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Islamabad could redeploy troops to Kashmir frontier, says Pakistan's US envoy

Pakistan may redeploy troops from its western border with Afghanistan [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 August, 2019

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Pakistan could redeploy troops from its western border to the Kashmir frontier in a move that could further complicate US-Taliban peace talks.

Pakistan may redeploy troops stationed along the border with Afghanistan to its Kashmir frontier, Pakistan's envoy to the United States said on Monday.

The move could further complicate peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States, who have been in discussions about the withdrawal of some 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan.

Speaking to The New York Times on Monday, Asad Majeed Khan said India's intensified crackdown in Kashmir "could not have come at a worse time for us," as Islamabad is occupied with strengthening its military presence along its restive western border.

"We have our hands full" on the western border with Afghanistan, Khan said, adding that "If the situation escalates on the eastern border, we will have to undertake redeployments."

The latest round of negotiations between the Afghan Taliban and US negotiators concluded on Monday in Qatar, however the region's news has been dominated by escalating tensions in Indian-administered Kashmir.

New Delhi stripped the Himalayan region of its seven-decade-long semi-autonomous status earlier this month through a contentious presidential decree, just hours after it imposed a crippling curfew on the valley.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947. The two countries have fought two wars over the region.

For decades, India has refused to abide by a 1948 UN resolution saying that Kashmiris should be allowed to determine the region’s fate through a plebiscite.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed ever since an insurgency against New Delhi's rule began in Indian-administered Kashmir in 1989.

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