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Posts Tagged ‘Hafiz Saeed’

Pakistan Rules Out Banning Hafiz Saeed

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has ruled out barring Jamaat-ud Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed from giving public speeches targeting India.

“In a democracy, there is freedom of expression in Pakistan as in India. There are all sorts of people making all kinds of speeches. There are people with extremist views in both India and Pakistan…. and there is nothing you can do about it. There are views being expressed in Pakistan that I can do nothing about,” foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters on Saturday night.

He, however, said the “positive” thing is that the views of extremist elements do not reflect that of the majority opinion either in India or in Pakistan.

“The overwhelming majority of people do not agree with hate speeches. They want normalisation, they want peace, they want growth, they want development”, he said.

Asked if the tone laid down in Bhutan after the meeting between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Yousuf Raza Gilani on the margin of SAARC summit yielded fruits, Qureshi said: “I think there is progress”.

He said the fact that Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao visited Pakistan and met her Pakistani counterpart, that Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram came to Pakistan and had “candid discussion” with his Pakistani counterpart “I consider this progress”.

In this context, Qureshi also cited his meeting with Chidambaram discussing issues of concern.

Freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Kashmir heats up

Freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Kashmir heats up

SRINAGAR, India — Militant violence is surging in Indian-controlled Kashmir after years of declines, officials say, warning of increased insurgent infiltration from Pakistan and a bloody summer ahead.

Nearly everyday, the crackle of gunfire and the roar of mortars can be heard somewhere in the towns and forests of the scenic Himalayan region, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan but divided between them.

Most recently, Indian soldiers have been hunting Muslim militants for more than a week in a thickly forested area northwest of Srinagar, the region’s main city. The operation, one of the largest in years, has already left 11 suspected rebels and four soldiers dead amid the rugged terrain, said Indian army spokesman Col. Vineet Sood.

On Friday, police said that suspected rebels threw a grenade at government forces as they fired rubber bullets to disperse nearly 150 anti-India protesters in Srinagar, wounding four security forces and one civilian.

Hemant Lohia, a top police officer, said two of the injured troops were in critical condition.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The army is gearing up to meet new challenges as this summer is going to be a hot summer in terms of security,” India’s Defense Minister A.K. Antony recently told reporters. Summers have traditionally been a time of increased fighting in Kashmir, as snow melts in Himalayan mountain passes and militants are able to slip across from the Pakistani-controlled portion of the territory.

Police say they have arrested 10 Kashmiri teenagers just this month — six allegedly trying to cross to the Pakistani side for arms training and four looking for weapons training on the Indian side.

According to police records, 76 suspected militants and 23 members of the police and the army have been killed in the first four months this year. Thirteen civilians have also died in the conflict.

During the same period last year, 53 militants, 15 members of various security forces and five civilians were killed.

The spike in militant violence follows a decline that began in 2004, after India and Pakistan initiated a peace process, that reduced bilateral tensions but made little headway in settling the two nation’s core dispute over Kashmir. The violence could complicate efforts by the South Asian rivals to restart the peace talks that were frozen after 10 Pakistan-based militants attacked the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008.

Analysts say massive street protests that roiled Indian Kashmir over the past two years may have paved the way for the resurgent militant attacks.

The protests were sparked by local issues, such as a state government decision to transfer land to a Hindu shrine, but quickly became the region’s largest-ever protests against Indian rule, often bringing tens of thousands of people into the streets. Rock-throwing would lead to government forces firing tear gas and even live ammunition, leading to pitched clashes. Overall, more than 60 protesters have been killed and hundreds more wounded.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities launched a massive arrest campaign, hauling in hundreds of protesters.

The crackdown “is radicalizing the situation,” said Noor Mohammed Baba, a professor at the political science department of Kashmir University. “The scenario becomes more favorable for radical elements to take over.”

Security forces, with long experience at fighting militants, have had more trouble neutralizing street protests.

Until there is forward movement toward resolving the festering Kashmir dispute, it will be difficult to end the protests, analysts say.

“They don’t fear armed militants as much as youth in the streets now,” Baba said.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan and India have fought two wars over Kashmir and, since 1989, Muslim militants have fought in Indian-controlled Kashmir for independence or merger with Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in what seemed like relentless cycles of fighting and crackdowns.

India accuses Pakistan of funding and training militants in the Pakistani-held Kashmir, and helping them slip over to the Indian side to fight.

Islamabad denies that, saying it only gives moral and diplomatic support to the rebels. Violence surges in Indian Kashmir after decline By AIJAZ HUSSAIN (AP)

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50,000 Kashmiris detained under draconian law

May 5, 2010 1 comment

In Indian occupied Kashmir, over fifty thousand civilians have been detained under the draconian law, Public Safety Act, during the last twenty one years of the uprising against Indian occupation.

This was revealed by the President of the Bar Association of the occupied territory, Mian Abdul Qayoom, while talking to Kashmir Media Service in Srinagar, today. The draconian law authorizes the occupation authorities to detain a person for a period up to two years without producing him before a court of law. Mian Abdul Qayoom said that presently 800 to 900 persons were behind the bars under the Public Safety Act and it was invoked against 250 Kashmiris only in the current year.

He said during a period of one year, the draconian law was slapped seven times on APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, eight times on Mussarat Alam Butt and four times each on Muhammad Yousaf Mir, Ghulam Nabi Sumji, Hafizullah and Bilal Siddiqi.

Later, Mian Abdul Qayoom and the vice president of the Bar, Aijaz Beidar visited Bandipore to express solidarity with the families of illegally detained civilians.

Meanwhile, Sopore remained tense for the third day, today, over the killing of a youth. The locals told mediamen that the killing was the handiwork of Indian troops. All markets and educational institutions remained closed and transport was off the road. A bomb blast occurred, today, in the Hari Singh High Street area of Srinagar without causing any causality. An army trooper committed suicide by hanging himself on a ceiling fan at an army camp in Udhampur. This has brought the number of such deaths amongst the troops to 176 since January 2007.

In London, the Executive Director of Kashmir Centre, Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, in a statement, deplored the silence of the international community over the discovery of unnamed graves in the occupied territory.

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