See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Kashmir tensions boil over with civilian deaths

Protests and diplomatic wranglings reach a crescendo after a recent crackdown by Indian security forces.


Written by

Updated: December 18, 2018

Seven civilians were killed and at least three dozen more were injured Saturday when Indian security forces opened fire on a protest that grew out of a pre-dawn encounter between separatist militants and Indian armed forces in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

The purpose of the encounter carried out in Sirnoo Village by the Indian Army was to target three militants—including Zahoor Ahmad Thokar, an Indian Army deserter-turned-militant—that were reportedly hiding in a local orchard. The three militants in question, and one Indian soldier were killed in an exchange of gunfire.

That firefight then sparked civilian protests, with hundreds of people flocking to the site to chant anti-India slogans and call for an end to Indian rule.

Tensions between protestors and troops reached a boiling point and Indian forces fired teargas, as well as live ammunition into the crowd of protestors.

Local residents claim the violence against civilians on the part of Indian troops was deliberate.

“[Indian troops] fired at us as if they were practicing their guns,” said Shabir Ahmed, a local resident who accompanied some injured taken to a hospital in Srinagar.

Among the dead was Abid Hussein, a man who had recently returned home after completing his MBA in Singapore. He and his wife had welcomed a new baby just three months ago.

Following these civilian deaths, the Kashmiri Joint Resistance Leadership encouraged people to march on the Indian Army’s Badami Bagh Cantonment in Srinagar in protest. This suggestion has been forcefully criticized by the Indian Army which responded saying, “the Indian Army strongly condemns this call by Pak Proxies and advises people not to fall prey to such designs of anti-national forces.”

In response to further calls to protest, the Indian Army imposed a curfew, and suspended train and internet services in the valley.

Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Satya Pal Malik has ordered Kashmir’s divisional commissioner, Baseer Khan, to probe the Pulwama incident and suggest precautions to minimise civilian casualties in anti-militancy operations in the future.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti excoriated Governor Malik’s administration over the incident.

“No probe or enquiry is enough to bring the dead innocent civilians back to life and it would only further alienate the people,” Mufti added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan issued a statement via Twitter in which he condemned the killing of civilians on the part of the Indian Army.

“Only dialogue & not violence & killings will resolve this conflict,” Khan wrote.

A previous version of this piece incorrectly identified the separatist militants and the Joint Resistance Leadership as Pakistani, rather than Kashmiri. The piece has been edited to correct these errors. 



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Quinn Libson
About the Author: Quinn Libson is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Politics

China accuses Canada of double standard

Beijing slams Justin Trudeau’s criticism of drug smuggler’s death sentence. China on Tuesday expressed strong dissatisfaction at the Canadian prime minister’s criticism of a drug smuggler’s death sentence, urging the country to respect China’s judicial sovereignty and stop making irresponsible remarks. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that drug crimes are recognized worldwide as serious crimes and are extremely harmful to the society. She said all countries severely crack down on the issue and so does China. Remarks made by a “relevant Canadian person” lack the spirit of rule by law, she said, urging the Canadian side to correct the mistakes and stop making irresponsible remarks. Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national convicted of smuggling over 222 kilograms of methamphetamines, was sentenced to death on Monday at


By China Daily
January 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

South Korean defense paper doesn’t label north an enemy

Ministry also says the north has specialized battalion for assassination of key figures. The Defense Ministry does not directly refer to North Korea as an enemy and takes a less hostile tone toward the communist state in its 23rd white paper published Tuesday. The ministry’s latest biennial white paper — the first to be published since the Moon Jae-in administration came to power in 2017 — addresses security threats, military policies and the regional security environment. Perhaps most notably, the Defense Ministry eliminated the phrase specifically describing North Korea as South Korea’s “enemy,” a move that appears to reflect


By The Korea Herald
January 16, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Rohingya issue will not be solved easily

Bangladeshi foreign minister says the road to a solution will be long and paved with difficulty. The much-talked-about Rohingya issue will not be solved easily, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Monday. “I have directed to conduct a study on the Rohingyas which will try to find out the impacts of Rohingyas on our country’s social, economic and security system,” said the minister while talking to the journalists at his office in Dhaka. Urging the international community to step forward for a logical solution to the crisis, he said, “The international community has also responsibilities to solve the crisis. If Rohingya crisis is continued, interest of everybody including India and China will be hampered.” India and Russia are much positive over the Rohingya issue right now, the minister informed. About the resistance from several countries including China over the issue, he s


By Daily Star
January 15, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

No breakthrough in South Korea-Japan military talks

Talks stem from a radar incident involving a Japanese aircraft in December. South Korea and Japan have failed to narrow their differences in a stand-off over whether a Korean warship had locked its targeting radar on a Japanese patrol plane last month, Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Tuesday (Jan 15), citing the country’s defence ministry. General-ranked representatives from the two sides met in Singapore on Monday (Jan 14) but could not resolve the dispute, according to the defence ministry. It was the first face-to-face contact between officials from the two nations over the Dec 20 incident, Yonhap said. Tokyo accuses a South Korean warship of locking fire-control radar on its maritime patrol aircraft, and has released a video clip to back up its claim.


By The Straits Times
January 15, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Huawei to end employment of staff arrested in Poland for spying

Huawei has been accused by countries of spying for Chinese government. Huawei announced on Saturday evening that it would terminate employment of Wang Weijing, who was detained in Poland on suspicion of spying, CCTV reported. Wang’s alleged actions have no relation to the company, according to Huawei. “In accordance with the terms and conditions of Huawei’s labor contract, we have made this decision because the incident in question has brought Huawei into disrepute,” said Huawei. “Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based,” said Huawei.


By China Daily
January 14, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Xi: Step up fight against corruption

The president calls for more measures to be taken against corruption. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called on Friday for all-around efforts to fight corruption and improve the nation’s oversight system to secure even greater strategic outcomes in full and strict governance over the Party. Xi, China’s president and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remark at the third plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection in Beijing. The sweeping victory that has been secured in the anti-graft campaign must be consolidated by strengthening deterrence so that officials “don’t dare to, are unable to and have no desire to” commit acts of corruption, Xi said. To this end, anti-corruption efforts in financial fields should be stepped up, particularly in key projects, areas and posi


By China Daily
January 14, 2019