Israeli Anti-Terrorist Experts in India's Troubled Kashmir
A team of counter-terrorism experts from Israel are touring Kashmir on the invitation of Indian Home Minister Lal Krishna Advani, The Times of India reported Saturday.
The team is headed by a top official from the Israeli prime minister's office, it said, adding that other members of the group include senior Israeli police commanders and military intelligence personnel.
There was no immediate confirmation of the report but The Times said the team will prepare a feasibility study of India's security needs in Kashmir, where Muslim insurgents have waged an armed homeland campaign since 1989.
The newspaper said the Israelis will also visit other areas in India which are plagued by insurgencies.
Home Minister Advani during a trip to Israel in June had sought help from Tel Aviv to fight cross-border militancy in Kashmir, where around 34,000 people have died in violence linked to Muslim secessionism.
Israel reportedly agreed to transfer information, military hardware and counter-terrorism methods, but said it will not participate in training Indian personnel or dispatch Israeli experts to India.
The Israeli daily Haaretz in a similar report on Friday also said the visit was in line with Advani's June visit.
"India is particularly interested in improving security along its border with Pakistan, especially in Kashmir, and in particular with blocking guerrilla infiltrations," it said, adding experts wound up their trip on Friday.
The two sides are also discussing the possible purchase by India of Israel's Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) amid growing defense links between the two.
India is also discussing the possible purchase of radar equipment.
India established diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in 1992 after a 40-year hiatus and is keen on intensified military cooperation with Israel especially in the field of counter-insurgency.
The Arab world, however, accuses the pair of seeking to develop nuclear ties.
India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the Muslim militants in Kashmir. Islamabad denies the charge but extends moral and diplomatic support to what it describes as the Kashmiris' just struggle for self-determination.
The two South Asian rivals have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since their independence in 1947 -- NEW DELHI (AFP)
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