How concerned is Pakistan after the Pulwama attacks

Several dead in an attack by extremists in Kashmir

Three insurgents are believed to have attacked police headquarters in Pulwama district in southern Kashmir with assault rifles and grenades. According to the police, two of the attackers and eight members of the security forces were killed in the fighting. The third attacker may still be on the premises. The radical Islamic group Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the attack.

After the attack, the authorities restricted internet access in the Muslim-majority region in order to make it difficult to organize protests against the Indian security forces. In the past few months, villagers had repeatedly attacked Indian soldiers by throwing stones. Even after the attack on the police station on Saturday, there were isolated protests, the police used tear gas.

Smoldering conflict

In the crisis region in the Himalayas there have been strong tensions again for months. At least 136 insurgents have been killed by Indian security forces since the beginning of the year. Earlier this month, authorities announced the killing of a leading rebel commander from the Muslim group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of training and arming extremists. These then crossed the demarcation line of the disputed Kashmir region between the two states. Pakistan rejects the allegations.

The Kashmir region has been divided between the two nuclear powers India and Pakistan since a war in 1947, but is still fully claimed by both states to this day. Since 1989, several Muslim rebel groups have been fighting, partly for the independence of Kashmir, partly for the connection of the region to Pakistan.

pab / stu (afp, rtr)