News / Asia

Indian PM in Kashmir: Country United to Fight Terror

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, center, is greeted by Chief Postmaster General John Samuel, right presenting a bouquet, in Srinagar, June 25, 2013.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, center, is greeted by Chief Postmaster General John Samuel, right presenting a bouquet, in Srinagar, June 25, 2013.
Anjana Pasricha
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says the country stands united in the fight against terrorism.  His comments during a rare visit to Indian Kashmir came a day after a deadly attack in India’s only Muslim majority region killed eight soldiers and wounded 13 others.  Separatist groups called for a general strike to coincide with the prime minister’s visit.  

Laying the foundation stone of a hydro-electric power project in Kishtwar in Indian Kashmir Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed the need for constant vigilance against terrorism.  

Singh arrived in Kashmir the morning after militants mounted a daring attack on an army convoy on the outskirts of Srinagar, killing and wounding soldiers who were deployed ahead of the high-profile visit.  It was the bloodiest militant strike in the restive region in the last five years, and came two days after another attack killed two policemen. 

Prime Minister Singh said the militant attack will not deter efforts to bring peace to the region. 

Paying tribute to the soldiers who died, Singh said the entire country is united to fight terror.  He said terrorists will never succeed in their aim.

An Indian army soldier runs for cover at the scene of an encounter with separatist militants in Srinagar, June 24, 2013.An Indian army soldier runs for cover at the scene of an encounter with separatist militants in Srinagar, June 24, 2013.
x
An Indian army soldier runs for cover at the scene of an encounter with separatist militants in Srinagar, June 24, 2013.
An Indian army soldier runs for cover at the scene of an encounter with separatist militants in Srinagar, June 24, 2013.
The Indian prime minister pointed out that terrorist-linked violence in Kashmir has declined sharply and was the lowest in the last two decades in 2012.

A Muslim separatist insurgency raged during the 1990’s in the Himalayan region.  But there has been relative calm in recent years.  However, tensions have spiked in recent months in the wake of the hanging of a Kashmiri man for his role in an attack on the Indian parliament in 2001.

Those tensions were evident during the prime minister’s rare visit to Kashmir.  A call for a boycott of Singh’s visit by three Kashmiri separatist groups shut down shops, businesses, schools and colleges in Srinagar.  A top separatist leader in the state, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, said the strike was called to remind the world that “Kashmir is a dispute, pending a resolution.”

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both.
   
On Wednesday, the prime minister is scheduled to inaugurate a rail tunnel that will eventually connect Kashmir to the Indian rail network.  It will vastly improve transport links of the remote Himalayan region to the rest of the country. 

Singh is accompanied by the powerful head of the ruling Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi.

Gandhi said efforts are under way to build roads in remote rural regions.  She said this, along with the rail link, will help bring development to the area.

Indian leaders hope that development will help bring economic benefits to the remote region and reduce the influence of Muslim militants who led the separatist insurgency.

However, anti-India sentiment is still visible in the region.  In 2010, it was the scene of mass popular pro-independence protests.

You May Like

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

Studies point to possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More