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

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs