ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday formally denied an Indian claim that its troops killed two Indian soldiers in a cross-border attack that has raised tensions between the two nuclear tipped south asian countries, a military official said.
It was the first official reaction from Pakistan after India summoned Islamabad’s envoy to New Delhi to protest at the killing of the two soldiers, one of whom was reportedly beheaded.
The Indian army says the soldiers died after a firefight erupted in disputed Kashmir around noon Tuesday as a patrol moving in fog discovered Pakistani troops about 500 metres inside Indian territory.
But the Pakistani senior official said Pakistan’s director general of military operations had spoken to his Indian counterpart by telephone to deny that his troops were responsible.
“Pakistan rejected Indian army allegations of cross LoC (Line of Control) firing by Pakistani troops and killing any Indian soldier,” the official said in a statement.
“Indian authorities were informed that Pakistan has carried out ground verification and checked and found nothing of this sort happened as being alleged by India,” the official added.
He accused India of “propaganda” to divert attention from a raid on Sunday, when Islamabad said one Pakistani soldier was killed by Indian troops who raided a Pakistani post.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar too summarily rejected India’s claim.
The Foreign Minister while talking to Indian news channel said that the Pakistan government is appalled at the suggestion that Pakistan troops were involved in the incident and stressed that her country respects the ceasefire that is in force since 2003.
“The government has already given its response. We are appalled at some of the statements coming from India,” she told the news channel, adding that the matter has left her a bit saddened.
“We want to respect the ceasefire of 2003; this is absolutely unacceptable for such allegations to be made. We have investigated the matter and we are sure that such an incident did not take place,” she added.
The Foreign Minister said, “We need to grow up and think. It is not Pakistan’s policy to do so (kill Indian soldiers on LoC) and that did not happen.”
She further said that Pakistan is open to any third party investigation into the matter.
She said, “We are so sure of this that we can go and ask a third party to do an investigation. UN observers can come in and probe the entire matter.”