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Indian PM calls for Kashmir militants to return to mainstream

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reaffirmed his pledge to build a “new” Kashmir while appealing to militants to renounce violence and return to the political mainstream. He will visit a refugee camp for Hindus who fled fighting between Islamic militants and Indian security forces before heading back to New Delhi Thursday evening.”Those who want to meet their political ends through terrorism, I want to tell them they will not succeed through this route,” he added. “Time has come for the misled youth to come back to the mainstream of politics by eschewing violence… Our doors are open for everyone. We invite you without any preconditions.” Singh was on the second and final day of his first visit to volatile Kashmir since becoming prime minister in May. On Wednesday, he visited the more violent northern region of Srinagar and unveiled a 5.3 billion dollar economic package to help rebuild the insurgency-torn state. He continued the message of economic development in Jammu and announced the lifting of a freeze on recruitment in government jobs that led to loud cheers from the crowd. The ban had been imposed two years ago due to severe financial constraints the state was facing. Earlier Singh chaired a meeting of the Unified Command — a security body comprising army and civil officials — and reviewed the security situation. He was briefed that the level of infiltration of militants from Pakistan had gone down sharply, an officer who was present at the meeting said. India accuses Pakistan of sending armed militants into Indian Kashmir, charges Islamabad denies. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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