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U.S. Senator John McCain visits Indian-controlled Kashmir


08:40, August 17, 2011

Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senator John McCain visited Indian-controlled Kashmir on Tuesday, officials said.

McCain, who arrived this morning in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, called on the region's Governor NN Vohra at his residence.

"The duo exchanged views on various important issues of mutual interest," said a government spokesman after a two-hour meeting.

Later on, McCain met the region's Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in the evening.

"During the meeting matters relating to the socio-economic development and protection of environment were discussed," government spokesman said.

McCain is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and was the Republican candidate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential elections.

He is the first senior U.S. official to visit the region in the last 22 years.

Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region, is divided between India and Pakistan by a de facto border called line-of-control (LoC). Both India and Pakistan claimed the region in full. Since their Independence from British rule, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

U.S. embassy officials keep on visiting the region and meeting local government officials and separatists. Separatists in the region have been demanding end to New Delhi's rule in the region.

Muslim majority areas of the region witnessed massive demonstrations for months in the summer of 2010. More than 100 civilians were killed and scores were wounded in crackdown on protesters.

A guerrilla war has been ongoing between militants and the Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989.


Leave your comment1 comments

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Faiz at 2011-08-1786.186.104.*
Kashmir was never a part of the British Raj and was a independent country with its own ruler.Indian forces invaded the small kingdom on the oct 1947 ,the people of Kashmir managed to hold on to about a third of their contry now could Azad Kashmir.Most people of Kashmir would like to return to being a independent country again and live in peace with its larger neighbors.

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