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Indian Prime Minister Warns Pakistan On Independence Day

  • RFE/RL

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh places a floral tribute at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat during celebrations of the country's 67th Independence Day in New Delhi on August 15.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh places a floral tribute at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat during celebrations of the country's 67th Independence Day in New Delhi on August 15.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has marked the 66th anniversary of India's independence by issuing a warning to neighboring rival Pakistan.

In a speech on August 15 at the Red Fort historical monument in New Delhi, Singh said good-neighborly relations depend on Pakistan refraining from actions against India.

"We have also strived for friendship with our neighboring countries. However, [for relations with Pakistan to improve], it is essential that they prevent the use of their territory and territory under their control for any anti-India activity," Singh said.

Singh's comments follow Indian accusations that Pakistani forces were responsible for attacks that killed five Indian soldiers in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir last week.

Pakistan has denied involvement of its troops in the ambush -- the deadliest incident involving Indian soldiers along the Line of Control since the two countries agreed to a cease-fire in 2003.

The two sides are separated by UN-monitored boundary known as the Line of Control. The Muslim-majority region is divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both.

The renewed tensions over the Kashmir dispute have cooled hopes of a resumption of peace talks between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Tensions Rise

Independence Day marks the end of British colonial rule in the Indian subcontinent in 1947 and the creation of Pakistan and India.

The two nuclear-armed neighbors have fought three wars since independence -- two of them over Kashmir.

Several militant groups in Kashmir have been fighting Indian forces since 1989, either for independence or union with Pakistan. The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians.

Pakistan celebrated Independence Day on August 14. In an address on the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pledged to respond to the rising tensions in Kashmir with "restraint and responsibility."

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, dpa, and AP
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