Two civilians, including 7-year-old, wounded in LoC clashes

By AFP
Published: June 13, 2014
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Violation takes place in Nakyal sector of Kotli, a child is among the injured. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Violation takes place in Nakyal sector of Kotli, a child is among the injured. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

MUZZAFARABAD: Pakistan accused Indian troops on Friday of wounding two civilians, including a seven-year-old boy, in separate incidents of “unprovoked firing” from across the de facto border in the disputed Kashmir region.

India’s army in turn blamed Pakistan for firing on its troops, alleging its arch-rival and neighbour had breached a ceasefire.

The clashes were the first in the Himalayan region since a new right-wing Indian government came to power last month headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

They follow a spate of cross-border skirmishes last year between the nuclear-armed powers, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

On the Pakistani side, local police official Chaudhry Ameen told AFP “a seven-year-old boy was injured due to unprovoked shelling by Indian troops in Nakyal sector,” referring to a border district located 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Muzaffarabad city.

But Indian defence spokesman Manish Mehta said the Pakistani army was responsible for firing on Indian soldiers “using automatic weapons and mortars” in the district of Rajouri, which borders the Nakyal area in Pakistan.

Mehta said the Indian army responded to the firing, which continued for about half an hour, adding there were no casualties or damage reported on the Indian side.

Separately, another Pakistani civilian was wounded after Indian troops allegedly opened fire in Battal, a district 65 kilometres north of the first clash, according to local government official Malik Ayub.

Indian defence officials told AFP they had no knowledge of a second incident.

Friday’s events, described as a “ceasefire violation” by India, come a day before India’s new Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir for a security review.

The last war between the two countries was in 1999 when Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was last in charge of the national government and Pakistan’s current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was in office during a previous stint in power.

But Modi has been reaching out to Pakistan since his landslide victory last month, inviting Sharif to his inauguration in a surprise move seen as a significant olive branch.

The two leaders held talks in New Delhi after the inauguration, with both saying the discussions were positive.

In a letter to Sharif released Friday by the Pakistani premier’s office, Modi expressed his desire to work closely with him in “an atmosphere free from confrontation and violence”.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by a de facto border known as the Line of Control, or LoC, since the two countries gained independence.

The rivals both claim the territory in full and agreed on a border ceasefire in 2003, which has largely held, with occasional violations reported from both sides.

Previous incidents

On May 11, Indian troops had resorted to ‘unprovoked firing’ after midnight at the Bhattal sector of the LoC. Pakistan Army had lodged a protest with Indian authorities after the incident.

On April 25, after almost three months of calm, the two sides had accused each other of breaching the ceasefire agreement following mortar shelling and firing in the Poonch Sector on the LoC.

Three days later, the two sides had exchanged fire again. Although, no loss of life was reported from either side during these clashes, the situation indicates the fragile nature of the truce.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • MSS
    Jun 13, 2014 - 11:38AM

    India says the same: that Pakistan violated the ceasefire and one of their soldiers died on the spot while 5 others were injured. Now truth needs to be established. But how? There should be a mechanism to determine the truth. Accusations and counter-accusations only vitiate the atmosphere and kill the truth, truce and trust.

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  • Pity
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:03PM

    Indians will now play innocent and will claim that so and so many of their soldiers have been killed. These guys never learn. Always love to adopt oh-so-innocent attitude.

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:09PM

    Now there will be hue an cry from Indians who will try to prove that their army is innocent in the entire situation.

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  • baby doll main sone di
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:10PM

    Just a divergence tactic from the government to distract the people from revolution.
    z

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  • Pakistani
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:11PM

    Pie in the face kind of situation for someone!!

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  • GrimmJow
    Jun 13, 2014 - 12:19PM

    And the Blame Game begins!

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  • Jun 13, 2014 - 1:02PM

    Cover fire is usually given when one needs to send infiltrators into the other side. This acts as a distraction and intruders can sneak in.

    Tell me who is in the business of infiltration? India or Pakistan?

    Since, its Summer the mountain passes are open, time is ripe for infiltration into Kashmir. Alas, after all the talk of Pakistan is fighting Terror, it shows why Terror will never go away from Pakistan.

    Terror in India is Fight for Freedom, but in Pakistan its Terror. This dual, hypocritical policy has started to backfire. Pakistan is sinking due to this..

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  • Lunacyassailam
    Jun 13, 2014 - 1:12PM

    Noble Indians can never violate a ceasefire.It must be the Arabs trying to infiltrate into Kashmir,which garnered a response.

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  • Hopeless
    Jun 13, 2014 - 1:47PM

    So so predictable by the war machines from both sides of the border. The moment these politicians try to interact, there is a skirmish on the LOC. I salute both the armies for making sure that the people of subcontinent never get peace!

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  • peace
    Jun 13, 2014 - 1:50PM

    So predictable! The moment the politicians try to interact there is a skirmish on the kashmir border. I salute both the armies for making sure that the people of the subcontinent never live in peace.

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  • Jun 13, 2014 - 2:24PM

    @Lunacyassailam:

    Wake up! Because of 20 years and more of supporting Terror in Kashmir, now Pakistan is a target.

    Radicalisation and Jehad will destroy Pakistan.

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  • Jun 13, 2014 - 4:30PM

    As per reports pouring in Indian media, since 7:30 am to day the 13 June 2014 Pakistan troops have opened heavy fire in Mendhar, Poonch and Rajouri sectors in J & K.Here the Pakistan media reports “Indian troops violated ceasefire once again when they carried out shelling and fired across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Kashmir on Friday, injuring two soldiers and a child.”
    Our famous blame game has started from both sides. We must carefully see this game. It is for the people of both these countries to judge who is benefiting from this flare up and why this is happening after the bold steps taken by PM of Pakistan resulting in mutual letter writings to come closer to each other.
    It is a very delicate moment in the history of both the countries and people must keep their eyes and ears open not to fall in any trap being laid in the name of pseudo nationalism. Understand who will be the biggest looser in case Mr Nawaz Sharif and Mr. Modi succeed and both countries become friendly. I hope people will understand …. not the same drama again that is played the moment there is a little hope.

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  • Usman
    Jun 13, 2014 - 5:45PM

    The problem is that it is so easy to flare up the populations on both sides of the border. One bullet from either side and the rhetoric starts. I think people should ask themselves why ceasefire violations only occur when the two governments are trying to engage each other on some platform.
    The other thing people of both the countries should ask is who benefits the most in terms of finances and overall importance if the hostilities increase.

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  • Reddy
    Jun 13, 2014 - 5:49PM

    Who benefits from ceasefire violations? Indian troops who are guarding their positions or Pakistani troops who are trying to send infiltrators? I don’t want to here from Pakistanis that they lost 50k people to terrorism. You cannot raise a snake in the backyard expect it to bite only your neighbor.

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  • AreyouReddy
    Jun 13, 2014 - 7:43PM

    I agree with you Reddy. Pakistan may have made more mistakes than India, but the way forward is not to continue the blame game. Both the countries can achieve much more without always wanting to fight each other. I hope you don’t start with but Pakistan…I am just saying the way forward is that these violations and these hostilities should cease to exist even among the people of the subcontinent.

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  • Jun 13, 2014 - 8:05PM

    It is not that who will benefit of these ceasefire violations, but who will lose credibility. There are elements in Pakistan like Hamid Gul, Zaid Hamid, Hafiz Saeed who represent TTP, LET, LEJ, JUD etc.etc.

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  • Jun 14, 2014 - 10:11AM

    I wonder if general public in Pakistan is aware that Army in India, as an arm of the state, is fully subordinate to the will and directions of civil government. .They have no say in any political matter like foreign policy or affairs of ministry of home affairs unless asked for. Ministry of defense governs all matter concerning the armed forces and the commanders are consulted when ever required. It is a recorded fact that even in Kargil war Air Force was pressed in service only after the clearance of Prime minister. And thus it is imperative that if the parliament and the government is pursuing a policy of peace towards a country, defence forces will toe the same line.
    It is sad that when ever a new government in India tries to restore cordial and fruitful relations with Pakistan some how disruptions prevail and opportunities lost. This has happened with Mr Bajpai, Mr Manmohan Singh and now happening with Mr Modi. I only hope that this time it must be carefully analysed and established that who are the people who benefit from bad relations and are again trying to divert efforts of peace.

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