India-Pakistan: Indian military authorities report a week-long series of gun battles has been taking place in the central region of the Line of Control in Kashmir. Some 30 to 40 fighters crossed the Line on 24 September, up to 12 of whom have been killed by Indian soldiers. Five Indian soldiers have been wounded.
The infiltrators holed up in an abandoned village, which appears to be the location of the gun fights.
Although General Officer Commanding of the Army’s 15 Corps Lt Gen Gurmit Singh had said it will be premature to say whether the Pakistan Army was involved in infiltration of militants, he said there were definite indications that some special troops were part of it.
“I can only say, analyzing the methodology of this infiltration, it was not a pure infiltration. It was a BAT [Border Action Team]-cum-infiltration. The number of militants who attempted this infiltration was rather large. In fact, Wednesday night 10 to 12 militants tried to sneak into the cordoned off area from across (the Line of Control).”
Pakistani authorities deny that an infiltration occurred.
Comment: A Border Action Team is a mixed unit of Pakistan Army special forces commandos and irregular forces including terrorists or Kashmiri militants. Allmost every time the top political leaders have a cordial meeting, a shooting incident occurs along the Line of Control.
Pakistan: A faction of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan [TTP] said today that no ceasefire has yet been reached and that the initiative for talks should not be taken as a sign of weakness, according to the TTP Mohmand Agency chief, Omar Khalid Khorasani.
Khorasani also accused the government of continuing to torture prisoners and of killing them. He named three of his colleagues whom he claimed were killed recently in Karachi. He said that talks cannot succeed in the prevailing situation.
One group also called for the withdrawal of government forces from the tribal agencies as a condition for talks.
Comment: The statements today are typical of the problems in arranging talks with the Pakistani Taliban. No one group speaks for all the fighting groups who are hostile to the Islamabad government. A comprehensive and binding ceasefire is not feasible because it is not enforceable.