Eight Indian police killed in clash with militants who stormed their camp in Pulwama, southern Kashmir 26 Aug; three militants also reported killed; Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility in reportedly worst attack on security facility since Sept 2016 Uri attack. India reported it believes 79 militants crossed Line of Control (LoC) into Indian Kashmir in July; military reported it killed five militants trying to enter 7 Aug, police reported two soldiers and three militants killed in clash in south 12-13 Aug. Firing across LoC continued including 26 Aug incident in which Indian force said it killed three Pakistani rangers; Pakistani police 28 Aug reported three civilians killed by Indian troops firing across LoC in Haveli district; in 21 July exchange, local officials reported child killed and three family members injured in Pakistan-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s (AJK) Jhelum Valley, and Pakistan military claimed it killed three Indian soldiers in retaliation. Following 3 Aug meeting at Chakothi-Uri crossing, Indian and Pakistani officials agreed to resume cross-LoC trade 8 Aug; trade finally resumed 17 Aug. Tensions in India-administered Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and clashes between demonstrators and security forces continued. Security forces 1 Aug killed top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba commander in Pulwama district, triggering protests and prompting authorities to suspend internet and train services. At least one protestor killed and dozens injured as police responded with force. J&K capital Srinagar and most parts of valley virtually shut down 3 Aug as both factions of separatist Hurriyat Conference and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front called for protests against alleged targeting of civilians by security forces. U.S. state and treasury departments 16 Aug formally sanctioned Kashmiri militant group Hizb-ul Mujahidin, barring U.S. citizens and residents from dealing with group and freezing assets under U.S. jurisdiction. Pakistan said action unjustified; protests took place next day in AJK capital Muzaffarabad in west.
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.