Day after India-Pakistan talks announced, militants strike in Jammu and Kashmir

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New Delhi | Updated: Sep 21, 2018 1:58 PM

Weeks ahead of the Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the militants are now targetting the policemen in the in the state.

India, Pakistan, India Pakistan talks, Jammu and Kashmir, militants in J&K, Imran Khan, Narendra Modi, Imran Khan letter, Shopian, india newsThe four people were abducted on Thursday night from Kapran and Batgund villages. (Representative image: Reuters)

Weeks ahead of the Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir, the militants are now targetting the policemen in the in the state. On Friday, a day after talks between India and Pakistan were announced, three policemen were abducted and killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district. The victims were Special Police Officers (SPOs). Sources told FE Online that “The ISI is trying its best to derail the process in the valley and both Hizbul and Lashkar commanders have been instructed to target the police force and their families to create uncertainty.”

Media reports in the last couple of days have reported that eight panchayat offices have been set on fire and sources said that the mastermind behind these is the ISI.

“Through such attacks and circulating videos of such attacks, the ISI is trying to send a message to the policemen that they should be aware that they could be next,” sources added.

The constant attacks on the paramilitary forces is seen as a sign of desperation by the ISI as they have not been able to carry any major attacks as during Operation All-Out as a large number of militants belonging to different terror groups, such as Lashkar, Jaish, Hizbul and Al- Badr have been wiped out during the operation, said security sources.

An IANS report quoting police sources says, “Three bullet-riddled bodies were recovered from Kapran village in the morning. The slain policemen have been identified as Firdous Ahmad Kuchai, Nisar Ahmad Dhobi and Kuldeep.”

Reports said fourth abducted person, a civilian, was released unharmed. The four people were abducted on Thursday night from Kapran and Batgund villages.

On Thursday, at the weekly briefing, External Affairs Ministry (MEA) official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar confirmed that “We have decided that the meeting will be held. The Permanent Missions of both India and Pakistan will together work out the details. Till then, what will be discussed in the meeting, we will have to wait till the meeting takes place.”

In a first such high-level interaction between the two countries after three years, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Pakistan Foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will talk on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.

“I can confirm that on the request from the Pakistani side a meeting between the two foreign ministers will take place on the sidelines of the UNGA at a mutually convenient date and time,” he added.

The decision to have this meeting on the sideline of UNGA was taken at the CCS meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. The spokesman clarified that the meeting is not a resumption of dialogue process in response to queries.

The decision to have a meeting follows a letter written by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking resumption of dialogue and suggesting a meeting between the two foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UNGA, and a letter written by Qureshi to Sushma Swaraj.

Though the details of the talks are still in the process of being finalised, the matter on Kartarpur Saheb will be taken up when the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet later this month.

According to the spokesperson, Swaraj will also be attending a meeting of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers.

“The existing policy on the SAARC process will continue. I don’t think there is any change in it,” said the MEA spokesperson.

To a question about the brutality on a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan who was killed in firing from the Pakistani side, he said it was a barbaric incident and the BSF has written a strong communication to its counterparts in Pakistan.

The last time both countries had a substantive dialogue was way back in December 2015, when Sushma Swaraj had gone to Pakistan to attend the Heart of Asia conference.

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