SRINAGAR - More than a fortnight after five Indian soldiers were killed on the LoC, Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the act, which had triggered tension between Pakistan and India, reported Hindustan Times on Saturday.

Speaking to a Kashmiri media agency from across the LoC, Hizb chief Syed Salahuddin claimed that Hizbul Mujahideen and not the Pakistani army was involved in killing of the soldiers.

“Let me make it clear that the Hizubul Mujahideen’s ‘sarhadi (border)’ squad killed the Indian soldiers under a specific strategy,” news agency KNS quoted Salahuddin as saying. The agency claimed that Salahuddin had a telephonic conversation with their reporter based in Srinagar.

The Hizb chief also said they have shifted the attacks from populated areas in Held Kashmir to the borders. “After the launch of a peaceful protest movement by the Kashmiris in 2008, fighters have shifted their activities to the border areas and have intensified their attacks along the LoC. Neither Pakistan nor India can stop our activities along the LoC,” he said.

Commenting on the ceasefire violations on the LoC, he said that violations will persist until the ‘Kashmir issue’ is resolved.

“Despite signing ceasefire agreement in 2003, India and Pakistan continue to violate it. These violations took place several times over the past few years. In 2011, ceasefire was violated 62 times, in 2012 it was violated 117 times and this year till date 82 times. Until and unless Kashmir issue is not sorted out, ceasefire violations and infiltrations will continue to happen,” he said.

He alleged that New Delhi was never sincere about a dialogue on Kashmir. “History of last six decades is witness to it. India is neither sincere not serious. It has been gaining time and strengthening its military infrastructure in the territory under the cover of talks. Whenever Kashmir is on the boil, they start beating the drums of talks but as soon as situation gets apparently normal they again start behaving in the same way.”

“If Indian and Pakistan do not take Kashmir issue seriously, the present generation of Kashmir who has already taken the freedom struggle in their own hands will obviously feel that Jihad is the only way. After the recent gunfight in Tral, police declared that the attackers involved were well-educated youths. This should be known that these youth had not come from this side but were trained in Held Kashmir.”

Indian LoC firing kills soldier

Online adds from Muzaffarabad: Blatant ceasefire violations by Indian forces continued at Line of Control, killing a soldier and wounding a woman at separate places on Saturday.

According to details, a soldier was killed by intense Indian gunfire backed by heavy shelling in the Kahuta Kallar area, while a woman was injured in Poonch sector. Pakistani forces retaliated instantly and silenced the Indian guns.