A war of words has erupted between India and Pakistan over the recent
violence that has engulfed Indian Kashmir. As Anjana Pasricha reports
from New Delhi, one more person has been killed in fresh protests that
have pitted Muslims versus Hindus and reignited demands for
independence from India in the Himalayan region.
protests that turned violent in Indian Kashmir this week have become
the focus of bitter exchanges between India and Pakistan.
Delhi has slammed comments by Pakistani leaders, who have condemned
what they say are "gross human rights violations" in the region, where
more than 20 people have been killed and hundreds injured in
demonstrations in recent days.
Late Wednesday, Pakistan's
parliament approved a resolution condemning the "excessive and brutal"
use of force by Indian security forces against Muslim protestors in
Indian Kashmir. Pakistani lawmakers also called on the international
community and the United Nations to take note of the deteriorating
situation in the region.
Hours later, in a national address,
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf criticized what he called the
suppression of oppressed people in Kashmir.
Indian foreign ministry spokesman, Navtej Sarna, says such comments by Pakistani leaders are "deeply objectionable."
are witnessing a recurrence of Pakistani rhetoric and allegations that
are factually wrong and that bear no relationship to reality," said
Sarna. "To call for international involvement in the sovereign internal
affairs of India is gratuitous, illegal, and only reflects a reversion
to a mindset that has led to no good consequences for Pakistan in the
Kashmir, divided between India and Pakistan, has been a
flashpoint between the two countries, who have fought two of three wars
over the region.
But a peace process begun four years ago had
lowered tensions between the rivals, and helped restore calm in Indian
Kashmir, which had been wracked by a violent separatist rebellion since
However, the situation in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir
valley is again volatile. There were civilian casualties on Thursday
when security forces opened fire to disperse stone-throwing
demonstrators who defied a curfew in Srinagar.
It has been the
fourth straight day that the region has witnessed mass protests by
Muslims who have been pouring into the streets across the Kashmir
valley demanding independence from India.
The protests have
snowballed over a plot of land in the Kashmir valley, whose allotment
to a Hindu religious trust was canceled following objections by
Angry Hindus who dominate the state's Jammu region, launched demonstrations demanding the land back.
dispute has pitted the Hindus in Jammu versus the Muslims in the
Kashmir valley. It has also revived the anti India slogans that used to
ring across the valley in the 1990s when the separatist rebellion was at its height.