India has deployed more than 1 million troops in held Kashmir: Foreign Office

Published November 30, 2016
Indian soldiers patrol on the Jammu-Srinigar National Highway during a combing operation after a gun battle with attackers at an Indian army base at Nagrota, some 15 kms from Jammu. —AFP
Indian soldiers patrol on the Jammu-Srinigar National Highway during a combing operation after a gun battle with attackers at an Indian army base at Nagrota, some 15 kms from Jammu. —AFP

India has deployed over 1 million troops in the India-held Kashmir (IHK), Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Nafees Zakaria told Radio Pakistan on Wednesday.

Zakaria said that despite Pakistan's concerns, India had deployed the highest concentration of troops in the world in held Kashmir.

Terming the deployment of presence of Indian troops' at a large scale, a hurdle in implementation of the United Nations (UN) resolution, he said Indian troops are killing innocent people and violating basic human rights in held Kashmir for the past four months.

Zakaria urged India to stop bloodshed in IHK immediately.

Pakistan believes in peaceful resolution of every outstanding issue with India, Zakaria was quoted as saying.

He demanded the UN to play its role for peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue and said that it was also a responsibility of the UN to implement its resolution.

Uptick in violence

In the worst civilian violence to hit the restive region of IHK since 2010, at least 90 Kashmiri civilians have been killed and thousands more injured in Indian-held Kashmir in clashes with security forces after the killing of a prominent Kashmiri separatist leader Burhan Wani, in a military operation on July 8.

Wani, a 22-year-old commander of Kashmir's largest pro-independence militant group Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), was killed along with two other separatists during a gun battle with Indian government forces.

Wani joined the HM group at the age of just 15, and was viewed as a hero by many in Kashmir. The state's former chief minister Omar Abdullah tweeted after his death that he had become the “new icon of Kashmir's disaffected”.

Witnesses said tens of thousands attended his funeral despite a curfew imposed by Indian authorities, chanting independence slogans.

Most have died in clashes between protesters and government forces who have fired tear gas and pellet guns at demonstrators.

India's home minister police and troops would use chilli-based shells instead of ones filled with birdshot after hundreds of civilians sustained serious eye injuries in the clashes.

The metal pellets or birdshot fired from the pump-action shotguns rarely result in deaths, but can often blind victims if the fragments hit them in the eye.

Authorities have imposed a curfew across large parts of the region, with schools, shops and many banks closed.

Internet and mobile networks have also been cut off in a bid to prevent protests.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the two gained independence from British rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.

Several rebel groups have for decades fought Indian soldiers deployed in the territory, demanding independence for the region or its merger with Pakistan.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have died in the fighting.

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