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Indian Army has been fighting terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir for years
Indian Army has been fighting terrorism in Jammu & Kashmir for years

The Indian troops killed four suspected militants in an overnight firefight at the borderline of Kashmir. According to Colonel Rajesh Kalia, an Indian army spokesman, the incident occurred late on Sunday when the gunmen sneaked across the Line of Control (LoC) of the Himalayan region in Keran sector from the Pakistani side but were intercepted by Indian soldiers. “The four infiltrators were killed in an exchange of fire. Their bodies and four weapons have also been recovered,” Kalia further said on Monday.

The Indian Army also informed that terror launch pads that were destroyed in surgical strikes across the border have been made active again by Pakistan. A senior army official confirmed the development to a news channel. Major General RP Kalita, the commanding officer of army’s 19 Division based in Baramulla, has said that the camps were reoccupied in winters and now they have become fully functional. The camps are located just 30 kilometers from army’s Uri camp that had suffered an attack in which the army lost 19 soldiers.

According to a TV report, the officer said that the army had received intelligence inputs after surgical strikes that some terrorists had returned to the camp. He was aware of nine to ten terror launchpad operating in the area. The entire area hit during surgical strikes had become active, he said.

“Across our area, there are nine or ten launch pads that we are aware of. The structure can be a hut, a dhok (a makeshift structure) which is temporarily occupied from which they carry out the final coordination and thereafter they are launched for infiltration,” reported the news channel.

From the input, it has become clear that the Pakistani terrorists are trying to infiltrate into India to carry on their terror activities.

After the surgical strikes, India and Pakistan had come on loggerheads with each other. The Indian government had managed to isolate Pakistan internationally over the issue. Many countries had come in support of India, saying that the country had the right to secure its borders.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, two days after a military tribunal awarded a death sentence to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadav on spying charges.

Bajwa and Sharif discussed matters pertaining to professional preparedness of army, the current security and border situation at their meeting held in Islamabad, Radio Pakistan reported. Bajwa also apprised the prime minister about the progress made in the ongoing operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, a terror operation launched by the Pakistan Army to eliminate terrorism.

The meeting between Bajwa and Sharif comes two days after the Pakistan’s army chief approved the execution of Jadhav after a military court sentenced him to death for “espionage and sabotage activities”, evoking a sharp reaction from India which warned Islamabad to consider the consequences on bilateral ties if he is hanged.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday made a statement in Parliament in the matter, asserting that India will go “out of way” to ensure justice to Jadhav who is an “innocent kidnapped Indian”.

Jadhav’s execution will be taken by India as a “pre-meditated murder” and Pakistan should consider its consequences on bilateral relations, if it proceeds on this matter, Swaraj warned. She said the charges against Jadhav, who was doing business in Iran and was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan, are “concocted” and the trial against him was “farcical”, leading to an “indefensible verdict”.

But National Security Adviser Lieutenant General (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua reiterated on Tuesday that Pakistan and India, as two nuclear-armed neighbours, cannot be enemy forever. “We need to engage with each other and resolve disputes,” he insisted while speaking to the Canadian High Commissioner Perry Calderwood in the federal capital.

During their meeting, the two discussed regional dynamics and bilateral ties, Pakistan’s role in eradicating terrorism, counterterrorism cooperation, the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and PakIndia relations with reference to the United States (US) offer for mediation.

Janjua underscored the need for a non-discriminatory approach while considering Pakistan membership for Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG).

The international community is overlooking the Kashmir due to their own strategic interests related to India, he said with respect to the mounting strategic imbalance of the region.

According to the adviser, it was expected that the world would stand with morality and human rights over Kashmir dispute. He added that Pakistan has welcomed a US offer for mediation between Islamabad and New Delhi to resolve the decades-old dispute, but India, on the other hand, has rejected it.

Although India considers Kashmir a bilateral issue, it has defeated the spirit of bilateralism by defying any dialogue over it, said Janjua.

“Extreme thoughts are to be mitigated through a change of perception, by winning hearts and minds and not by use of force alone,” he said

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said that America can play a “very critical role” in resolving the Kashmir issue with India as he hoped to see proactive engagement by the Trump administration on the issue. “With regards to Kashmir, America can play a very critical role, which it has not done,” Sharif was quoted as saying by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan. The prime minister said that the world, including the US, was well aware of the danger the dispute posed to world peace and to the stability in the region.

“We wish to see progress towards the resolution of the Kashmir dispute, which is the biggest hurdle in the way of peace and development in the region and the whole world, including the US, is fully aware of this reality,” he said.

Former chief of Pakistan army Gen Raheel Sharif is to head the ‘Muslim Nato’ force
Former chief of Pakistan army Gen Raheel Sharif is to head the ‘Muslim Nato’ force

Referring to the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Kashmir, Sharif said that the UN Security Council must also ensure the implementation of its resolutions as failure to do so is already raising many questions about its credibility.

Earlier this month, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had said the US would try and “find its place” in efforts to de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions and not wait till “something happens”, signalling an apparent change in the US stance of not engaging in Indo-Pak disputes.

“It’s absolutely right that this administration is concerned about the relationship between India and Pakistan and very much wants to see how we de-escalate any sort of conflict going forward,” said Haley, a senior Indian-American member of the Trump.

Hours later, India had swiftly rejected any US role in resolving Indo-Pak issues.

However, Pakistan’s envoy to the US Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry had welcomed the US offer and said any positive role that the US plays to bring peace and stability in South Asia can serve the region well.

On Pakistan-US relations, Sharif said the two countries had a long history of bilateral relations and expressed hope that under President Trump, the bilateral ties would improve.

“We want trade not aid from the United States,” the prime minister said, adding that Pakistan wished to have cordial relations with all countries on the basis of mutual respect.

Referring to the mega projects being implemented under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, he said that CPEC has a huge potential to generate economic activities in the entire region and Pakistan would welcome other countries to be part of it and share the benefits the multi-billion dollar project.

CPEC, an ambitious USD 46 billion project, will link the Pakistani city of Gwadar to China’s Xinjiang via a vast network of highways and railways.