India’s prime minister is determined not to cancel talks planned with his Pakistani counterpart this weekend, in the face of calls by the nationalist opposition following the latest bloodshed in the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned what he called a “heinous terrorist attack” after several militants dressed in Indian army uniforms killed eight people in attacks on an Indian police station and army base near the Pakistan border.
“Such attacks will not deter us and will not succeed in derailing our efforts to find a resolution to all problems through a process of dialogue,” Singh said in a statement.
His meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was expected to take place on Sunday, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at headquarters in New York.
The militants killed six people in the police station in Kashmir, then hijacked a truck, drove to the army camp and killed at least two soldiers.
India has faced an insurgency in its part of Muslim-majority Kashmir since 1989 and has long accused Pakistan of supporting the militants fighting Indian rule.
A Reuters witness said gunfire could still be heard late in the morning, and that three helicopters were hovering over the army camp where police said the militants were holed up inside a building.
Pakistan denies arming or training militants, but says it offers moral support to the Muslim people of Kashmir who it says face rights abuses by Indian forces.
According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, which tracks violence in Kashmir, 128 people, including 44 security personnel, have been killed in the region this year, before the latest attack.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told reporters he believed the group had entered from Pakistan within the last 24 hours.