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Line of Control becomes Line of Learning in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Winds of Change seem to be blowing on the sensitive Line of Control (LoC) with the last point on the Indo-Pak border in the Uri sector becoming the Line of Learning for the students on educational tours.As a part of education tour, the Indian army organized an excursion for 55 students of Army Goodwill School Uri and Aseem-Goodwill Computer Centre at Kamalkot to Kamaan Aman Setu– the last point on Indian side on the LoC –in Uri sector of North Kashmir a few days ago.During the visit, the students were made aware of the commercial and strategic significance of the Kaman Aman Setu. “The students also witnessed the trade services between India and Pakistan. They also visited Kaman Transit point, Cafe Kaman and the Currency Changing Point”, said an army spokesman.Officer – In – Charge of Kaman Aman Setu briefed the students about the importance of the Kaman Bridge; inter-country trade service and cross LoC bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad. He also briefed them about the procedure of immigration and various facilities available at Kaman Transit Point.“All visitors displayed a keen interest in understanding the significance of the bridge and the excitement among the students was evident. Students expressed their gratitude to the Army for providing this opportunity”, said the spokesman.The strategically important bridge on the Kaman post connects North Kashmir to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. The bridge was refurbished in 2005 when India and Pakistan decided to start the cross LoC Karwan-e-Aman bus, which plies every Monday in the valley.Touted as one the biggest Confidence Building Measures, the cross LoC peace bus enabled reuniting the divided families living on both sides of the Line of Control. A year later another cross LoC route connecting Poonch in Jammu to Rawlakote road in PoK.Three years later the cross LoC trade started in October 2008 when Jammu and Kashmir was up in arms over Amarnath land row. There are two cross LoC routes — Srinagar-Muzaffarabad, Poonch-Rawalakote — that are being used to ferry goods between Jammu and Kashmir and PoK.

Hizb names successor to slain Kashmir ‘operational commander’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hizbul Mujahideen today named Mohammad bin Qasim as its “field operational commander” in Kashmir in place of Yaseen Yattoo who was killed yesterday in a fierce gunbattle with security forces in Shopian district. Qasim was made the new commander of Hizb at a meeting of the outfit’s command council chaired by Syed Salahuddin in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), a spokesman of the outfit said in a statement. Salahuddin said the high number of killings of militants in encounters were because of “traitors” and “Indian agents”. Yattoo, alias ‘Gaznavi’, and his two associates were killed yesterday in an encounter that began on Saturday night in Awnira village of Shopian district in south Kashmir. In the encounter, two armymen were also killed and three others, including a Major, were injured. Yattoo, who hailed from Budgam district of central Kashmir, had a long association with Hizbul Mujahideen and was responsible for keeping alive the prolonged unrest of 2016 following the killing of group’s commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. He had also played key role in recruiting several young men into the outfit, according to the police. Yattoo had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996 but had surrendered in 2007 and was later released on parole in 2014. Subsequently, he had joined the militant group again and was its self-styled chief operations commander. Along with him, the security forces killed Umar Majeed, who hailed from Shopian, and Irfan, a tech-savvy militant involved in online propaganda for the militant outfit.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

34 companies in PoK banned from cross LoC trade

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total of 34 companies in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been banned from carrying out any trade activity on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road, officials said. Custodian of cross LoC trade Sagar D Doifode issued a circular to all traders in Jammu and Kashmir directing them not to enter into any export or import business with the 34 blacklisted companies, they said. The ban has followed joint efforts by authorities of Jammu and Kashmir and PoK to weed out any illegal activity on cross LoC trade routes, the officials said. The action comes more than two weeks after police recovered 66.5 kilogram of heroin and brown sugar from a truck coming from PoK at Salamabad trade facilitation centre on July 21.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Weekly bus service resumes on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Karavan-e-Aman weekly bus service across the Line of Control on the Srinagar- Muzaffarabad road resumed today, a week after it was suspended. The trade on this route is scheduled to resume tomorrow. “The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service operated today after an agreement reached with authorities from Pakistan- occupied Kashmir last week,” an official said here. He said 116 passengers boarded the bus bound for Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, this morning. “It includes 110 residents of PoK who are returning home after spending time with their relatives here while six persons from Jammu and Kashmir are going to meet their relatives on other side of LoC,” he said. The trade on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road was suspended two weeks ago following recovery of 66.5 kg of heroin and brown sugar valued at over Rs 300 crore from a truck coming from PoK on July 21. The impasse was resolved at a meeting between officials of two sides held at Kaman Post last week.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cross-LoC trade and travel to resume next week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid National Investigating Agency (NIA) reservations, the cross-LoC trade in Jammu and Kashmir along with bus service will resume operations next week. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Gopal Baglay on Friday confirmed that issues regarding trade and bus service have been sorted out. “Cross-LoC trade will start on Monday while the ‘Carvan-e-Aman’ (Caravan of Peace) bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad will resume the next Tuesday,” he said.Baglay, however, added that cross-LoC bus service between Poonch and Rawalkot may take time as civilian facilities at Chakan da Bagh point was hit by gunfire from across. The bus service was suspended four weeks ago after the armies of India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire and shelling along the LoC in Poonch district. Over 150 passengers are stuck on the Indian side of the LoC due to suspension of the bus service.Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, Nasir Naqash and Colonel (retired) Muhammad Shahid, Director, Trade and Trade Authority, PoK held a meeting on Thursday at Salamabad Bridge or Aman Setu on the zero line to sort out issues. They decided to set up communication lines. Earlier, the hotlines between the security agencies were the only source of communication. The two sides have decided to share landline and mobile numbers and e-mail addresses “of the trade officers on both sides to formalise communication lines”.Earlier the NIA probing the funding of separatist leaders had advocated against opening the trading points. The trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route was stopped after 66.5 kg of heroin was seized from a PoK truck on July 21. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti strongly rooted for cross-LoC trade last week, stating that the PDP would not allow its closure and continue to work towards opening more routes across the Line of Control with PoK.In 2015 as well, the narcotics hidden in 97 orange boxes were recovered during a check of the trucks coming from Muzaffarabad at the Salamabad trade facilitation centre near Uri. The authorities subsequently detained all the 22 trucks that had come from Muzaffarabad and arrested driver identified as Syed Anayat Shah. In 2014 as well, trade was suspended for over a month following a drug haul from a POK truck leading to the arrest of the driver. In retaliation the PoK authorities detained the entire fleet of 50 Kashmir trucks that had crossed over to deliver goods at the Chakoti trade facilitation centre near Muzafarabad.CLOSUREThe NIA probing the funding of separatist leaders had advocated against opening the trading points.
The trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route was stopped after 66.5 kg of heroin was seized from a PoK truck on July 21.

Cross-LoC trade along Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route suspended

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) today suspended cross-LoC trade along the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route. “We have received a letter from authorities on the other side (of the LoC) saying the trade on Srinagar-Muzaffarabad route will remain suspended for this week,” a senior official said here. He said no reasons were given for suspending the trade, which takes place from Tuesday to Friday every week between the traders of Jammu and Kashmir and PoK. The decision to suspend the trade comes four days after Mohammad Yoususf Shah, a driver from Chakoti in PoK, was arrested following recovery of 66.5 kiligrams of heroin and brown sugar, worth over Rs 300 crore, from his vehicle.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Suspected LeT terrorist from Uttar Pradesh nabbed at Mumbai airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A joint team of the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and Mumbai Police on Monday nabbed a suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist from the Mumbai Airport.The arrested terrorist has been identified as Salim Khan. He is a resident of Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. Salim was trained at Lashkar’s Muzaffarabad Training Camp in Pak-occupied Kashmir. Salim used to finance local modules on behalf of Lashkar for espionage against Indian ArmyThe ATS was keeping a trail on him since his name was revealed by Aftaab Ali, who was arrested by the ATS few months ago from communally-sensitive Faizabad. He was nabbed when he was about to leave Mumbai, the ATS and Mumbai Police nabbed him.Aftaab was supplying information to the ISI. He was also in touch with officials of the Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi. During interrogation, Aftaab had admitted that Salim had transferred money into his accounts from Mumbai.

Pakistan Army claims 4 soldiers ‘drowned’ after vehicle was fired upon by India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Army said today that four of its soldiers were drowned in a river in PoK after their vehicle was allegedly fired upon by Indian forces in a ceasefire violation from across the LoC.Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said the vehicle was targeted as it was moving along the Neelum river in Athmuqam town, 73 kilometres from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).”The vehicle fell into the river and four soldiers were killed in the Line of Control (LoC) ceasefire violation,” Ghafoor said.The body of one soldier has been recovered while search for the other three is underway, he said.Army said Pakistani troops effectively responded to the cease fire violation.Earlier, Ghafoor alleged at a press briefing that ceasefire violations by India along the LoC were the highest in 2017.”There were 315 ceasefire violation by India in 2014, 248 in 2015, and 382 in 2016 while this year so far the number of such violations is 580,” he alleged.

Syed Salahudin’s provided funds to terrorists, his designation as global terrorist well deserved: Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre condemned Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s recent utterances against India, and said his designation as a global terrorist by the United States was “well deserved”. Home Ministry spokesperson Ashok Prasad said the government had been describing Salahuddin as a terrorist all along, and his own remarks had confirmed that. “His designation as a global terrorist by the US is well deserved,” he told reporters here. Prasad said Salahuddin was also “instrumental” in providing funds to terrorists and separatists and giving other kinds of assistance to the militants. Salahuddin had on July 1 claimed that his group had the capability to launch attacks inside India. The US declared him a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” on June 27.
ALSO READ PM Modi in US: Meeting with Trump ‘historic and productive’, says US Vice President Mike PenceEarlier, militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin vowed to continue the struggle for “liberation” of Kashmir from India, days after the US blacklisted him as a “global terrorist”.Addressing the media amid tight security at the Centre Press Club in Muzaffarabad for the first time since the US declared him a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” on June 27, Salahuddin rejected the US decision and said he was a freedom fighter and not a terrorist.
ALSO READ Modi in Israel: 26/11 survivor Moshe’s kin touched by PM’s decision to meet him”We are not terrorists…Our struggle is for freedom from India and it will continue till liberation of Kashmir,” said the 71-year-old Kashmiri separatist leader who is based in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.”The US cannot provide a single example of when I and other Kashmiri fighters committed any act of terrorism,” he said. “Kashmiri freedom fighters have a code of conduct to not harm minorities, the elderly, children and women, and if sometimes the enemy offers a peace deal, we accept it.” Salahuddin also claimed that his group has the capability to launch attacks inside India.He offered conditional talks with India if Russia or China guaranteed that peace talks would be result oriented.He also announced to observe a “Week of Resistance” from Monday to commemorate the first death anniversary of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul commander who was killed on July 8 last year in an encounter in Kashmir.Salahuddidn also led a protest rally in Muzaffarabad. In a notification, the State Department said Salahuddin, who hails from Kashmir and is based in Pakistan for the last 28 years, “has committed, or poses a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism.”The US took the step against Salahuddin, whose original name is Mohammed Yusuf Shah, as he had “vowed to block any peaceful resolution to the Kashmir conflict, threatened to train more Kashmiri suicide bombers, and vowed to turn the Kashmir Valley into a graveyard for Indian forces”.

Hizb distances itself from Moosa’s statement, signals rift

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Hizbul Mujahideen today distanced itself from the statement of its commander Zakir Moosa against the separatist leadership, signalling a rift in the militant outfit which has been fighting for Jammu and Kashmir’s annexation to Pakistan since 1989. “The outfit has neither got anything to do with the statement of Moosa nor the statement is acceptable to it,” Hizbul Mujahideen spokesman Saleem Hashmi said in a statement from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) Terming Moosa’s remarks in an audio slideshow that surfaced in Kashmir’s social media as his “personal opinion”, Hashmi cautioned that any statement or step which will create confusion “can prove a death knell for our struggle”. In the 5.40-minute audio, Moosa had warned the separatist leaders not to meddle in their aim to establish a caliphate in Jammu and Kashmir along the lines of the rule established by ISIS in parts of Syria and Iraq. Hashmi said the outfit was pondering over the statement of Moosa and will not “hesitate in taking any step or rendering any sacrifice” in the interest of the ongoing struggle. Director General of Police S P Vaid had told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service suspended due to security

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service across the Line of Control (LoC) was today suspended in view of a cordon and search operation in a village near the Kaman Post in Jammu and Kashmir. The bus, which started its journey from Srinagar at 7 am with 14 passengers on board, was stopped by the army at Bandi in Uri tehsil of Baramulla district, a police official said. He added that 25 persons were waiting to board the bus at the Salamabad Facilitation Centre to go to Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). At 3 pm, those waiting to board the bus at the facilitation centre and those on board were asked to return to Srinagar, the official said. He said the bus was stopped by the army as a precautionary measure in view of a cordon and search operation launched by the security forces in Uroosa village, the last human habitat before the LoC, on the Indian side. Army officials at the 15 Corps headquarters here refused to comment on the development. The Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service, also known as the Karawan-e-Aman (peace caravan) was launched in April, 2005 on a fortnightly basis as a confidence building measure between India and Pakistan. The frequency of the bus service for the divided families living on either side of the LoC, was increased subsequently. It now operates on a weekly basis.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Despite differences on Kashmir issue, India-Turkey agree to strengthen trade ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the notable differences on the Kashmir issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were able to find common ground on a number of issues, namely curbing of terrorism and the need to boost trade.On a positive note, Erdogan condemned the Chhattisgarh Maoist attack of April 24 — where over 24 CRPF jawans were killed — and assured Modi of his country’s full support in the fight against terrorism. Speaking about the Sukhma attack he said, “Turkey will always be by the side of India in full solidarity while battling terrorism… And terrorists will be drowned in the blood they shed.”Speaking about the bilateral visit, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Gopal Baglay said there was an understanding between New Delhi and Ankara that terrorism was a menace and needed resolute condemnation and opposition, no matter, wherever and by whosoever and whichever place it is committed. “There is no justification to terrorism activities, whatever goal they may peruse,” the MEA spokesperson quoted the leaders as having agreed to during the meeting. He added that Erdogan had said, “No intent or goal or reason or rationale can validate terrorism.”Meanwhile, on the economic front, both leaders observed that India and Turkey were two large economies which presented an enormous opportunity to expand and deepen commercial linkages. Modi and Erdogan stated their commitment to take trade volume to 10 billion US dollars by 2020. Currently, it stands at 6.5 billion US dollars.Erdogan also emphasised that countries will look at ways to expand cooperation in the fast growing energy and infrastructure sectors, in particular. And after the bilateral meeting, the two sides exchanged three pacts, including one between their telecom authorities.Earlier in the day, when addressing the India-Turkey Business Summit in the Capital, Prime Minister Modi said that since coming to power in this very month three years ago, the government had launched several initiatives to reform the economy and administrative processes. He invited Turkey to participate in the government’s two flagship programmes — Make in India and Smart City projects.Referring to opportunities in India, Modi said the country plans to build 50 million houses by 2022, metro rail projects in 50 cities and high-speed trains in various national corridors.”I know that Turkish construction companies have successfully undertaken many construction and infrastructure projects in other countries. Our infrastructure requirements are enormous, including core as well as social and industrial infrastructure,” he said.Turkey’s expertise in construction is in full display just across the borders, where they have rebuilt a city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, post the 2005 earthquake. The city is now nicknamed ‘Mini-Istanbul’, with its pencil minarets and Turkish architecture.On the issue of terrorism, Prime Minister Modi had stressed the need to work to disrupt the terrorist networks and their financing and put a stop to cross border movement of terrorists, a reference to Pakistan-backed infiltration in Kashmir. On the other hand, the Turkish President mentioned the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his organisation, which he called (FETO) in his speech, and described it as a terrorist organisation. Erdogan said that he expected India would take steps to ban their activities and expel them.”We are telling all our friends about the dangers that FETO poses. This group is present in 100 countries,” he said, notably skipping any reference to cross border terrorism. In West Asia, Syria is currently blaming Turkey for promoting cross-border terrorism in the region, by sending its forces into Damascus’ territory to help opposition groups.’We need a Free Trade Agreement’Turkish President Erdogan called for a free trade agreement with India to expand the ambit of bilateral economic ties. Currently trade between the two countries has gone up to $6.4 billion in 2016, from $2.8 billion in 2008, which Erdogan believed was not enough.”While this is encouraging, the level of present economic and commercial relations is not enough against the real potential,” he said.Erdogan also suggested that the two nations explore the possibility of trade in local currency to deal with exchange rate fluctuations. He added that Turkey’s exports to India were $ 652 million and imports from India stood at $5,752 million. This imbalance in trade needed to be rectified, he emphasized.

Cop killed, 11 injured in grenade blast in old Srinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked youth to chose between tourism and terrorism, terrorists lobbed a powerful grenade on a police party, leaving one cop dead and 11 others, including three CRPF men, injured at Nowhatta in sensitive old Srinagar city.The incident occurred in the evening when the security forces were withdrawing after performing day-long duty. Terrorists surfaced near a narrow alley at Bata Chowk and hurled a powerful grenade on the forces which exploded with a big bang.Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, SP Vaid told DNA that the security forces were withdrawing when a grenade was hurled. “Over a dozen cops and security forces men were injured. Later one of the injured cop succumbed to his injuries,” he said.Rajesh Yadav, the CRPF spokesman told DNA that it was a joint posse of police and jawans of 28 battalion of CRPF which was deployed at Nowhatta. “During the withdrawal hours, they were attacked with grenade in which one cop died. Three of our men from 28 battalion were also injured,” he said.Security forces immediately launched a search operation but the terrorists managed to escape.This is the second major terror attack in Srinagar in the last 24 hours. On Saturday terrorists ambushed an Army convoy in daylight at Bemina Bypass on the strategic Srinagar-Muzaffarabad highway leaving three soldiers injured.

NIA to deport PoK youth who aided terrorists in Uri terror attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The National Investigative Agency (NIA) will soon file a closure report in connection with a case relating to the two youth from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK), who were suspected to have helped the terrorists carry out the deadly attack in an army camp in Jammu and Kashmir?s Uri sector last year. Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed ? will be sent back as the charges framed against could not be substantiated. The two men were arrested on September 21 last year three days after the attack that killed 19 Indian soldiers. They will be returned as part of a ?goodwill arrangement? between New Delhi and Islamabad wherein Indian soldier Chandu Chavan was sent back by Pakistan last month. The investigative agency decided to file closure report after it did not find the any evidence against the two, on their initial confession made to the Indian Army. However, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), reportedly, will decide the modalities of their return to PoK. According to the NIA statement of September 27, 2016, Awan and Khursheed had during their interrogation, “disclosed that they were tasked by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commanders to facilitate the infiltration of a group of four JeM cadres who carried out the Uri Army camp attack”. On being shown photographs of the four slain terrorists, Awan identified one of them as Hafeez Ahmed, son of Feroz, resident of village Dharbang, Muzaffarabad. On September 18, 2016 four armed terrorists launched an attack at a camp close to the headquarter of the 12th Brigade at Uri?s Baramulla District. At least 17 army soldiers were killed and injured 19 others injured in the suicide attack.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Pak rails against India’s ‘unlawful occupation’ of Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain has asked India to end its “unlawful occupation” of Kashmir in its own interest, warning any delay in the settlement of the lingering dispute could spell “disaster” for regional peace. India should give in to the public sentiment in Kashmir in its own interest and end its unlawful occupation of the territory, Hussain said at a function in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in connection with the birth anniversary of ‘Quaid-i-Azam’ Mohammad Ali Jinnah yesterday. “The (Indian) occupation forces have employed every brute tactic to suppress the Kashmiris…so much so that the pellet guns meant for hunting wild animals have also been ceaselessly used by them on the innocent and unarmed people of Kashmir,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn. The human rights violations and repression in Kashmir were enough to shake the global conscience, he claimed and called on the international community to help Kashmiris exercise their right to self-determination. “A further delay in the settlement of the lingering dispute could spell disaster for regional peace,” he warned. Hussain’s speech was part of Pakistan’s efforts to highlight the issue of Kashmir, which has led to increased hostility between India and Pakistan for more than a year. Last year, after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with Indian security forces in south Kashmir on July 8, Pakistan had described him as a “martyr”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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