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Monday, October 5, 1998 Published at 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK


Sci/Tech

India opens virtual front in Kashmir

Kashmir a paradise, according to armyinkashmir.com

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
The home page is pictures of serene mountains, placid lakes with houseboats and the words: "Kashmir a paradise".

But one click away, the Indian Army in Kashmir's Website spits out a daily military report like a burst of machine gun fire:

" SIACHEN GLACIER UNPROVOKED HEAVY FIRING BY PAKISTANI TROOPS. PAKISTANI TROOPS FIRED 282 ROUNDS OF ARTILLERY / MORTAR AND 1715 ROUNDS OF SMALL ARMS. INDIAN TROOPS RETALIATED. "

The site was set up last month as counter-propaganda to the dozens of sites supporting Muslim Kashmiris seeking independence, such as that of the fighters of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

Site map disputed

The Daily Update page covers action by or against militants in Indian-controlled Kashmir, as well as incidents along the UN-monitored Line of Control separating the Indian forces and Pakistani troops, with both countries claiming Kashmir.

The site also has sections detailing weapons seized, numbers of "foreign mercenaries" fighting with the militants and allegations that Pakistan is fighting a proxy war and funding it with a drugs trade.

To its credit, among the propaganda, there is a guest book where visitors can leave comments.

"This website is very biased and very unfair to the Pakistani point of view. this is just a whole charade by the Indians and 80% of it is absolutely untrue!" says a Pakistani visitor.

Indians are mostly supportive:

"A whole hearted 'salute for my brothers' fighting for our country with a religious maverick enemy," is one typical comment.



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