Pakistan is engaged in a war with India by employing "new methods" in Kashmir by stoking unrest in the Valley, a top Indian minister has warned. India's Finance Minister Arun Jaitley visited the state of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday (21 August) and slammed the nuclear-armed neighbour for its role in latest violence in Kashmir.
The Indian finance minister, who is the key troubleshooter in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration, was speaking at a rally in the outskirts of Jammu city amid the continuing fighting in Kashmir. He warned: "A new serious situation has arisen. Pakistan and various other forces are involved in it, and the country's unity has been challenged once again."
Kashmir has been rocked by severe violence for more than a month over the killing of Burhan Wani, a commander of militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen. The protesters, however, term Wani as a separatist leader. Up to 66 people have been killed during this phase of unrest and more than 1,000 others have been left injured in the skirmishes. On Sunday, 21 August, curfew in the Valley reached its 44th day Normal life remained paralysed in Kashmir.
Listing out the priorities of the current government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jaitley said in his address: "There will be no compromise on the security and integrity of the country and no compromise with the people who indulge in violence. Secondly, as Jammu and Kashmir has faced violence and wars, it needs development which was denied for past 60 years by the National Conference and the Congress governments. Thirdly, Jammu, being the support base of the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party], needs added attention."
BJP's lawmakers have been asked by Modi to carry out rallies across the country under the banner of Tiranga Yatra (Tricolour March) to mark India's 70th Independence Day.
Ever since the clashes and protests broke out in Kashmir, India has repeatedly blamed Pakistan as a primary reason evoking strong reaction from Islamabad. New Delhi has also declined the talks invite offered by Pakistan on Kashmir unrest saying only cross-border terrorism can be discussed. The neighbours have fought two major wars due to Kashmir territorial dispute since both countries gained independence from Britain in 1947.