Ceasefire violation: Pakistani soldier killed in cross-LoC firing by India

Indian defence spokesman claims they fired in retaliation, says intermittent firing continues.

Our Correspondent/agencies July 28, 2013
Indian defence spokesman claims they fired in retaliation, says intermittent firing continues. PHOTO: AFP/FILE


Indian firing killed one Pakistani soldier and wounded another on Saturday in the disputed Kashmir region, Pakistan’s military said, as the two archrivals traded blame for provoking the clash.

According to the Inter Services Public Relations, the incident took place at 10:30am and there was no evident reason for the firing. Asim Iqbal, the soldier who died due to the firing incident, was a resident of a village near Rawalpindi. Naik Muhammad Khan, the soldier who is critically injured, will undergo treatment.

While the Pakistani Army accused Indian troops of staging an “unprovoked” attack across the countries’ disputed border in Kashmir, the Indian army said it had fired in a “calibrated manner” in response to Pakistani firing.

“A soldier embraced martyrdom while another was seriously injured due to unprovoked firing by Indian troops in Rawala Kot area at the Line of Control (LoC),” the Pakistan Army said in a statement.

Border violation near Sialkot

The Pakistan Army also accused Indian forces of another border violation late Saturday. According to ISPR, the Indian Border Security Force resorted to unprovoked firing on the working boundary near Sialkot. No loss of life was reported though. The statement added Pakistani troops responded effectively to Indian firing.

India and Pakistan regularly accuse each other of violating a ceasefire along the LoC, which has largely held since 2003.

The Indian army said intermittent firing was continuing along the heavily militarised border late Saturday.

“Pakistani troops started firing unprovoked in the morning, firing rocket-propelled grenades, heavy machinegun fire and small arms,” Indian defence spokesman Colonel R K Palta told AFP.

“Our side retaliated in a calibrated manner and there were no casualties on our side.”

Palta added that he had no comment on Islamabad’s statement that Indian firing had caused Pakistani casualties.

Pakistan is expected to take the matter up with India at all military and civil forums as this is not the first incident of its nature.

The Foreign Office has called upon the Indian government to conduct a probe into the firing incident, adding that it comes at a time when efforts are being made to improve relations between the countries.

“The Indian High Commission in Islamabad has been conveyed the protest by Pakistan and the military authorities are also going to have a flag meeting in this regard. The Indian high commissioner may be given a demarche if the incident recurs,” a foreign office official, on condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.