Two civilians reported killed on Pakistani side and one person on Indian side in shelling across Line of Control (LoC) 1 June. Pakistani military 3 June announced it had killed five Indian soldiers in response to “unprovoked ceasefire violation” along LoC; India denied military casualties, said one woman injured by Pakistani shelling. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh 4 June said Indian army had “free hand” to respond to “any attempt by Pakistani troops to disturb peace”. Indian and Pakistani military chiefs 5 June spoke over hotline following spike in cross-LoC clashes. Four alleged militants killed 5 June during attack on Indian Central Reserve Police Force camp in Indian-administered Kashmir. Indian military same day warned it will take “appropriate retaliatory actions” if Pakistani military “continues to abet infiltrations and cause trans-LoC firings”. Shortly before 26 June meeting between Indian and U.S. presidents, U.S. put Syed Salahuddin, Kashmir-based head of Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, on its global terror list; Pakistan said militants fighting India in Kashmir engaged in legitimate struggle for freedom. Tensions in Indian-administered Kashmir continued. Security forces 27 May killed Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat and several other alleged militants, provoking major demonstrations, clashes between security personnel and protesters, and re-imposition of curfew. Two police killed 15 June in separate shootings by suspected militants in Srinagar and southern Kulgam area. Security forces 16 June cordoned off southern Arwani village; two alleged militants attempted to shoot their way out; fighting prompted thousands in village and neighbouring areas to defy security lockdown, throwing stones at soldiers; at least two civilians reported killed. Five Indian police killed 16 June in southern Achabal area when vehicle was ambushed; officials blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. Policeman reportedly beaten to death by crowd outside mosque in Srinagar 23 June.
Their recent dialogue process provides the best chance yet for bilateral peace and regional stability, but Pakistan and India must still overcome serious mistrust among hardliners in their security elites.
Even if India and Pakistan appear willing to allow more interaction across the Line of Control (LOC) that separates the parts of Kashmir they administer, any Kashmir-based dialogue will fail if they do not put its inhabitants first.
When the third round of the normalisation talks concludes in July 2006, India and Pakistan will be no closer than when they began the process in February 2004 to resolving differences, including over Kashmir.
The agreement between Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, and India's new prime minister, Manmohan Singh, to continue talks on all contentious issues including Kashmir has inspired optimism about reduced tensions in South Asia.
For half a century Kashmir has been the major issue of contention between India and Pakistan.
More than five decades after independence, Pakistan is no closer to a resolution with India of the dispute over Kashmir.