For the second time in less than a week, Pakistan and Indian forces exchanged fire at the Line of Control (LoC) on Monday, raising fears of increased hostilities in the volatile region. In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the Indian army resorted to ‘unprovoked firing’ in the Bhattal sector of LoC shortly after midnight.
Subsequently, Pakistani troops responded to the sporadic firing from across the border, the statement added. There was no loss of life or property reported in the latest exchange of fire. Indian media claimed that it was Pakistani troops who first started ‘indiscriminate’ fire at the LoC.
Due to lack of access to the highly militarised zone in the region by the independent media, it is extremely difficult to verify claims and counter claims from the two sides. Monday’s ceasefire violation, the fifth in less than three weeks, comes at a time when India at the fag end of parliamentary polls. Tensions between the two neighbours flared up in August last year when the two sides accused each other of violating the ceasefire.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2014.
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