Infiltration of militants cause of concern, says AzadMay 13th, 2008 - 12:06 am ICT by admin
Srinagar, May 12 (IANS) Infiltration of militants from across the border was a cause of concern, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad Monday told Britain’s High Commissioner to India, Sir Richard Stagg. “Infiltration of militants from across the border, especially during the past two months, was a serious concern,” Azad told the visiting envoy.
“We hope the new government in Pakistan would cooperate with India in checking this and taking forward the process of dialogue and peace which has been slowed down due to internal situation in Pakistan,” Azad said.
His comments came on a day the Indian Army said a major terror strike was averted at the Samba garrison near Jammu after a militant was killed in a gun battle with the security forces. The town was the site of a fierce gun-battle Sunday, in which two militants killed six people before being shot down.
Talking about plans to start trade across the Line of Control (LoC) which divides Kashmir, the chief minister said: “India is ready and infrastructure in terms of custom building, godowns and widening of roads has been put in place one and a half years ago, and the items for the cross-LoC trade have been identified.”
“Things had been slowed down in the wake of the internal situation in Pakistan,” he added.
Azad hoped that with the “new government in place in Pakistan, things would move forward.”
The chief minister said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s May 21 visit to Islamabad would give “further push to the improvement in bilateral relations”.
Azad reiterated his assurance of “free and fair elections to the state legislative assembly”, slated to take place later this year.
He said the past two years in the state were “best in terms of the lowest number of killings and incidents of violence.”
“Human rights violations have been brought down to negligible numbers while no custodial disappearance was reported during the last year and the current year till date,” Azad told Sir Richard.
The envoy evinced keen interest in the political and development activities in Jammu and Kashmir. He described his maiden visit to the Kashmir Valley as “very good”.
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