As Pakistan captures 2 Indian spies, New Delhi says ready to take Kashmir by force

Jammu: Paramilitary personnel stand guard during restrictions, in Jammu, Wednesday, Aug 07, 2019. Restrictions have been imposed in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir after the state lost its special status and was bifurcated on Tuesday as Parliament approved a resolution scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and passed a bill to split the state into two Union Territories. (PTI Photo)(PTI8_7_2019_000073B)
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ISLAMBAD – The Pakistani government claimed to have captured two Indian spies who were involved in terrorist activities in Balochistan province on Monday.

The names of the two alleged Indian spies were Swami Asemanand and Goband Part and infiltrated Balochistan from Iran.

The two alleged spies were involved in criminal activities in Baluchistan’s Mastung district before fleeing to Afghanistan, according to the Pakistani government.

Pakistan has shared information from alleged Indian spies with the governments of Iran and Afghanistan.

The news of the arrests comes more than three years after Kulbhushan Jadhav was arrested, claimed by India as a former naval officer, but according to Pakistan as a spy.

Pakistan has since maintained that Jadhav has been involved in various terrorist activities in Balochistan and the port city of Karachi.

He was held in prison after a military court sentenced him to death in 2017, but the Hague-based International Court of Justice has since ordered Pakistan to suspend execution while it is reviewing the case.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, India and Pakistan exchanged gunfire at the border in the Kashmir region, leaving a Pakistani female soldier dead and 6 wounded.

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The two Asian countries regularly register conflicts along the so-called Control Line, which divides Kashmir province, a region claimed by both.

Risking to further inflame tensions over Kashmir, a chief minister in the Indian state of Gujarat warned Pakistan about losing its share of the disputed state to it as the region is ready to ‘reunite’ with India.

Islamabad “must be ready to lose Pakistan-occupied Kashmir,” Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said, according to local media, using the Indian expression for the disputed territory. The belligerent observation came weeks after India withdrew the Jammu and Kashmir region from its autonomous status, which, according to the minister, is an opening for Indian territorial claims.

“Now Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is also ours … To realize the dream of United India, we are ready to move to PoK,” he said.

Both countries were part of British India until the 1947 partition, which provoked bitter sectarian divisions between Hindus and Muslims and led to the Kashmir dispute. India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, but control only parts of it.

The two countries fought a series of conventional wars, along with several border skirmishes, most recently in February. At that time, Indian jets bombarded what New Delhi said were camps of the Islamic insurgent group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which had carried out numerous terrorist attacks on Indian soil. Islamabad responded forcefully, and hostilities finally evolved into intense bombardment on both sides and open air combat.

Relations reached another low last month when India revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s self-governing status.

India claims the measure is needed to curb terrorism and boost Kashmir’s economy, but Pakistan insists it is illegal and risks violence in the region. Eventually, both sides engaged in a protracted war of words, threatening with coercive measures.

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