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Pakistan should ‘change position’ over Kashmir conflict, says India

Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh visited Kashmir over the weekend, following street battles between forces and protesters in the Muslim-majority region.

India is particularly not happy with Pakistan calling for a “black day” last week to protest India’s handling of the demonstrations.

India is “worried about the situation in Kashmir,” Singh told media representatives.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over its control since 1947 when British rule of the subcontinent ended.

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India has always accused Pakistan of creating unrest in the troubled region and supporting people who have been fighting for independence or merger with Pakistan.

“There is no need for any third force to help improve the situation in Kashmir…We don’t just want need-based ties. We want to build an emotional relationship with Kashmir,” he said.

The largest anti-India street protests in recent years in Kashmir erupted after Indian troops killed a popular, young commander Burhan Wani on July 8.

Since then, most parts of the Indian-held Kashmir have been under security lockdown. However, protests against Indian rule have persisted.

Meanwhile, a young man wounded by gunfire from Indian troops two weeks ago died on Sunday in a hospital in Srinagar, the region’s main city.

At least 56 civilians, mostly teens and young men, have been killed as Indian forces fired live ammunition and pellets at protesters.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Chairman, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik have extended the shutdown call in Indian-held Kashmir till July 29.

A large number of people in the Indian-held part of Kashmir resent the presence of hundreds of thousands of Indian troops and support the rebel cause.

Thousands of people have been killed in the armed uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.



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