Escalating hostilities: Indian forces kill another Pakistani soldier at LoC

Published: January 11, 2013
Email
According to a military official, the Indian side employed both small and heavy arms in the exchange of fire, which continued till the filing of this report.  PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

According to a military official, the Indian side employed both small and heavy arms in the exchange of fire, which continued till the filing of this report. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

ISLAMABAD: 

A Pakistani soldier was killed by Indian forces in yet another ceasefire violation at the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday, even as Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar hoped the recent border clashes would not derail the peace process between Islamabad and New Delhi.

The latest incident took place at the Hotspring sector in the Battal region, according to the Pakistani military.

“Havildar Mohyuddin embraced shahadat (martyrdom) due to unprovoked firing by Indian troops at the Hotspring sector in Battal at 2:40pm today (Thursday),” said a statement by the military.

“Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing at a Pakistani post named Kundi,” it added, giving no further details.

According to a military official, the Indian side employed both small and heavy arms in the exchange of fire, which continued till the filing of this report. There were no reports of further casualties, however.

This is the third such incident in the last five days. Four soldiers from both sides have been killed in the recent spike in hostilities across the LoC – the heavily militarised de-facto border between Pakistan and India at Kashmir.

Tensions flared on Sunday when Pakistan accused Indian forces of conducting a cross-border raid, killing one Pakistani soldier and injuring another. Hostilities escalated on Tuesday, when India accused Pakistan of killing and beheading two of its soldiers on their side of the LoC.

While both countries have appeared determined to prevent the clashes from wrecking a fragile peace process, privately, senior Indian military officers have said they want to see the ‘beheading’ avenged on the ground as a question of ‘honour’, according to AFP.

Both countries have summoned each other’s top envoys to register their respective protests over the ceasefire violations.

A ceasefire has been in force along the LoC since 2003 but there are sporadic violations on both sides. According to Pakistani security officials, Indian forces have committed 10 ceasefire violations this year so far.

Khar stresses commitment to peace

At a news conference here on Thursday, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the peace process with India, despite the escalating crisis at the LoC.

“The Pakistan government and the Pakistani people have demonstrated a deep, abiding commitment to normalise and improve relations with India and to really start a journey of trust-building,” she said.

Asked whether the ongoing ceasefire violations could derail the peace process, Khar replied: “I hope not … I (do not) see it setting back the process.”

She said Pakistan was committed to the 2003 ceasefire and called for pursuing the existing mechanisms, which ‘allow us to deal with such issues and problems.’ Pakistan has proposed a United Nations probe into the ceasefire violations. However, India turned down the suggestion saying it did not intend to ‘internationalise’ the issue.

Foreign Minister Khar also pointed out the contradictory statements from New Delhi. She cited remarks by Indian Army’s northern command, which reportedly denied any of its soldiers had been beheaded.

Indian newspaper’s take

An Indian newspaper, on Thursday, suggested the Indian army may have provoked the recent clashes across the LoC.

According to a report carried by The Hindu, Indian commanders breached the ceasefire accord by ordering the establishment of new observation posts along the LoC after a 70-year-old woman was able to cross it unhindered last year.

The Indian army, however, has denied the report.

A senior Pakistani official told The Express Tribune that it was beyond their comprehension as to why the Indian side was escalating tensions.

“If this continues, we are left with no other option but to respond,” cautioned the official saying they were assessing the situation on how to defuse the situation.

Separately, a senior foreign ministry official said it appears that domestic issues such as the uproar over the gang-rape in New Delhi had compelled Indian authorities to exacerbate the tension.

“But I am sure that even India cannot afford any further deterioration of this situation because that will shake the confidence of foreign investors,” he added. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)

(Read: Border skirmishes)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2013. 

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (15)

  • Gaurav
    Jan 11, 2013 - 5:15AM

    Feeling sad for soldiers and their families who died for their ungrateful countries . Hope it ends soon.Recommend

  • Insaan
    Jan 11, 2013 - 5:34AM

    Author: “According to a report carried by The Hindu, Indian commanders breached the ceasefire accord by ordering the establishment of new observation posts along the LoC after a 70-year-old woman was able to cross it unhindered last year.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with India start setting a new observation post to prevent illegal crossing. Real problem is terrorists are still being trained with help of ISI and army in Pakistan. LeT terrorists Abu Jundal arrested by Saudis has confirmed that LeT is actively recruiting terrorists to attack targets in India.

    Recommend

  • Polpot
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:59AM

    ““The Pakistan government and the Pakistani people have demonstrated a deep, abiding commitment to normalise and improve relations ”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Mercifully Ms Khar did not include the Paki Army.
    And thats the elephant in the room !

    Recommend

  • 1984
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:46AM

    The mainstream Media is only telling the half-truths and raising emotions on both sides just for their TRP…..

    Please check the Real issue between the two sides in this article
    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/runaway-grandmother-sparked-savage-skirmish-on-loc/article4291426.ece

    Mistakes have been done in both sides,its time we started thinking about reconciling them,rather mudslinging each other in internet forums and shooting the others soldiers…..

    Already,both sides lost 2 soldiers and we want no more bloodsheds

    Recommend

  • Hina
    Jan 11, 2013 - 8:10AM

    What does Khar mean? So India can just kill our soldiers whenever they feel like it and that should improve relations with Pakistan. I think peace talks are futile at the moment. I too feel very sad for these Pakistani young men who fight for our country and sacrifice their lives. I do feel for their families, their fathers and mothers when a young son dies an untimely death. RIP and may his family be strong to bear this irreparable loss.

    Recommend

  • Jan 11, 2013 - 9:10AM

    Pakistan Army is frantically looking for excuses for not getting engaged in fight against terror on af-pak border. The easiest way out is to escalate tension at LOC. It has double advantage. One It will give an excuse to move troops out from Afghanistan border and Two it will hinder the efforts of civil government of Pakistan to normalize relations with India. Pak Army will never ever permit tensions to settle with India.

    Recommend

  • The Economist
    Jan 11, 2013 - 9:26AM

    If we carefully study the past of pakistan politics it will be clear than whenever election time arises or whenever martial law is to be implemented than tension is always at rise on borders,i dont blame government because at many times even they were not aware of such plans for eg During Kargil war prime minister Nawaz sharif was not aware of Musharaf plan this is generally because military is not under government control and future of government is also under military control because in past military has brought government down by hanging primeminister,so even government are afraid of them.

    Recommend

  • Programmingdrone
    Jan 11, 2013 - 9:44AM

    Yaar Pakistan and India have come so close to peace. I wish this was not happening

    Recommend

  • Queen
    Jan 11, 2013 - 11:42AM

    Really saddened over the loss of lives on both sides of the border.
    Seriously hope that India sees some sense…….

    Recommend

  • hemant
    Jan 11, 2013 - 3:01PM

    U people r deserve of gift ‘pakistan’ which we have given 2 you… U people r not worthy of it and inspite of such beautiful gift we indians face lot of problem bcz of u only… whenever i open news channel only one comes from pakistan “pakistan is @Hina:

    Recommend

  • gp65.
    Jan 12, 2013 - 4:33AM

    @Queen: “Really saddened over the loss of lives on both sides of the border”.
    This is one sentence of yours that I totally agree with.

    Recommend

  • Clear Black Bag
    Jan 12, 2013 - 11:30AM

    Continuous bullets gifts from the Most Favorite Nation and practical demonstration of Aman Ki Aasha from India….

    Recommend

  • Ahmad Khan
    Jan 20, 2013 - 9:37PM

    Beheadings is generally a forte of Lashkar Tayebba. Why doesn’t the Pak Army admit that they LT presence along the border.

    Recommend

  • Stranger
    Feb 8, 2013 - 3:22PM

    Queen Sweety what did you mean by – Hope India sees sense. How is it only India’s fault sweetheart.Both the countries are at equal fault .
    I cant understand why people are still living in the border areas. They should now migrate .

    Recommend

  • Indian the Great (Tamilian the Brave)
    Feb 12, 2013 - 10:27PM

    Anyone can take terrorism in their hands. Indian govt never took terrorism, never supported terrorism. So we are prosperous in all fields science, technology, economy, sports, culture, secularism, democracy, judiciary and last but not least our great unbeatable Indian Army. Thank god I born in India with my Muslim friends.

    Recommend

More in Jammu & Kashmir