India accuses Pakistan army of killing soldiers in ambush

Published: August 8, 2013

A Pakistani soldier stands guard at the Line of Control. PHOTO: FILE

NEW DELHI: India for the first time directly accused the Pakistan army of involvement in an ambush that killed five Indian soldiers, and hinted on Thursday at retaliation for possibly the worst such attack since the neighbours signed a ceasefire in 2003.

“This incident will have consequences on our behaviour on the Line of Control and for our relations with Pakistan,” Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament on Thursday, referring to the de facto border dividing the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir.

“It is now clear that specialist troops of Pakistan army were involved in this attack,” he said, offering the Indian government’s strongest statement to date on the attack.

Six soldiers on patrol near their base about 450 metres from the Line of Control were ambushed in the early hours of Tuesday.

Five were shot dead and one was wounded, army officials said. While tit-for-tat shelling and machinegun fire is common along the disputed border, such fatal attacks are relatively
rare.

Pakistan has strongly denied any involvement in the attack and has said it is committed to the ceasefire agreement.

Pakistani military spokesmen were not immediately available for comment on the latest Indian statement.

Antony’s accusation was significant as in his first comments on the incident, on Tuesday; he had been careful not to directly implicate the Pakistani army and had referred instead to militants accompanied by “persons dressed in Pakistan army uniforms”.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government has been quietly working with Islamabad to relaunch stalled peace talks, possibly as early as this month.

Islamabad has also been pushing for a meeting between Singh and his new Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in New York in September, a proposal New Delhi has said it is considering.

Opposition criticism

India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is hoping to topple the ruling Congress party in elections due by next May, accused the government of trying to play down the
attack and said it was being too soft on Pakistan.

The BJP caused a ruckus in parliament, blocking efforts by the ruling party to discuss or vote on long-pending economic reforms or the government’s signature initiative to hugely expand a vote-winning scheme to give cheap food to the poor.

Facing rising political heat and a paralysed parliament, the government indicated it could revise its statement after the chief of the army visited the area of the attack.

Television news channels broadcasted images of the soldiers’ flag-draped coffins arriving at a military base in New Delhi.

“We all know that nothing happens from (the) Pakistan side of the Pakistan Line of Control without support, assistance, facilitation and often, direct involvement of the Pakistan army,” Antony said in his statement to parliament on Thursday.

“Our restraint should not be taken for granted, nor should the capacity of armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control ever be doubted,” he said.

The nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars since becoming independent from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir. But defence analysts have said they do not expect the latest incident to trigger a major retaliation from India.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Jat
    Aug 8, 2013 - 12:18PM

    Pakistanis, still in denial ? This is our Defense Minister speaking, that too in Parliament.

    Our response will come, at a time and place of our choosing and will deliver our message very forcefully.

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  • Well done India
    Aug 8, 2013 - 12:22PM

    well done india

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  • khan
    Aug 8, 2013 - 12:37PM

    Indian parliament is obliging the media and public opinion

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  • Aschraful Makhlooq
    Aug 8, 2013 - 12:39PM

    We Pakistanis don’t even never care of India’s baseless allegations and accusations against Pakistan.Keep up India and Indians playing old blame games because this is your old bad habit and always old habit goes hard…..

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  • Indian Wisdom
    Aug 8, 2013 - 12:42PM

    “Our restraint should not be taken for granted, nor should the capacity of our armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control ever be doubted,”

    We mean it. and, I am talking about all Indians from every part of our country…..enough is enough!!

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  • Usman Chatta
    Aug 8, 2013 - 1:16PM

    An absolutely baseless allegation which must be discarded considering the level of proof it has.

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  • Aug 8, 2013 - 1:18PM

    Pakistan Army has clearly stated that it was not involved. Moreover, the ambush has been claimed by the outlawed group LeT. Now the world can see how difficult it is to live with a nation of liars determined to malign Pakistan and in fact Islam.

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  • skhan
    Aug 8, 2013 - 1:36PM

    @“It is now clear that specialist troops of Pakistan army were involved in this attack,” he said.

    On what bases Mr. Antony is blaming Pakistan Army? oh, it gotta be from the same old reliable sources blamed the parliament attack, the Samjhota Attack and the Mumbai attack! Indian intelligence is getting more and more efficient by hour!!!

    If the major Indian opposition parties do not want peace talks with Pakistan than why not Congress first take their own people in confidence before engaging Pakistan! Simple

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  • mehboobBhai
    Aug 8, 2013 - 1:40PM

    How is it possible to have warm relations when we have a disputed region in hand. Let Kashmiris say what they want, without influencing from any side.
    Otherwise accept the LOC as international border and respect that. Unless or until we have “disputed” regions, I doubt both sides will every be sincere completely.

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  • Z.Khan
    Aug 8, 2013 - 2:15PM

    Instead getting emotional or sentimental why not to ponder on the incident. Killing occurred with in 3 to 4 hindered meters inside the area of LOC. Killing of 5 and injuring 1 needs lot many bullets which were fired. Thereafter the shooter or shooters have to withdraw to safe place. LOC is highly guarded and patrolled area. How it all can happen without the knowledge of troops deployed in the area. Initially statement came indicating involvement of terrorists having Pak military uniform in this sensitive area which itself was a strange standpoint. Non high up assured inquiry in the incident. Now things are unfolding. It looks an intentional sabotage to damage the good feelings which new Pakistani government was showing to improve relations with India. Extremely unfortunate for peace loving citizens on both sides

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  • goggi (Lahore)
    Aug 8, 2013 - 2:23PM

    Pakistan and India are at war with each other since 1947.

    They demonstrate every day their equally quarrelsome, primitive and bellicose nature at the Wagah border with their most hilarious choreographed ceremony that one can either die of laughter or sink in the ground out of shame.

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  • Last Word
    Aug 8, 2013 - 2:27PM

    Time for action, not mere words.

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  • ratindians
    Aug 8, 2013 - 2:36PM

    Pakistan Government needs to take tough stance and no dialogue should happen till Indian government stop playing these games

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  • Pak
    Aug 8, 2013 - 2:37PM

    @Indian Wisdom:
    Yes enough is enough. You must learn that.

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  • Faraz
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:04PM

    Such a sorry foreign policy we have…why havent been able to make the indians and the world realise uptil now that a perturbed LOC with India is the least that we would want at this point of time.

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  • Well being
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:05PM

    If War is what both want, Jihadi’s will win, as they would like to stall the peace process.In todays economic scenario, Youth’s energies, their talent should not be wasted in a war.
    With due apologies to relatives of slain soldier’s families,PEACE SHOULD PREVAIL.New Prime minister of Pakistan,as a Businessman he is, should give emphasis to Industries, to manufacture goods which help mankind,Not eliminate them.First requisition of any industry is PEACE.Indian Prime Minister is in his last days,By the grace of God, the replacement of his chair is waiting in Gujrat .Ask any Indian businessman, and he will sing ‘superlatives’ as he is a good administrator.
    So, its EXAM TIME FOR Pakstan’s Prime minister.

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  • Indian Wisdom part two
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:12PM

    @Pak: You will learn it soon.

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  • Pak 2
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:19PM

    @Indian Wisdom part two:
    Good for you.

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  • Parsad
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:54PM

    India is sending terrorist from afghanistan into pakistan who are killing pakistanis everyday. We should do something to stop Raw.

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  • satinder
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:12PM

    Line of Control (LOC) is a Border between India and Pakistan agreed in Shimla agreement, both countries should respect that and tries to solve other problems peacefully, like a Gentleman.

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  • Zara
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:21PM

    Anyways this incident is a blessing in disguise…I hope the MFN status for india and aman ki asha like projects r now put in cold storage……Zero relations with india from now on……

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  • Zara
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:25PM

    @Indians…..Ur war hysteria arises at very convinient times……But this time even actually war will not prevent india from breaking into more states (50 is being cited)….Telangana has started a Tsunami…Bodoland is next…and so on…

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  • Rabbani
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:32PM

    Who cares what Indian Defence Minister thinks? Apparently, he cowed down to opposition pressure. If India conducts a folly, rest assured Indians, Pakistan will reply forcefully to that!

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  • Truth
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:44PM

    LOL @ Indians, Funny threats

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  • Truth
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:48PM

    @ Indian Wisdom

    Quack Quack Quack, All Talks, We have been listening to India’s threats for long until the truth comes up and all blames turns out to be an inside job. Its always an Inside job whenever India blames pakistan and people like you come here to just Quack Quack lol

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  • Zaid Hamid
    Aug 8, 2013 - 5:08PM

    For argument sake, lets accept Pakistan did it, now what can you do, Indian? Nothing – absolutely nothing.

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    Aug 8, 2013 - 5:14PM

    @Zara:
    we dont need to fight with Pakistan…… u all r killing urself only

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  • Azeez
    Aug 8, 2013 - 5:16PM

    @Kaleem Ullah: pakistan’s former army chief parvez mushraf early said that they r not involved in kargil war later he admit it .

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  • INDIAN SHIA
    Aug 8, 2013 - 5:17PM

    @Zaid Hamid: We dont need to do anything as TTP and BLA r doing Good

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  • Asad
    Aug 8, 2013 - 5:31PM

    Once again blaming Pakistan, we all know after some months or years their own officials will accept that it was an inside job like Mumbai, Parliament and Samjhoota Express attacks.

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  • aHMAD
    Aug 8, 2013 - 6:46PM

    .. And a few years later we will hear some of your official saying the five soldiers killed Kashmir was an inside job….

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  • Ginger
    Aug 8, 2013 - 6:57PM

    @Indian Wisdom: Ha, that’s cute. Trying to threaten us on a website.

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  • Manoj Joshi India
    Aug 8, 2013 - 8:59PM

    This is an incident most unfortunate and detrimental to the ongoing positive development of bilateral relationship between the two neighbours; India and Pakistan; wherein the killing of five Indian soldiers by Pakistan counterparts has given a mild setback to the forward moving relationship. Indeed, as it goes beyond doubt there is a outburst of patriotic reactions to be countered by denials which has been a regular practice on either sides and an unbiased analysis is seldom viewed or perceived the way it should be. Such cross border incidents between these two nations have been a common occurrence even in the past however their frequency has considerably reduced and this is the bright or positive side of the political development during the past few years. Views and counter views are but natural and bound to be shared nevertheless at such a critical hour when such incidents do defile the political and social environment a degree of caution, restraint and understanding which no doubt is not easy needs to be exercised and above all the need to refrain from any provocation or hysteria that is whipped up with the spice of patriotism. The governments of India and Pakistan must look into the matter with a stand that is most accommodating and display the desired diplomatic maturity. The people of the two neighbouring countries must maintain not just a calm but an approach that is most unbiased and not polarised with the venom of distrust and antipathy as well as negative patriotism. Indians no doubt have been hurt as would have been the case if a similar incident had occurred Pakistan would have suffered such casualties. But political rhetoric ultimately serves none except for those elements and forces whose interests are linked with promoting antipathy distrust and derailing a relationship that is now moving towards peace, trust and friendship. The stand to be taken at this juncture is not easy or simple as there are pressures and provocations that do influence an empirical and rational approach. This is the real test of belief in ones faith and idea that revolves around trust, amity and friendship which India and Pakistan must work towards and this will be one of the greatest achievements of Indo-Pak history.

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  • Pops
    Aug 8, 2013 - 9:17PM

    @Zaid Hamid:
    Wait and see. Comrades of those killed will take revenge.

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  • WISDOM_SINK_IN_INDIAN_OCEAN
    Aug 8, 2013 - 10:47PM

    @Indian Wisdom:
    lol :) for every part you say, Kindly take Kashmir, Nagaland, Minipur , Assam , Tamil Nadoo and Others which does not think they are part of your country.

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  • James
    Aug 9, 2013 - 1:06PM

    @goggi (Lahore):
    That jingoistic drill has been modified and discontinued

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  • Murthy
    Aug 9, 2013 - 1:57PM

    Indian soldiers had killed each other at the border in order to blame Pakistan, which is known all over the world to be an embodiment of Truth and Virtue and a Fountain of peace and tranquillity! India has been indulging in this kind of smear campaign often and if Pakistan denies having any part in the incident that is the truth!

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  • Manoj Joshi India
    Aug 9, 2013 - 5:26PM

    @Murthy: Let not this frostbite of distrust, malice and antipathy continue any further. Let the spring of trust, amity and friendship fructify and develop to further the cause of cordial neighbourly relationship.

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