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Pakistan declares Kashmir cease-fire

Despite the ceasfire announcement, fighting continued in Srinagar.
Despite the ceasfire announcement, fighting continued in Srinagar.

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan's prime minister declared a unilateral cease-fire with Indian forces Sunday in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir, to take effect at the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali's office said the cease-fire will begin with the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which ends Ramadan. The holiday will take place Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the call of clerics who sight a new moon.

Indian and Pakistani forces routinely trade fire across the U.N.-drawn Line of Control that separates Kashmir.

An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said his government will issue a response on Monday, according to Reuters.

More than a dozen guerrilla groups have been battling Indian rule in Kashmir almost since independence from Britain and the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

Indian officials estimate 38,000 people have been killed during the 11-year military insurgency and blame Pakistan for stoking the conflict, a charge Islamabad denies.

India says Pakistan trains, arms and funds the militants and orders them to attack Indian military and civilian targets.

Pakistan says it only extends moral support to groups campaigning for the Kashmiri people's right to self-determination.

The two countries -- both of whom tested nuclear weapons in 1998 -- have fought three wars since independence from Britain, two of them over Kashmir.

Last year the two sides stood on the brink of war following an attack on India's parliament building that New Delhi blamed on Islamic militant groups backed by Pakistan.

Tensions have eased somewhat recently, with the two countries moving to restore travel links and allow sports competitions. (Full story)


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