Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In US, Manohar Parrikar brings up Kashmir, blames Pakistan for fomenting trouble

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is in the US, alleged that forces across the border are fomenting trouble in violence-hit Kashmir and said that "a small percentage" of people in the Valley are holding the majority to ransom. He said the government is working "proactively" in handling the violence in the state.
"As far as Kashmir is concerned, the Indian government has been very proactive in handling the violence which comes from across the border" Parrikar told Pentagon reporters at a joint news conference with US Defence Secretary, Ashton Carter. "A few small percentage is holding the majority to ransom," he added.
Asked about the current situation in Kashmir, he said curfew has already been lifted and an all-party delegation is also heading to the Valley.
"Kashmir is actually having a government which is a democratically elected. And the chief minister belongs to the Valley," he said. Additionally, India and the US on Monday signed a historical agreement on sharing logistics, though both Parrikar and US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter clarified that it will not involve in setting up of military bases.
The two countries signed the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA), which facilitates the provision of logistical support, supplies, and services between the US and Indian militaries on a reimbursable basis, and provides a framework to govern them. This may include food, water, billeting, transportation, petroleum, oils, lubricants, clothing, medical services, spare parts and components, repair and maintenance services, training services, and other logistical items and services.
"It (LEMOA) doesn't have anything to do with the setting up of base. It's basically logistics support to each other's fleet, like supply of fuel, supply of many other things which are required for joint operations, humanitarian assistance and many other relief operations. So, it basically will ensure that both navies can be supportive of each other in the joint venture operations we do, exercises we do," said Parrikar.
"We share so much, so many interests and values, as well as a common vision for peace, for stability and prosperity in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. As Parrikar's busy itinerary and our extensive deliberations today demonstrate, that destiny is rapidly and surely becoming a reality," Carter said.

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