The South Asia Channel

Curfew in Kashmir After Four Killed in Clashes with Troops; Afghan Border Police Killed in Insider Attack; Pakistani Port “Almost Ready” As Pakistan Accuses India of Undermining CPEC

Event Notice: “The State of the Afghan Economy: The View from the Finance Ministry” with Ameen Habibi and Khalid Payenda on Friday, April 15, 2016, from 12:15 PM – 01:45 PM at New America. India Curfew in Kashmir after four killed in clashes with troops Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir imposed a curfew in Handwara, Srinagar, and ...

Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers patrol during a curfew in Srinagar on February 11, 2015. Separatist groups opposed to Indian rule in the Himalayan region called for a two-day strike on February 9 and 11 to press their demand for the return of the remains of Kashmiri Muslim separatists Mohammed Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, a founder of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), from a prison in Delhi. The February 11, 1984 anniversary of the hanging of Bhat is usually marked by attempts to organise rallies and a general strike. AFP PHOTO / ROUF BHAT        (Photo credit should read ROUF BHAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers patrol during a curfew in Srinagar on February 11, 2015. Separatist groups opposed to Indian rule in the Himalayan region called for a two-day strike on February 9 and 11 to press their demand for the return of the remains of Kashmiri Muslim separatists Mohammed Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhat, a founder of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), from a prison in Delhi. The February 11, 1984 anniversary of the hanging of Bhat is usually marked by attempts to organise rallies and a general strike. AFP PHOTO / ROUF BHAT (Photo credit should read ROUF BHAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Event Notice: “The State of the Afghan Economy: The View from the Finance Ministry” with Ameen Habibi and Khalid Payenda on Friday, April 15, 2016, from 12:15 PM – 01:45 PM at New America.

India

Curfew in Kashmir after four killed in clashes with troops

Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir imposed a curfew in Handwara, Srinagar, and a few other parts of the northwestern state after four protesters were killed in firing by security forces on Wednesday (BBC, NYT/AP). A dozen protesters are also reported to be injured from the firing, including a 70 year old woman. Protesters were gathered in the town square in Handwara following allegations that a soldier had attempted to molest a schoolgirl. Schools, shops, and other business centers have been shut down across the state and a day-long strike call was issued by separatist groups. Jammu and Kashmir is India’s only Muslim-majority state and has been the scene of a violent insurgency against Indian rule since 1989.

Inflation hits a six month low in India

Data released by the Ministry of Statistics in India on Tuesday shows that retail inflation in the country hit a six-month low in March (Reuters). The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently lowered its interest rates by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percent, leading to concerns among policy makers over inflationary trends. However, Tuesday’s report showed that annual consumer price inflation dropped to 4.83 percent in March from 5.26 percent in February. Analysts believe that if the index remains below five percent, the RBI may consider slashing interest rates further.

Wife of murdered NIA officer dies

Farzana Khatoon, the wife of the murdered National Investigation Agency officer, Tanzil Ahmed, succumbed to her injuries on Wednesday morning (TOI, HT). Ahmed and his wife were shot and killed on April 3, as they returned from a wedding ceremony in Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. Two suspects were arrested in connection with the murder. Ahmad was a part of the team investigating the attack on Pathankot airbase in January this year which resulted in the deaths of seven Indian military personnel. Indian authorities have accused Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed of orchestrating the attack.

Dress worn by Duchess of Cambridge huge hit, crashes website

The website of an Indian fashion designer Anita Dongre crashed due to excessive orders on Tuesday after the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Catherine Middleton, wore a dress designed by Ms. Dongre on an outing in Mumbai (WSJ). Described as a “ breezy bohemian,” the dress has been hugely popular and highlighted in local media. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started their seven-day tour of India and Bhutan on Sunday.

Afghanistan

Afghan border police killed in insider attack

A border policeman in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province opened fire on his colleagues on Tuesday, killing at least five of them (Reuters). The perpetrator crossed the border and went to Pakistan, according to Sameem Khapalwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Khapalwak said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

Afghanistan, India, Iran finalize draft for Chabahar agreement

On Monday, officials from Afghanistan, India, and Iran met to finalize the draft of the Chabahar agreement, according to a press release from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (TOLO News). The agreement, also known as the International Transport and Transit Corridor Agreement, is an alternative for Afghan businessmen to import and export goods through an alternative trade route to Karachi, Pakistan and other ports. The meeting was held in New Delhi and the Afghan delegation was led by Wahidullah Waisi, the head of economic cooperation department of the Afghan Foreign Ministry.

Pakistan

Pakistani port “almost ready” as Pakistan accuses India of undermining CPEC

The recently expanded Gwadar deep water port in Pakistan that is part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is almost finished, the operator said on Tuesday (Reuters). “The port cranes are almost ready, and we are thinking that the port will be (at) full operation by the end of this year,” said Zhang Baozhong, chairman and CEO of China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd. The port will process about one million tons of cargo next year, most of which will be incoming construction materials to be used in projects related to CPEC.

Pakistan’s army chief accused regional rival India on Tuesday of attempting to undermine the $46 billion project with China (Reuters). Speaking at a development conference on the impact of CPEC, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif stated, “I must highlight that India, our immediate neighbor, has openly challenged this development initiative…I would like to make a special reference to Indian intelligence agency RAW that is blatantly involved in destabilizing Pakistan. Let me make it clear that we will not allow anyone to create impediments and turbulence in any part of Pakistan.” Indian authorities have not commented on the matter.

Pakistan bus accident kills 19 passengers

A head on collision between a passenger bus and a truck on Wednesday killed at least 19 passengers near the city of Faisalabad in Punjab province, according to Mohammad Naseem, a Pakistan rescue official (NYT). Naseem said the bus was apparently speeding at the time but officers were still investigating to determine the cause of the crash. All dead and injured have been transported to a hospital.

–Alyssa Sims and Shuja Malik

Edited by Peter Bergen

ROUF BHAT/AFP/Getty Images

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