January 2004 News

'Sea change' in Kashmir, says Advani 

27 January 2004
The Nation

JAMMU: Indian Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani said on Tuesday waning violence and infiltration of fighters from Pakistan had brought about a 'sea change' in the political atmosphere in Kashmir. Advani said historic talks he held with moderate Kashmiri leaders last week were an outcome of the growing desire for peace in Kashmir. 'There has been an ebb in violent incidents here and infiltration (of crossborder rebels) is down but perhaps weather in a reason for that,' Advani told reporters in Jammu. Advani, however, said the current bonhomie must not lead to complacency. 'We cannot afford to let down our vigil,' he said. Advani flew Tuesday to the frontier sector of Bimbar Gali, which faced incessant artillery fire from Pakistan until November 22 when India and its estranged neighbour declared a border ceasefire. Bimber Gali is around 200 kilometres north west from Jammu and a former site of militants infiltration. Advani's surprise trip coincided with announcements in New Delhi that India and Pakistan will resume dialogue stalled for months by war tensions between the nuclear-capable neighbours.


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