After the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Himalayan state of Kashmir, India also violated the 2003 truce on the working boundary in the Sialkot sector claimed one life.
Unprovoked firing from the Indian was followed by retaliatory firing from the Pakistani army. A young man lost his life and a house was destroyed as a result.
“Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing on Pakistani posts along the working boundary in Punjab and the LoC on Sunday,” said Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. “Pakistani troops responded with restraint and responsibility,” he added.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Aizaz stressed the importance of maintaining the ceasefire along the LoC. “The prime minister of Pakistan has stressed the need to optimally use and strengthen existing political and military channels to defuse tensions and establish peace,” he said.
“Pakistan wishes for durable peace in the region to create an environment conducive to economic development for the well being of the people,” he added.
The first of Sunday’s ceasefire violations took place near the international border close to Sialkot, where it sparked an ‘intermittent exchange of fire’ between the two sides.
A senior military official told The Express Tribune that troops from India’s Border Security Force (BSF) opened fire at Pakistan Rangers posts near Pukhlian, Head Marala area, in Sialkot sector without any provocation. “Intermittent exchange of fire continues … [But] no casualties have been reported so far,” he added.
The official said that after the exchange of fire in Punjab, Indian troops also fired at Pakistani posts along the LoC. “Indian troops also resorted to unprovoked firing at the LOC in Nakial sector near Kotli,” he added.
According to the official, the director general military operations (DGMO) established contact with his Indian counterpart immediately after the incident and informed him about Pakistan’s resolve to maintain peace along the border. However, the Indian side did not respond positively and did not explicitly agree to halting ceasefire violations.
Indian officials, meanwhile, claimed that one of their soldiers was wounded by Pakistani troops in fighting along the LoC on Sunday.
“One BSF soldier was injured from sniper shots fired by a Pakistan soldier. We retaliated and the firing went on for some time,” a BSF official told AFP.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2013.
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