Over a week after militants killed 18 Indian army soldiers in Uri sector near the Line of Control (LoC) of disputed Kashmir, Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar claimed on Tuesday that two guides from Muzaffarabad facilitated the attackers.
“Foreign secretary calls in Pakistan HC Basit today & presents proof of cross border origins of Uri attacks,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. “Informs him that the two guides who helped infiltration were apprehended by local villagers and are now in custody.”
The assault, in which four commando-style gunmen burst into the brigade headquarters in Uri at 5:30 am (midnight GMT) on September 18, was among the deadliest in held Kashmir and has sharply ratcheted up tension between the nuclear-armed rivals.
In a knee-jerk reaction to the attack on the brigade headquarters, India’s civil and military leaders squarely blamed Pakistan with media commentators calling for a military response. Pakistan, however, dismissed the Indian allegations as ‘baseless and unwarranted’.
The development came a week after India offered to cooperate with Pakistan over the attack’s investigation. “If the Government of Pakistan wishes to investigate these cross-border attacks, India is ready to provide finger prints and DNA samples of terrorists killed in Uri and Poonch incidents,” the MEA statement said.
The two neighbours have been at odds since July 8 when a populist Kashmiri rebel leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani was killed by Indian forces. At least 100 demonstrators have so far been killed due to the occupied military’s indiscriminate use of force against Kashmiri masses.