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Keeping Kashmir cauldron boiling
Jammu, October 23
Stepped up militancy-related violence and escalated tension on the LoC following intermittent, but heavy fire by the Pakistani troops in various sectors in Jammu and Kashmir is explained by defence analysts as a calculated plan of Islamabad to keep the Kashmir turmoil alive.

2 jawans hurt in LoC firing
Jammu, October 23
Two BSF jawans were injured when Pakistani troops opened fire from across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector last evening, official sources said here today.
K.R. Pillay and Dinesh, who were injured at Ringhkatar post in Poonch, were rushed to hospital, they said.


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Keeping Kashmir cauldron boiling
M. L. Mak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 23
Stepped up militancy-related violence and escalated tension on the LoC following intermittent, but heavy fire by the Pakistani troops in various sectors in Jammu and Kashmir is explained by defence analysts as a calculated plan of Islamabad to keep the Kashmir turmoil alive.

Experts in the Defence Ministry here are of the opinion that several factors have prompted the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, to desist from directing his troops to stop firing mortar shells and artillery fire on the Indian border villages and posts. He is yet not inclined to direct militants, operating in Jammu and Kashmir, to lie low nor is he prepared to halt ingress of rebels into the state.

According to these experts, Gen Musharraf does not want to succumb to the American pressure on stopping aid to cross-border terrorism as peace in Kashmir right now would mean that it was Islamabad that was aiding and abetting terrorism in Kashmir. By keeping the terrorist activities alive Gen Musharraf, as the experts see, wants to covey to the world that after having closed all the terrorist training camps there was no encouragement from Islamabad to happenings in Kashmir. He would try to convince the US Government and others that the incidents of violence within Jammu and Kashmir was nothing but jehad launched by the people of the state.

Secondly, Gen Pervez Musharraf is under threat from Jehadis and fundamentalists who have already made their rancour against the President known in the streets of Pakistan for his support to the US strike in Afghanistan. Consequently, Gen Musharraf would try to keep the border conflict with India alive along with the terrorist strikes against the Indian security forces and the government installations in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to these analysts, the Pakistan President would try to divert the attention of people in Pakistan by adopting belligerent postures against India on the Kashmir issue.

The say that Gen Musharraf is raking up the Kashmir issue and by kicking up war hysteria, he is trying to find a new rallying point for his survival. He has no other issue to raise for justifying his support to the US action in Afghanistan or for warding off offensive from the Jehadis except by keeping the conflict on the Indo-Pak border alive and by providing moral and material support to the militants in Jammu and Kashmir.

These experts argue that despite the fact that top Indian leaders had opposed the LoC crossing by the Indian troops for destroying the terrorist bases, Gen Musharraf has indulged in a rhetoric threatening India with a major offensive. He wants to draw cheers from people in Pakistan to his latest utterance in which he said “We in Pakistan have not worn bangles and we can fight India on our own and without any assistance from any other country.” But he has yet to receive accolades from the people, because the influence of Jehadis and fundamentalists in Pakistan is on the rise since the US war against Afghanistan.

The Defence Ministry experts keep their fingers crossed. They have two sets of analysis to offer in support of their anxiety. One, if Gen Musharraf finds himself losing his grip on the country he may not hesitate to adventure an open war against India.

Two, he may not like to see an early end to the US strikes in Afghanistan because he is still apprehensive about the American stand and role after the war as far as cross-border terrorism in Kashmir is concerned.

These experts are equally worried over the rise of Jehadi influence in Pakistan. They say if Jehadis or fundamentalists take over in Pakistan many may cross over to India. “we will have a new problem of refugees”, one of the experts said.

In such a case Pakistanis would not like to cross over to Afghanistan so long there is turmoil and civil strife. It is in this context these experts want the Pakistan Government to remain stable and in the hands of moderate elements. A divided Pakistan could pose a bigger problem for India.

They said that “we are on high alert. We are not in favour of pressing the trigger of war. We will retaliate only when we are attacked.”

They said that the Government of India should not concentrate its entire energy on Kashmir only. The Jammu region is under threat from militants and Pak troops and “suitable measures” are needed to ward off this threat.

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2 jawans hurt in LoC firing

Jammu, October 23
Two BSF jawans were injured when Pakistani troops opened fire from across the Line of Control (LoC) in the Poonch sector last evening, official sources said here today.

K.R. Pillay and Dinesh, who were injured at Ringhkatar post in Poonch, were rushed to hospital, they said.

The exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistani troops were also reported from Laam and Bhawani areas of Noushera sector of Rajouri district last night, the sources said adding that no casualty or damage was reported from the Indian side.

The sources said that both the sides exchanged intermittent light arms fire at various posts along the international border in Kathua and Jammu district since last evening. The Indian side, however, did not suffer any loss, they added.

SRINAGAR: Five ultras were among nine persons killed since last evening in Jammu and Kashmir, as security forces arrested two militants. BSF arrested two militants along with a powerful IED and 42 rounds of ammunition from Badshah Chowk near the state Assembly. PTI

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