India says Pakistan “will pay” after Kashmir army camp attack

Son Ankush Choudhary, center, tries to console his mother Charanjeet Kaur during the funeral of Indian army soldier Madan Lal Choudhary, who was killed in Saturday’s militant attack on Indian army camp, at village Bakrak, in Hiranagar, district Kathua, 72 kilometers (45 miles) south of Jammu, India, Monday, Feb.12, 2018. (AP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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India says Pakistan “will pay” after Kashmir army camp attack

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR, India: India warned Pakistan that it would “pay for this misadventure” following a deadly attack by militants on an army camp in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir that has stoked tensions between the nuclear armed rivals.
Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters on Monday evening that the Indian army has ample evidence to prove that “the handlers of the terrorists were back in Pakistan.”
Saturday’s attack on the camp near Jammu, the winter capital of the state, was the worst in months with six soldiers and the father of a soldier killed. Among the 10 wounded were women and children. At least three militants were killed, according to Indian officials, bringing the death toll to 10.
“Pakistan is expanding the arc of terror... resorting to cease-fire violations to assist infiltration,” Sitharaman said. “Pakistan will pay for this misadventure.”
Indian officials have said the heavily armed attackers involved in Saturday’s attack were members of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.
Pakistani officials criticized India for rushing to a conclusion without a full inquiry.
After shooting their way into the base, the militants — who Indian officials said wore fatigues and carried assault rifles and grenades — had taken positions inside a residential complex meant for soldiers’ families, leading to more than a day of gunfights to clear the area.
India has long accused Pakistan of training and arming militants and helping them infiltrate across the heavily militarized Line of Control into Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state.
Since India-Pakistan split 71 years ago, the nations have fought each other in three wars, two over the Kashmir region, which they both claim in full but rule in part.
Pakistan rejected India’s latest allegations and has denied giving material aid to the fighters in Kashmir. Such accusations, according to a recent statement by Pakistan’s foreign ministry, stem from India’s attempts to divert attention from its own “state terrorism” in the area to include “the brutalization of peaceful, unarmed Kashmiris.”


Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

Updated 22 July 2018
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Afghanistan’s vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum to return home from exile

  • Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan
  • The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh

KABUL: Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, who was exiled by President Ashraf Ghani’s government over allegations of sexual abuse, returned home on Sunday to rapturous reception from supporters and is set to resume his duties as normal.
Dostum’s return follows nearly three weeks of mass protests in northern Afghanistan by his ethnic Uzbek supporters, who blocked several border crossings and government institutions, and threatened to boycott the long-delayed October elections.
The protests were a major headache for the government amid increased attacks by the Taliban and Daesh in the north recently.
Dostum’s supporters accuse Ghani of having sidelined him. The protests were triggered by the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari, a senior commander and Dostum loyalist accused of severe human rights abuses and threatening to kill provincial officials.
In a video, government troops were seen beating Qaisari’s handcuffed guards during his arrest, stoking further anger.
Haroon Chakansuri, a spokesman for Ghani, said Dostum had gone to Turkey for nearly 14 months for unspecified medical treatment, and would return home on a chartered aircraft on Sunday and be given an official reception.
Accusations that Dostum had ordered his guards to sexually abuse and torture political rival Ahmad Eschi will be handled independently by the courts, Chakansuri said. Dostum supporters say the allegations about Eschi are a conspiracy.
Ghani picked Dostum, the self-proclaimed leader of ethnic Uzbeks, as his running mate in the 2014 elections.
Ghani last year blocked Dostum’s return from exile when he tried to fly home to form an opposition alliance including senior government members.
The ethnic Uzbek vote is essential for any candidate in the presidential elections slated for next year. Ghani has said he will stand for office again.