Ceasefire violations continue: Cross-LoC firing by Indian troops kills two more Pakistani soldiers

Published: August 23, 2013
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According to military sources, Indian troops resorted to ‘unprovoked firing’ on Pakistani positions in Rakhchakri sector, near Rawalakot, killing Lance Naik Habibullah.  PHOTO: AFP/FILE

According to military sources, Indian troops resorted to ‘unprovoked firing’ on Pakistani positions in Rakhchakri sector, near Rawalakot, killing Lance Naik Habibullah. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

MUZAFFARABAD / ISLAMABAD: 

Pakistan summoned the Indian High Commissioner to lodge a strong protest after Indian troops killed two more Pakistani soldiers and injured four others, including civilians, on Thursday, as clashes along the Line of Control (LoC) showed no signs of abating despite Islamabad’s calls for defusing tensions between the two neighbours.

According to military sources, Indian troops resorted to ‘unprovoked firing’ on Pakistani positions in Rakhchakri sector, near Rawalakot, killing Lance Naik Habibullah. Hours after the first incident, Inter-Services Public Relations reported Indian forces killed another Pakistani soldier, Sepoy Gul Wahab, and injured two others in the Hotspring sector.

A Pakistani Army captain was killed in similar cross-LoC firing by Indian troops a day earlier in Kargil.

Indian troops also injured a woman and a child in Nakyal sector on Thursday, local authorities told The Express Tribune.

According to Nakyal Assistant Commissioner Chaudhry Ayub, Shamim Akhtar, 35, and Usama, 12, were injured when Indian forces fired at Balakot village. They were subsequently rushed to the Nakyal Tehsil Headquarters Hospital.

“The firing started around 11pm and continued for almost half an hour,” said Balakot village resident Subhan Rahim.

According to an official statement issued by the foreign ministry, Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani conveyed Pakistan’s ‘serious concern over the continued ceasefire violations by the Indian army’ to Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan following the killings of Pakistani soldiers. He urged the Indian government to respect the ceasefire agreement and desist from escalating tensions along the LoC further, the statement added.

The latest ceasefire violation also drew a strong condemnation from Pakistan as both the National Assembly and Senate passed unanimous resolutions against the continued violation of the 2003 ceasefire agreement on Thursday.

But while conveying Pakistan’s serious concerns of the ceasefire violations, Jilani also expressed Islamabad’s keenness to engage with New Delhi in constructive dialogue to restore peace along the LoC. He proposed senior officials from the two countries’ militaries and foreign ministries meet and discuss ways to strengthen existing mechanisms to ensure the ceasefire agreement was observed by both sides.

Earlier, at his weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry defended Pakistan’s policy of observing restraint and seeking dialogue with India to defuse the situation.

“Responding to provocation with provocation is not the right approach,” he said, adding that Pakistan was following the policy of restraint, responsibility, and dialogue in the larger interest of peace in the region.

“At the same time, the people of Pakistan, the leadership and our institutions are fully capable of defending our territory and our interests,” Chaudhry warned, saying Islamabad’s approach of seeking talks with India should not be construed as its weakness.

Doubts on Nawaz-Manmohan meeting

Answering questions, the spokesman refused to confirm or deny the possibility of a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York next month.

“I don’t have the exact date or the confirmation. Of course it has to be with the agreement of two governments,” was his reply when his attention was drawn to Indian media reports suggesting that the summit meeting might not take place in New York between the two Prime Ministers.

“But should that opportunity arise, the leadership of Pakistan is prepared to use that occasion to serve the interest of peace,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2013.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Uzi
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:16AM

    Strong protest, Pakistan’s favorite phrase

    Recommend

  • Mac
    Aug 23, 2013 - 9:22AM

    NS is not as naïve as people think. He knows who are doing this but has to thread carefully so that his govt. is not overthrown once again. So talks will continue, putting the trouble makers in their place.

    Recommend

  • Waseem Sarwar
    Aug 23, 2013 - 10:01AM

    Now we can move on to yet another peace talk round and real ceasefire can be implemented as both countries have now lost almost equal number of soldiers

    Recommend

  • Sana Khan
    Aug 23, 2013 - 10:17AM

    These attempts on part of Indian government will further disturb the existing relations between India and Pakistan. Both are neighbours to each other, both states should come on table and negotiate. Action reaction phenomenon and to violently respond is not the only way to get rid of problems.

    Recommend

  • Mobeen
    Aug 23, 2013 - 10:42AM

    Pakistan had proposed resuming peace talks after dialogue stalled amid some of the most serious border clashes in a decade in Kashmir at the start of the year. Pakistan suggested dates for talks on access to water from major rivers, and the Sir Creek maritime border, as well as the meeting between Singh and Sharif.The talks will only take place if there is a reduction in border violence, Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry, said at a briefing in New Delhi on August 21. “An environment in which terrorism or violence is perpetuated against India is not the right type of environment for this,” Mr Akbaruddin said.One can clearly see who does not want Peace in the region.

    Recommend

  • Nb
    Aug 23, 2013 - 10:46AM

    @ Mac

    You’re right. He fears another coup.Recommend

  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    Aug 23, 2013 - 12:30PM

    There are very few peoples who read News Papers from both side of borders.
    And versions are always different.
    That is why i do not believe blindly to any side

    Recommend

  • JSM
    Aug 23, 2013 - 1:10PM

    But how do you know that these 2 Pakistani soldiers were killed by Indians like Pakistanis did not kill 5 Indian soldiers earlier this month.

    Arrival of Bodybags on both sides is the immediate future for some time thanks to whoever started it.

    Recommend

  • Blunt
    Aug 23, 2013 - 2:42PM

    @Mobeen:
    Sure, Indian politicians don’t want to loose a hot topic in their upcoming elections by making peace and harmony with Pakistan on all disputes including Kashmir.

    Recommend

  • wil simith
    Aug 23, 2013 - 5:58PM

    I don’t understand this blame game. Government of Pakistan and government of India instead of blaming each other, they should agree to establish a joint commission to investigate the breach of ceasefire agreement. The joint commission should be given authority to visit LOC. beside that India has refused many times Pakistan’s bilateral talks to resolve the Kashmir Dispute. Despite that Indian massive usage of weapons on LOC has created troubles for noncombatants nearby areas.

    Recommend

  • John B
    Aug 23, 2013 - 6:15PM

    @Mobeen:
    PAK always holds a gun to her head and negotiate.

    Two unresolved issues are: Saichen and LoC. Since both are related, no further forward steps can happen on these matters. However, the following are resolved items waiting to be signed once new govt in India forms, whoever that may be.

    MFN from PAK side, Mumbai terrorist fiasco, and Sir creek in that order.

    Hopefully, NS government survives, and takes a good step. GOI position has been the same for the last 65 years and things got muddled by various interest from PAK side.

    What is needed is the patience for the next 10 years. BJP government in India and PML-N in PAK are the ideal governments to the signatories who will satisfy the right wingers from both sides of the borders and give a sense of accomplishment. Clocks and events on both sides of the border need to synchronize.

    The easiest way to stall the process is LoC violationsRecommend

  • Nasir
    Aug 23, 2013 - 7:35PM

    Firing along LoC, killing a soldier, wounding another, then killing a civilian, then kidnapping a group of civilians, then violation of airspace, then sending a drone into our airspace. and then when Pakistan retaliated Indian news channels are making the headline “Pakistan attacked LOC”. Shame on our media, who are so independent and sensible, that they are not mentioning and creating hypes in our population against India, as Indian media is doing.

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