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Kashmir: Pakistani authorities block protesters on Indian-Pakistani border

On Monday, Pakistani authorities blocked separatist activists marching to the de facto Indian-Pakistani border within Kashmir.

Activists of the Liberation Front Jammu and Kashmir (FOK) began the march on Friday, but now they are facing police barricades that prevent them from reaching the so-called control line (LoC).

In addition, according to the Associated Press, a sniper fire from the Indian side killed a woman near her house in the border village of Abbaspur on Sunday evening.

Both sides had already exchanged cross-shots in the past, but this happened on the same day that U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Maggie Hassan, along with Ambassador Paul Jones, US Attorneys in Islamabad’s Charge d'Affaires, visited Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

Protesters reached LoC, which shares India-controlled Kashmir and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir on Sunday, but Pakistani authorities block roads 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the border.

The religious group Jamaat-i-Islami also marched in support of the Kashmiris.

Supporters of Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami protest against closure of production in India-controlled Kashmir

- The line dividing Kashmiris.

"This is a very militarized area, and there are mines everywhere," said Mushtak Minghas, Pakistani Kashmir’s information minister on Monday, explaining the need to erect barriers.

“We do not want to endanger them,” he added. Officials want to meet with protest leaders to convince them to cancel the March, Minhas said.

"We want to cross the line dividing Kashmir, but our march has been stopped," protest leader Abdul Hammed Butt said Monday.

JKLF demand Kashmir’s freedom from both India and Pakistan. They do not recognize Lock as a legal boundary.

Tensions in Kashmir have intensified since August 5, when India abruptly changed the semi-autonomous nature of India-controlled Kashmir by introducing media blocking and curfews. This move has been met with widespread international criticism.

The protests in Kashmir were supported by the religious group Jamaat-e-Islami.

Stalemate situation

On Monday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi reiterated his request to the international community to increase pressure on India to lift the curfew in Kashmir.

He also criticized the Indian government for not allowing Senator Hollen to visit Kashmir, despite statements by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that everything is going on as usual in the country.

“Why did you forbid the American senator from visiting Kashmir, occupied by the Indians, if everything is normal there and you have nothing to hide?” He asked.

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