Former Kashmiri Rebels Urge Six-Month Ceasefire
Former Kashmiri separatist militants, who have formed a new political party, urged rebels and Indian troops on Saturday to launch a ceasefire for the next six months.
"Starting from holy month of Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting) both parties fighting each other should announce a ceasefire to bring peace," said Shiban Tickoo, spokesman of the newly launched Jammu and Kashmir Awami (People's) Conference.
The Awami Conference is a splinter group of the Awami League party, headed by Kuka Parrey, a surrendered militant leader who joined forces with the Indian government.
"Let us give ceasefire a try ... all international issues have been solved across the table and we urge India and Pakistan to start talks," Tickoo said.
India and Pakistan, which administer parts of the disputed Himalayan territory, have fought two wars and a border conflict over Kashmir.
A Muslim insurgency in the Indian zone of the divided region has claimed more than 34,000 lives since 1989. New Delhi accuses Islamabad of fomenting the insurgency, a charge Pakistan denies.
Tickoo said if Pakistan clearly said it had no links with separatist militants "we will pressurize India to jump into talks." -- SRINAGAR, India (AFP)
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