Fear in villages near LoC as Pakistan, India trade heavy fire

By AFP
Published: January 10, 2013

File photo of a Pakistani soldier on the Line of Control (LoC).

TITRINOT: Pakistani villagers in Kashmir living on the de facto border with India say they are trapped indoors, terrified by the heavy exchanges of fire between Pakistani and Indian troops.

In the village of Darmassal, on the edge of the Line of Control (LoC) and just metres away from Indian positions, boats which usually ferry people across the Poonch river have stayed moored since Wednesday because of heavy Indian firing, residents say.

“We are scared. We can’t come out because the area is under constant fire,” villager Shaukat Butt, 38, told AFP while hiding in a house.

“We used to cross the river by boat but yesterday Indian soldiers fired at our boat, so everybody is confined inside now and the boats have stopped,” he said.

Darmassal is part of the Battal region, where Pakistan accused Indian troops of opening fire and killing a Pakistani soldier on Thursday, the third cross-border incident since Sunday.

The Indian army post stands on the mountainside opposite the village and a Pakistani post lies beneath it, in front of the village and the river.

“I am very worried about my children. I want this firing to stop,” said Nazia Bibi, 35, who left her three children with her husband in the nearby main town of Titrinot and went to Hajira, another border town 12 kilometres (seven miles) away, to see her parents.

She says she is now too scared to return to Titrinot.

“I want to go back to my husband and children but can’t due to this firing. There is constant firing at the civilian population by the Indian side,” she said.

“We and our children are not safe in these conditions, we want peace,” she added.

A road between Titrinot and Hajira, which is the main route for trucks carrying supplies to and from India and Pakistan, has also been closed due to the firing.

“I started my restaurant at this hotel five years ago and did good business during the time of ceasefire. But from yesterday (Wednesday) onwards, I have had to save my own life and there is no business,” said Ishtiaq Ahmed, the owner of a roadside cafe.

“If this firing starts again, we all will become homeless,” he said.

A senior government official in the area, Mushtaq Ahmed, said that the firing had restricted the movement of around 40,000 people.

The United States has urged the nuclear-armed rivals to cool tensions along the heavily militarised LoC.

On Tuesday India said two of its soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops and one of them was beheaded, while Pakistan denied any responsibility.

On Sunday the Pakistani army accused India of killing one of its soldiers and wounding another in a cross-border attack.

India said its troops opened fire following a Pakistani mortar attack, but denied they crossed the border.

Reader Comments (31)

  • abid
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:08PM

    Pakistan should try to knock out the so called three tier fencing on LOC and counter attack . Any weakness or complacency will only morally boost the enemy who in every normal or abnormal circumstances blames or mallign Pakistan with an evil eye. Every security agencies knows in pakistan that the dozens of consulates In afghanistan is financing and facilitating attacks by remote controlled bomb blasts targetting unarmed civillians in the Pakistan.Despite that we are hearing Bullshit allegations only to mallign pakistan. When Pakistani soldier was martryred….even International press took it as a normal issue, but when two indian soldiers got killed issue was blown out of proportion.Our reputation has taken such a beating that even a minnow Bangladesh is rejecting Pakistan while the leaders are busy fighting themselves for power. Pak forces should seriously think of initiating dialogue with TTP and take it to logical conclusion. If you can talk with a Evil big neignbour then why cant you talk with TTP? Please remember India can never be our friend, learn from history.

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  • Kamal
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:17PM

    @Abid..I agree india and pakistan can never be friends..So what next..want to fight??lets do it??

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  • Babloo
    Jan 10, 2013 - 11:31PM

    I would advise the residents to talk to Pak Army, whose activities and behaviour, invites firing.

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  • waqar
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:00AM

    i agree with your comments,Pakistan tried to normalize relations with India but India just plays games.I feel bad about the families living there god help them..

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  • hina
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:14AM

    salute to our brave jawans!! long live Pakistan army!

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  • sara
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:15AM

    Just what the world needs another pak-india war. Great.

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  • Atif
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:04AM

    I think Indian media will successfully convert it into a bigger conflict.

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  • American
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:04AM

    @abid:
    Can the whole world, including Bangladesh, be wrong…and only Pakistan is right ?
    THINK !

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  • Zia
    Jan 11, 2013 - 3:00AM

    Dont kill eachother! Kill poverty!Recommend

  • gp65.
    Jan 11, 2013 - 5:58AM

    @abid: ” Every security agencies knows in pakistan that the dozens of consulates In afghanistan is financing and facilitating attacks by remote controlled bomb blasts targetting unarmed civillians in the Pakistan.”

    There are exactly 5 Indian consulates embassies in Afganistan – the exact same number as India and in the exact same cities. If you or your agencies know of a 6th agency please provide address. A consulate cannot exist without a physical address. http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/afghanistan

    Your agencies repeatedly lie to you and you repeatedly fall for their lies.

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  • ha ha ha ...gotcha....!!!!!
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:56AM

    @gp65.:
    oh…that was our trick..now you admit you have 5 consulates…ha ha ha.. because even your Foreign office says we only have one….

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  • karma
    Jan 11, 2013 - 8:53AM

    @abid:

    Please remember India can never be our friend, learn from history.

    It doesn’t mean we have to be enemies either. History is full of countries co-existing peacefully, though not friends. India-China aren’t exactly friends, but have settled for a peaceful co-existence and dialog instead of armies shooting at each other.

    The idiocy of all this baffles me! Kashmir is not something that can be taken away from India thru any action that Pakistan can do. So, Pakistan’s best chance is to leave Kashmir to Kashmiris. If they have any merit, true cause & strength in their movement they will win freedom – may be over a few decades. If they don’t they’ll learn to live within India. Pakistan really has no role to play here.

    So, why keep having unnecessary deaths by insisting on not formalizing LOC as border?

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  • Jan 11, 2013 - 10:28AM

    India has 10 guns for every Pakistani gun, can shell 10 times as much as Pakistan and our shells reach longer distances than Pakistan.

    India can financially withstand the conflict for a longer period; has got numerical superiority. Add to this that in the past wars, India managed to get a hold on all the dominant positions(like this article mentions that Indians are high up, looking down upon Pakistani posts).

    In view of all this if Pakistan wants the skirmish to continue, India loses little. At the end of it, the dominant power holds the key and can dictate terms.

    Now, add the TTP and other militants into the picture. Pakistan is fighting a soldier-intensive insurgency, if it moves its troops to match India’s, then militants will get stronger. Trust me, they are more brutal than anything India can do. Just yesterday 100 plus people have died. That news had bare minimum comments for such a staggering number!!! A Pakistani soldier gets killed by Indian shells and its big news.

    Goes to show the Pakistani insensitivity to life.

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  • Behari Kebab
    Jan 11, 2013 - 10:40AM

    @American: Your “whole world” = India, so don’t try to fool us as to your origins. Even Indian media is now accepting that India provoked Pakistan, so pay little more attention to your “whole world.” And Bangladesh … that country India created after invading East Pakistan… what can be a better demoinstration of India’s congenital and perpetual hostility and aggression against Pakistan? It is you who needs to put your THINKNG cap on!

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  • Behari Kebab
    Jan 11, 2013 - 10:49AM

    @karma: What you need to understand and accept is that Pakistan and India won independence on the basis of certain agreed parameters, and India violated those parameters by invading Kashmir. Pakistan will never reward this aggression by accepting the LOC as the border, because India is in occupation of territory and people who are Pakistanis. If you are so concerned about unnecessary deaths, then do your bit by getting your country out of Kashmir where your army has killed more than 60,000 kashmirs over the last fes years.

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  • Lala Gee
    Jan 11, 2013 - 10:52AM

    @gp65.:

    “There are exactly 5 Indian consulates embassies in Afganistan”

    One wonders why would India need 5 embassies and consulates in a relatively small and poor country as compared to much bigger, both in size and area, countries. Here is the number of embassies+consulates in other countries having a lot more bilateral trade with India.

    1- Russia – 3
    2- China – 3 (including 1 in Hong Kong)
    3- Pakistan – 1
    4- Bangladesh – 2
    5- Sri Lanka – 2

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  • Jan Baz
    Jan 11, 2013 - 10:55AM

    Bring it on I say!! India on the East, TTP on the Center West and Afghanistan beyond. Needless to say Pakistan is well ENTRENCHED. Nobody is to blame but Paksitanis themselves. An ideology of hatred can never win.

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  • santhosh
    Jan 11, 2013 - 11:46AM

    @abid

    You mentioned Bangaldesh as “Minnows”. On what basis they are Minnows. This is why Pakistan has not progressed. If by size and military is the basis for your statement, then You are minnows to us (Indians)

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  • now thats funny
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:43PM

    quite funny how indians think themselves as “progressed”. Anyone who has lived outside pakistan or india can actually see how indians are treated – best suited for janitorial jobs or burger flipping. Not that higher positions are not secured by indians but naturally very few in comparison.

    to the joker above who compared numerical superiority of india over pakistan:::: man one pakistani nuke will kill 10 times more indians than pakistanis killed by one indian nuke. Did you ever think of it?

    war is indeed needed but only in the following order
    1. wipe out democratic political mess
    2. get rid of the traitors and desi liberal extremists
    3. last phase would to fight a direct war with india if they provoke us.

    no other long term solution exists.

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  • saj
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:18PM

    @ behari kebab, india won independence, pakistan was carved out from her, prior to 1947 all were indians under the britsh indian empire

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  • skumar
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:20PM

    @Kamal: You can’t last 24 hours against India even with the nukes. Your army don’t want peaceful relationship with India.

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  • Imran
    Jan 11, 2013 - 3:38PM

    @skumar: Come on kumar don’t b Soo judgemental …. We know our enemy and we have defended our territory in the past successfully … Thank to Almighty God …but this time we will not be defending but we will be on offensive thn you will find urself sleeping in India but waking up in PAKISTAN Inshallah

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  • nomi
    Jan 11, 2013 - 3:46PM

    Well to say that Pakistan will not last more than a particular time frame is just 50s thinking.

    India has Maoists to deal as well as militants in Kashmir. This will be a major concern.

    Now Pakistan;s taliban problem. Most of them are actually fighting Pakistan because Pakistan is US’s ally. So a few treaties and thats it.

    India will lose more as it has a growing economy. So the prediction is that another ceasefire will take place.

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  • Behari Kebab
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:00PM

    @saj: Pakistan became a state on August 14, and India on August 15, and prior to that there existed an illigitimate European colonial creation (unless you believe beling a colony was OK, in which case why did you seek independence?), so there is no way Pakistan could have been carved out of India. Get your historical facts right, and come out of the brain washing you have been subjected to since birth.

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  • Behari Kebab
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:07PM

    @skumar: If its that easy for India, why hasn’t it been able to do so inspite of trying in three open wars, and non-stop subversion of Pakistan? Talk is cheap, but certainly demonstrates the congenital hostitlity Indians harbor against Pakistan. Therefore Pakstan shouldn’t waste its time trying to normalize relations with them.

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  • Faisal
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:37PM

    Indians, stop letting Bollywood brain wash you! You people aren’t that ‘progressed’! The Rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer in your country! Your entire country over 90 percent is below the poverty line with ever increasing harder year to feed you’re overpopulated country!

    May Allah have mercy upon us all. The entire humanity race is blink to collapse. Just one nuclear war would literally be the end of modern human race. The only countries in the world capable of engaging in Nuclear war is Pak/India. Let their be PEACE!Recommend

  • Jan 11, 2013 - 6:48PM

    @abid “Pakistan should try to knock out the so called three tier fencing on LOC and counter attack…..”

    really then what r u waiting for just do it…if your army has so much courage just dare to touch it,mind it India’s powerful national security body CCS is watching it,any greeen signal from CCS will crush pakistan.huh always keep on takiing in air why dont u leave in air

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  • saj
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:06PM

    @ Imran
    Sad to hear you have such a low opinion of us from the subcontinent, while you might deny it, we are cut from the same cloth, this is a fight we have inherited from our elders who couldnt do any better, maybe we all can change this. Instead of spending time thinking of racist expletives which incidentally is applicable to you as well, perhaps more time mulling over an imaginative solutions to this plague of racism and divide across this landmass, which was never a fav of ‘achaemenids’ nor alexander who arent even around today. We are

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  • Jai
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:08PM

    @now thats funny:
    Since you are thinking nukes rest assured if you get one off the ground no biological life, not even bacteria will live to see it land in India.

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  • saj
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:37PM

    @ Behari kebab
    I did not question Pakistan becoming a country a day before us, I do not know where your getting your history from. This is from wiki ‘The Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 & 11 Geo 6 c. 30) was as an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that partitioned British India into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan’. So subjects under british india were indians. I also dont understand your use of the word illegitimate. If they were illegitimate all empires that came before it and that come from now to the future are illegal by the same yardstick. Your not recognizing or not doesn’t change facts. Also its very erroneous to assume that just because one disagrees with you he or she is ‘brainwashed’.
    This generational hatred has got to end, we have to move on from this blood-soaked history, we cant forever be in this banana republics fights

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  • antanu g
    Jan 15, 2013 - 8:25AM

    @now thats funny:
    Lol..just FYI, Indian Americans are the most educated, richest in US, says Pew report…

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