Pakistan army denies Indian allegations of LoC clash

Published October 2, 2013
Photo shows an Indian army soldier at the Line of Control (LoC), the heavily-militarised border dividing Kashmir region. —Reuters/File Photo
Photo shows an Indian army soldier at the Line of Control (LoC), the heavily-militarised border dividing Kashmir region. —Reuters/File Photo
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shaking hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prior to their meeting in New York.—Photo by Online
Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif shaking hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh prior to their meeting in New York.—Photo by Online

KARACHI: The Pakistani military on Wednesday denied Indian accusations of Pakistani soldiers being involved in a reported clash on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC), the heavily-militarised border dividing the Kashmir region.

An Indian army commander had alleged that Pakistani troops might be involved in an ongoing gunbattle near the disputed border.

The Pakistan Army rejected the allegation. “We totally deny this baseless allegation. This is a blatant lie. No such thing happened,” a spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations, the military’s public relations wing, said in a text message.

Senior Indian army commander Gurmit Singh told reporters in Srinagar that the Indian soldiers had launched an operation against militants on September 24 and which was still ongoing.

The Lieutenant General claimed some 30 to 40 heavily-armed fighters had crossed the LoC in the Keran sector and were holed up for the past nine days in thick forests in the area.

However, he denied reports in the Indian media Singh that the ‘infiltrators’ had overtaken a ghost village along the border.

Foreign news agency AFP quoted Indian police sources as saying that the fighting was still taking place in Shala Bhatta, the abandoned village.

India and Pakistan often trade allegations of ceasefire violations from both sides of the disputed border. The most recent incident comes just days after the prime ministers of both countries agreed to soothe tensions.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New York on Sunday for the first time since Sharif swept to power in May promising an improvement in relations.

They agreed to task senior military officers to “find effective means to restore the ceasefire” in Kashmir, where regular clashes have taken place this year, resulting in casualties on both sides.

Last Thursday, three suspected militants stormed a police station and an army base in the southernmost part of Indian-administered Kashmir, killing ten people including four soldiers, four police and two civilians.

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