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Indian, Pakistan guns fall silent on Kashmir border

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    Indian, Pakistan guns fall silent on Kashmir border

    Indian, Pakistan guns fall silent on Kashmir border


    SRINAGAR, India, July 12: Indian and Pakistani guns fell silent across the Kashmir border today for the first time in two months, after both sides agreed to a military disengagement in the region. However, Indian military officers said the army remained on high alert despite evidence that "militants" had already begun withdrawing from their positions on the Indian side of the border. The "disengagement" agreement between senior military officials from both sides was reached Sunday as India claimed to be nearing
    total victory in its offensive to evict the "infiltrators".
    "We have already reached near the border in Drass and Batalik areas and pushed the enemy out of our territory," the officer said in
    Srinagar. In New Delhi, national security advisor Brajesh Mishra said there was evidence hundreds of "Pakistan-backed Islamic
    fighters" were already moving out of Kashmir. "It is our hope that in seven days the status quo ante of the LoC will be restored," he
    said.
    Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz said Sunday the "disengagement" had started and would gradually be completed across all
    strategic hills lining the LoC. The disengagement accord will be viewed with immense relief by the international community, which had feared the conflict between the world's two newest nuclear powers could escalate into all-out war. The pledge attracted stiff domestic criticism from hard-liners who accused Sahrif of selling out the Kashmiri Moslems, who have been fighting a 10-year insurgency against Indian rule.
    Despite Sunday's agreement, the situation remained tense and sporadic gunfire and shelling was reported outside the battle-zones in border areas close to Jammu. "Shelling is still continuing," said Deputy Inspector General of Police K. Rajendra Kumar. But residents in sectors which have seen the fiercest fighting in the last two months woke Monday to a long-forgotten calm.
    "There has been no firing or loud explosions since last night," said Mohammed Sadiq, who owns a hotel in Kargil - the command
    hub of the Indian offensive. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars since independence over Kashmir. India controls the southern two-thirds of the region and Pakistan the remainder.


    dil..dilseeee




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