatedly in recent weeks across the Line of Control, which divides the Himalayan region into Indian and Pakistani-controlled zones. The two nuclear rivals each claim the entire territory, and have fought two of their three wars over it.

“The international community should pay attention,” Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif told Geo News TV. “It can escalate. This could be catastrophic for the region.” He added that Pakistani troops had also inflicted losses on the Indian army, without elaborating.

An Indian army officer said Pakistan had fired on Indian troops in a breach of the cease-fire, and that they “effectively retaliated.” The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, said there were no casualties on the Indian side.

The latest escalation was set off by a September attack on an Indian military base by Pakistani militants. India blamed the attack on Pakistan, which has denied involvement. Tensions have run high since Indian troops killed a Kashmiri militant leader in July. The killing ignited some of the most violent protests in years, and dozens of people have been killed in India’s resulting crackdown.

Pakistani foreign affairs adviser Sartaj Aziz said there has been an increase in the duration and frequency of indiscriminate firing by India, which has in recent weeks killed 26 civilians and wounded over 100 in villages near the frontier.

“The Indian actions, which constituted a threat to the maintenance of peace and security, may lead to strategic miscalculation,” he said.

Associated Press writer Aijaz Hussain in Srinagar, India contributed.

17 October 2016 Monday

In occupied Kashmir, dozens were injured in Indian forces action while protests were held and clashes took place in various parts of the Valley as the ongoing uprising completed 100 days on Sunday.

As many as 110 people have been killed while over 14,000 have sustained injuries during the uprising which erupted on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, was martyred by the Indian occupation troops in a fake encounter.

Reports from South Kashmir’s Shopian district said at least 20 people were injured when clashes erupted in Nagbal village against the beating of people and vandalizing of property by the Indian forces.

People from adjoining villages like Wedipora also rushed towards the village to protest.

The forces fired pellets and bullets at the protesters. One of the youth received a firearm injury in his leg and was shifted to the District Hospital Islamabad.

The police, however, said that police and forces cordoned off the Urpora Nagbal area and conducted search operations early morning.

At the time of withdrawal, people in large numbers from Hushnpora, Daschnu and Humana assembled and pelted the joint party with stones.

Thirty-eight police CRPF men were injured, and four of their vehicles were damaged.

Late evening reports said that clashes erupted in Tahab area of Pulwama where forces fired dozens of teargas shells in which three youths sustained injuries.  One of them was referred to Srinagar for treatment.

Reports from Sopore said that a protest demonstration was held at the Jamia Masjid.

The protest ended peacefully. Clashes erupted at Arampora and Chinkipora Sopore after forces intercepted a group of protesting youth. Reports said that protests were staged at Nutnusa and Ganapora villages of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.  In Srinagar clashes broke out at Batamaloo and Tengpora areas. However, there were no reports of any injuries.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/178782/kashmir-protests-completes-100-days.

October 09, 2016

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — When massive anti-India protests erupted in Indian-control Kashmir three months ago after the killing of a charismatic militant leader, Aqib Mir was among tens of thousands of Kashmiris who defied curfew and clashed with government forces.

He chanted for freedom from Indian rule. He hurled abuses and sometimes rocks at police and paramilitary soldiers. Three months later, he joined thousands of other young Kashmiris to try and get a job with the local police.

“Unemployment, what else,” the 24-years-old Mir said when asked why he had lined up inside a soccer stadium in Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar to appear for a physical fitness test to become a cop. “We want freedom from India, that’s our fundamental right. But we also have to earn livelihood.”

He’s among some 20,000 young people, the majority of them men, who are trying out for 8,000 jobs advertised by the state police in the troubled Himalayan region that is wracked by rampant unemployment.

With limited job opportunities and an economy crippled by decades of conflict, the state police force is one of the largest employers in Kashmir. According to government data, unemployment in the state stands at over 5 percent for a population of 12 million.

But being a police officer in Indian-controlled Kashmir is both shameful and dangerous, a place where anti-India sentiments are high. Most candidates hid their faces from the photographers covering the recruitment event, highlighting the discomfort Kashmiri police face in their work.

Many residents view the local police as traitors and tools of the Indian government bent on suppressing widespread demands for the Muslim-majority region’s independence or merger with neighboring Pakistan.

One candidate insisted that he had only come to watch the recruitment “drama,” even though his name was on the list of candidates. “I was getting bored at home,” he said. Since July 8, when the most recent rounds of independence protests erupted, many police officials have faced increasing hostility from locals as dozens of civilians have been killed and thousands injured when police and paramilitary troops fired live ammunition and shot gun pellets.

The size of Kashmir’s police department has swelled from just 18,000 officials in early 1990s, when armed rebellion against Indian rule peaked, to more than 100,000 today. A top police officer speaking on a customary condition of anonymity said that despite public suspicion, the candidates are lured by hopes of getting a government job as it offers a steady paycheck.

“This is nothing but compulsion. We’re forced to think through our belly,” Mir said. “There are two wars we have to fight: one is for freedom and the other is for employment.”

16 July 2016 Saturday

Police seized tens of thousands of newspapers in Indian-occupied Kashmir early Saturday and detained printing press workers, ramping up an information blackout after a week of unrest left 39 dead, officials and media outlets said.

Teams of officers swooped on major newspaper offices in the restive region overnight, seizing printing plates in an attempt to curb news of fatal clashes from spreading as a curfew was extended into its eighth day.

With internet and mobile networks already suspended, authorities halted cable television, fearing news of protesters’ deaths could fuel further protests after the restive region’s worst violence in years.

“Police on Saturday night raided the printing press and seized the printed copies of Kashmir Reader,” the English language daily said on its website, adding that eight of its workers had been arrested.

Newspaper copies that had reached some distributors in the main city of Srinagar were also taken by police, said Irfan, a local who gave only one name.

“The policemen seized the plates of Greater Kashmir (newspaper) and more than 50,000 printed copies of (Urdu-language daily) Kashmir Uzma and closed down the GKC printing press,” said another group that publishes the region’s highest-circulation newspaper, adding that three of its workers had been detained.

The disputed territory has been gripped by a week of intensifying unrest sparked by the killing of a popular, young rebel commander, Burhan Wani, in a firefight with government forces on July 8.

“These are difficult times here. This is one of the ways to contain the mayhem,” a senior local government official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Also on Saturday, the Indian army said it had killed three “terrorists” who tried to enter from the Pakistan side of the unofficial border that divides Kashmir between the two countries.

Protesters in the past week have torched police stations and armored vehicles, and hurled stones at military camps in the restive territory where an estimated 500,000 Indian troops, deeply resented by locals, are stationed.

More than 3,000 people have been injured, including around 200 police, while hospitals have struggled to cope with the rush of injured protesters.

Hundreds have bullet wounds including many who suffered severe eye injuries caused by shotgun pellets fired by the police.

The violence is the worst since 2010 when huge rallies were crushed, leaving 120 dead.

New Delhi has rushed in more troops to contain the violence and flown in eye specialists to deal with injuries caused by pellets.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since Partition in 1947, but both claim the territory in its entirety.

Several rebel groups, including Wani’s Hizbul Mujahideen have fought for decades against Indian troops deployed in the region, demanding independence for Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan.

The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead since 1989 when the armed rebellion against Indian rule began.

The latest unrest has heightened tension between the nuclear-armed rivals, with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calling on his nation to observe a “black day” on July 19 in solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/175043/india-police-seize-newspapers-amid-kashmir-unrest.

12 July 2016 Tuesday

Indian-administered Kashmir’s main hospital struggled to treat hundreds of patients wounded in four days of clashes Tuesday, as medics warned that many could lose their eyesight from shotgun injuries.

As the overall death toll from the violence rose to 32, ambulances continued to deliver more victims to Srinagar’s Sri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS) where patients were sometimes forced to share beds.

An administrator said staff had been ordered not to speak to the press but wards were crammed with young boys and men, many of whom had suffered serious eye injuries caused by the firing of pellets by Indian troops.

“Doctors are working in operating theatres round-the-clock. We’ve operated on 90 for serious eye injuries since Saturday morning,” said a doctor in SMHS where many volunteers were helping to tend to the injured.

One of the youngsters said that he had been injured when paramilitary troops opened fire towards him and a group of his friends with pellet guns as they walked out of a mosque in Srinagar on Friday evening.

“I can’t see anything right now,” the boy said, declining to give his name as he wiped away tears that were dripping out of the sides of his bandaged eyes.

A senior state administrator said at least 1,000 people have been injured in the clashes in Kashmir, which is India’s only Muslim-majority state, since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed last Friday.

Much of the worst violence has been in the south of the capital Srinagar where security forces have used live fire, non-lethal pellet guns as well as tear gas to disperse crowds.

On Monday, hundreds of protesters tried to storm a military airbase about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Srinagar before being repelled.

While there were fresh clashes Tuesday, the violence was on a much smaller scale than previously. Two people died in hospital from injuries they had sustained earlier, raising the toll to 32.

The death of 22-year-old Wani, a poster boy for the region’s biggest rebel group, has sparked the deadliest clashes in Kashmir since 2010 when massive demonstrations were held against Indian rule.

Hizbul Mujahideen is one of several separatist groups which have been fighting for decades against the hundreds of thousands of Indian troops deployed in the disputed region.

Tens of thousands have died in the fighting since 1989.

Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947, but both claim the picturesque Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Source: World Bulletin.

Link: http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/174880/indian-kashmir-hospital-struggles-amid-unrest.

July 10, 2016

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — The death toll in Kashmir rose to 18 on Sunday as clashes between Indian troops and protesters continued despite a curfew imposed in the disputed Himalayan region to suppress anti-India anger following the killing of a popular rebel commander.

Anti-India protests have been reported from many places across Kashmir since Burhan Wani, chief of operations of Hizbul Mujahideen, Kashmir’s largest rebel group, was killed Friday in fighting with Indian troops.

The dead included 17 civilians killed in two days of clashes between angry, rock-pelting protesters who defied the curfew and Indian troops, a police official said. The other fatality was a policeman who was killed Sunday after protesters pushed the armored vehicle he was driving into a river during clashes in the southern Anantnag area, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to reporters.

After the protests erupted, Indian troops used live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas to try and control the angry crowds, police said. More than 150 civilians have so far been injured in the clashes.

Police intelligence chief Shiv M. Sahai said that protesters attacked several police and paramilitary posts in the region. Around 90 government troops were also injured, he said. Thousands of government forces in riot gear have fanned out across towns and villages in Kashmir.

Officials at the region’s main hospital, in the city of Srinagar, said Sunday that they were dealing with a medical emergency as they tried to attend to at least 80 civilians admitted with bullet and pellet injuries, local media reported.

Coalition of Civil Society, a prominent local rights group, said in a statement Sunday that government forces “assaulted the patients and attendants” at four hospitals in the region and also attacked ambulances carrying patients.

Indian paramilitary spokesman K.K. Sharma said the complaint would be investigated, but called the allegations “baseless.” Wani, in his early 20s, had become the iconic face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years, using social media like Facebook to reach out to young Kashmiri men.

Kashmir is evenly divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in its entirety by both. Most people in Kashmir have long resented India’s presence, and support rebel demands for an independent Kashmir or a merging with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described Wani’s killing as the “biggest success against militants” in recent years. Indian officials, fearing that the killing could lead to violent protests in the already troubled region, have also indefinitely suspended an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a mountain cave that draws about half a million people each year.

Cellphone services in southern parts of Kashmir remained suspended for a second day and mobile internet services were blocked in the rest of the region to prevent anti-India demonstrators from mobilizing.

Shops, businesses and government offices remained closed. Authorities also postponed school and college examinations and suspended rail services.

New Delhi (AFP)

Aug 20, 2014

Pakistan’s top envoy to India on Wednesday defended his decision to meet Kashmiri separatists, a move that prompted an angry New Delhi to cancel high-level talks between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

High Commissioner (ambassador) Abdul Basit said he met Kashmiri separatist leaders as part of efforts to resolve tensions between the two arch-rivals, including over the disputed Himalayan region.

Delhi’s decision to call off talks between foreign secretaries which had been scheduled next week in Islamabad was a blow to hopes of warmer ties between the new Indian government and Islamabad.

“We believe Kashmiris are a stakeholder in this (diplomatic) process,” Basit told reporters in the capital; saying meetings with the leaders were a “longstanding” practice.

Indian foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin later hit back on Twitter, saying there were only two stakeholders in the Kashmir issue, “India & Pakistan. None else”.

Akbaruddin on Monday said Pakistan’s decision to meet the leaders was an interference in Indian domestic affairs.

Basit also told reporters on Wednesday Pakistan was confident of “overcoming this setback” on the cancelled talks.

“We will not allow the process (of stronger ties) to be distracted in any way,” Basit said, adding, “You will find Pakistan seriously committed to the process.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise move to invite his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif to his swearing-in ceremony in May spurred hopes that peace talks between the two countries could resume.

But last week Modi accused Islamabad of waging a “proxy war” by sending militants to attack Indian targets.

There have also been several ceasefire violations across the Kashmiri border that have angered India.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence, two of them over the disputed Kashmir region.

The United States earlier this week termed the cancellation of the talks disappointing.

Source: Space War.

Link: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Pakistans_envoy_to_India_defends_decision_to_meet_Kashmiri_separatists_999.html.

October 09, 2014

DHAMALA HAKIMWALA, Pakistan (AP) — Iram Shazadi was making breakfast for her family when bullets started whizzing through her dusty Pakistani village just a half-kilometer (quarter-mile) from the Indian-controlled area of disputed Kashmir.

Then a mortar shell fired by Indian forces slammed into her home, killing her two young sons and her husband’s mother in the worst spasm of violence in the tense Himalayan region in years. So far, 19 people — 11 on the Pakistani side, eight on the Indian — have died over the past week. Dozens have been injured, and tens of thousands have fled their homes.

“I lost my whole world,” Shazadi said Wednesday while recovering from injuries at a military hospital. She sat crying next to her 6-year-old son, who narrowly escaped the blast. Although minor skirmishes in the tense, rocky region are common, the fierce trading of mortar shells and gunfire that began Sunday night marks the most serious violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord brokered between India and Pakistan. Adding to the sense of shock was that the fighting erupted during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which families normally celebrate with roast goat and parties.

The clashes — which both India and Pakistan blame the other for starting — come even though both governments say they want to improve ties and even resolve the conflict. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Pakistan’s leader, Nawaz Sharif, to attend his inauguration in May, saying he wanted to engage the archrival more assertively.

But relations remain fragile, even hostile. India in August abruptly canceled talks with Pakistan after its ambassador met with Kashmiri separatist leaders. The mostly Muslim region, divided into zones controlled by India and Pakistan, and even a chunk by China, has seen fighting off and on for decades. Pakistan and India have fought two wars over the mountainous territory.

Modi, a strident Hindu nationalist, seems intent on showing he represents a new, more forceful India. “Pakistan has taken too long to understand that there is a change in the government in India. They are getting to learn it in a hard way,” said Jitendra Singh, a top official in Modi’s office.

For Pakistan, the fighting draws international attention to itself and Kashmir, while also reassuring the many Kashmiris opposed to Indian rule that it continues to support their desire for either full independence or a merger with Pakistan. The Indian-controlled part of Kashmir is to hold elections before December, and Kashmir’s status is a hot-button issue with voters.

“The needless macho-ism on the part of either India or Pakistan is not going to help the situation,” said former Indian security official Rana Banerji. Pakistan may feel that “it can create enough trouble to bring India to the table. It suits Pakistan to raise the issue of trouble in Kashmir at international fora — to signal that Kashmir remains a flashpoint between the two nuclear-powered countries.”

Pakistani analysts suggested India was trying to punish Pakistan for highlighting the dispute and initiating contacts with Kashmiri leaders. “They will not hesitate to punish us if we tried to resolve the issue of Kashmir through international help or if we tried to establish contacts with the Kashmir leadership,” said defense analyst Talat Masood in Islamabad.

Officials on both sides said they were unnerved by the fact that this week’s violence was mainly occurring along the more heavily populated 200-kilometer (125-mile) border between Pakistan’s Punjab province and the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.

That lower-altitude frontier, guarded by paramilitary border forces, is lined on both sides by agricultural fields and ancient villages that have been there long before Pakistan and India gained independence in 1947 and began wrangling over Kashmir.

Pakistan’s Sharif planned a National Security Committee meeting for Friday, while India held a high-level security meeting behind closed doors on Wednesday. India frequently accuses Pakistan of sparking skirmishes to create a distraction or to provide cover fire for separatist militants trying to infiltrate into Indian-controlled Kashmir — an accusation top army officials repeated Thursday. Pakistan denies providing cover, arms or training for militants, saying it gives only moral and diplomatic support to separatist groups who have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence or its merger with Pakistan.

“Prime Minister Modi and his government are trapped in their own rhetoric that they are going to be tough and uncompromising with Pakistan,” said Prof. Noor Mohammed Baba, a political science professor at Kashmir University, in Srinigar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir. “Pakistan obviously will also not compromise and surrender.”

India’s Defense Minister Arun Jaitley accused Pakistan of starting the onslaught as a way to grab international attention, and ruled out any chance of holding talks with Pakistan until the fighting stops.

“Pakistan has to stop this unprovoked firing and shelling if it wants peace,” he said. “It’s an effort to precipitate tension both at the domestic and international level.” Panicked villagers on both sides said they were fed up with the seemingly endless cycle of violence.

Newly married Pakistani villager Baila Mustafa lay wounded alongside her injured husband in the hospital. “Please allow us to live with peace,” she said.

Hussain reported from Srinagar, India. Associated Press writers Munir Ahmed in Islamabad, and Ashok Sharma and Katy Daigle in New Delhi contributed to this report.

September 12, 2014

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani military stepped up rescue efforts as floods wreaked havoc in more districts of the country’s eastern Punjab province on Friday, leaving hundreds of thousands a people homeless.

In neighboring India-controlled Kashmir, meanwhile, flood waters started receding but triggered concerns of possible spread of disease in the devastated areas. The floods, which began Sept. 3 in both sections of the divided Kashmir, have so far killed 264 people in Pakistan and the Pakistan-administered Kashmir while 200 have died in the India-controlled part of the disputed region.

Another wave of flooding is expected to hit southern Pakistan next week. After destroying hundreds of villages in the Jhang district this week, the floods on Friday hit three more Punjab districts — Multan, Bahwalpur and Rahim Yar Khan. Troops air-dropped food rations as three more deaths were registered there, according to disaster management spokeswoman Reema Zuberi.

The Pakistani army said its helicopters were plucking people from rooftops and air-dropping food in flood-hit areas. So far, the military rescued 29,295 people by helicopters and boats, while 47,963 were rescued by civilian rescue services, said Ali Imam Syed, an official with emergency services in eastern Punjab.

In neighboring India, officials said their military and private doctors set up medical camps to treat flood-affected people in India’s part of Kashmir, where water-borne diseases like cholera and diarrhea were reported.

Shakila Butt, who runs the Al Ameen hospital in the Indian part of Kashmir, appealed to authorities and non-governmental organizations to supply medicines as she expected an influx of patients in the coming days.

“There are chances of epidemic diseases,” she said. The Indian government said its army’s 80 medical teams treated over 21,500 patients this week at field hospitals in Avantipur, Pattan and Anantnag in the Kashmir valley.

The Indian army also set up 19 relief camps in Srinagar and elsewhere. Authorities in India said 84 transport aircraft and helicopters and 30,000 troops were participating in rescue operations. Pakistan and India have a history of uneasy ties, but relations have improved in recent years. Each side has offered to help the other recover from the floods, the worst to hit Pakistan since 2010, when some 1,700 people died.

Sharma reported from New Delhi. Associated Press writers Merajuddin and Shonal Ganguly in Srinagar, India, contributed to this report.