Separatist strike cripples Kashmir

Tensions run high in divided region as India and Pakistan prepare for high-level talks.

    Martyrs' Day commemorates the killing of 21 Kashmiri Muslims in 1931 [AFP]

    On Tuesday, security forces erected more checkpoints and laid razor wire on roads in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Jammu and Kashmir state, in an attempt to thwart separatist rallies.

    India-Pakistan talks

    With tensions running high in Kashmir, there is increased interest in high-level talks that India and Pakistan are to have on Thursday.

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    SM Krishna, the Indian foreign minister, is scheduled to travel to Islamabad for talks with Shah Mehmood Qureshi, his Pakistani couterpart.

    Raja Farooq Haider, the leader of Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said on Tuesday that the talks "can be meaningful only if Kashmiris are made part of it".

    Analysts say the dispute over Kashmir - a territory claimed in entirety by both India and Pakistan - would figure high on the agenda.

    Thursday's meeting would be the highest-level contact between the two countries since New Delhi broke off normalisation talks with Islamabad over the attack on its financial capital, Mumbai, in November 2008.

    India blames Pakistan-based armed groups for the attack and has been pressing the Pakistani government to crack down on them before negotiations could restart.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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