India, Pakistan exchange gunfire over Kashmir border

Published October 25, 2013
Since January this year, India and Pakistan have regularly accused each other of initiating the fighting by firing mortar shells or gunshots across the frontier.—File photo
Since January this year, India and Pakistan have regularly accused each other of initiating the fighting by firing mortar shells or gunshots across the frontier.—File photo

SRINAGAR: At least a dozen people have been wounded as Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged gunfire over the border in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, officials said Friday.

An Indian official claimed at least 10 civilians were wounded as Pakistani troops allegedly fired guns and mortar shells at more than a dozen Indian border posts overnight in the disputed region.

An Indian paramilitary officer speaking on the customary condition of anonymity said Indian guards retaliated and an exchange of gunfire lasted several hours. He said the fighting continued till Friday morning at some places in southern Jammu region.

The wounded included four children in three villages, said local civil administrator Shantmanu, who uses only one name.

Meanwhile, Pakistani military officials in Islamabad said Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing and mortar shelling in a village near Sialkot early Friday, wounding two civilians.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military policy.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry called the ceasefire violations “a matter of great concern,” and reiterated Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s commitment to improving relations with India.

Chaudhary told reporters that Pakistani troops do not fire indiscriminately and emphasised that Pakistan has no interest in creating problems along the border.

“Our troops have a policy. We will not indulge in firing first. But if we are fired upon we will give a responsible and effective response,” he said.

India on Wednesday accused Pakistani troops of firing on at least 50 Indian border posts, calling it the most serious violation of a 2003 cease-fire accord.

However, Pakistan said Indian troops targeted 27 Pakistani posts near Sialkot with machine guns and mortar shells.

The gunfire resumed Thursday night after a lull during the day.

While the ceasefire has largely held for the past decade, sporadic violations are not uncommon. Since January this year the two nuclear-armed neighbors have regularly accused each other of initiating the fighting by firing mortar shells or gunshots across the frontier.

The latest incidents come even though the Pakistani and Indian prime ministers meet last month in New York and agreed on the need to reduce tensions.

Opinion

PML-N bad cop outfoxed
Updated 13 Jun 2021

PML-N bad cop outfoxed

The feel-good factor can cancel out some of the very negative perceptions about the PTI among low-income voters.
Sink or swim
13 Jun 2021

Sink or swim

What have schools learnt during Covid?
Decoding Digitisation
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Decoding Digitisation

The scope of information technology or digitisation continues to be discussed in a rather limited manner in mainstream discourse.

Editorial

Covid strategy
Updated 13 Jun 2021

Covid strategy

It is critical for govt to demonstrate to the public how badly health, business and education have suffered during the pandemic.
13 Jun 2021

Women in Balochistan

THE Balochistan government seems to be taking steps to improve women’s integration into society and the workforce...
13 Jun 2021

Deprived of cricket

THE federal cabinet has disallowed PTV to enter into an agreement with an Indian company for broadcast rights to...
12 Jun 2021

Feel-good budget

WE have been here before. Every time a government gets some fiscal space it immediately shifts gears to growth,...
Rep Omar’s tweet
Updated 12 Jun 2021

Rep Omar’s tweet

Over the last several decades, America has been instrumental in destabilising a number of Muslim states.
12 Jun 2021

Poor health indicators

IF the coronavirus has taught the world anything, it is that the old maxim ‘health is wealth’ is true. Though...