Kashmir's first train flagged off

Troubled region observes strike as Indian PM inaugurates first train service.

    There has been a fresh flare up of protests in
    the region in recent weeks [AFP]

    Hundreds of workers have braved harsh weather conditions and attacks for about eight years to lay bridges and tracks across the mountainous region. An engineer and his brother were kidnapped in 2005 and later killed.
       
    New Delhi says the train service is aimed at bringing development to the remote areas of the strife-torn region.
       
    "However, connecting the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India still remains a distant dream," Abdul Wahid, an engineer on the project, said.

    Strike

    Roads were deserted except for security patrols on Saturday in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, a day after at least two people were killed and about 75 wounded when police fired bullets and teargas shells to disperse demonstrators.
       
    The strike was called by Kashmir's main separatist alliance, All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference.
     
    Singh, who is ending a two-day visit to the state accompanied by Sonia Gandhi, leader of the ruling Congress Party, inaugurated a 450-megawatt hydro power project on Friday, and offered new dialogue with the separatists to end violence.
       
    The latest round of protests come at a time when violence involving Indian troops and separatist fighters has declined significantly after India and Pakistan, which both claim the region, began a slow-moving peace process in 2004.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.