India’s defence minister warns Pakistan over LoC skirmish

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SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

India’s defence minister on Thursday warned Pakistan to stop shelling in Kashmir, after some of the worst cross-border violence to hit the disputed region in years.

“If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make cost of this adventurism unaffordable for it,” Arun Jaitley told journalists in New Delhi.

“Pakistan should stop this unprovoked firing and shelling if it wants peace on the border. “The nuclear-armed neighbours have traded blame for the cross-border violence that has killed at least 12 civilians this week.

Thousands of people on both sides of the border have fled their homes and nine people died on Monday alone, the highest civilian toll in a single day in more than a decade.

At least two people were killed in Sialkot on Thursday in latest firing by Indian troops along the working boundary between India and Pakistan raising the number of deaths in the past few days to 12 and injured to 43, sources in the Chenab Rangers said, adding that they retaliated the attack.

Several buildings were also damaged during the incident and the exchange of fire was ongoing at the time of the filing of this report.

The deceased include a man and a woman who were killed when hit in the Harpal village of Charwah Sector. Moreover, one person was injured in the incident.


‘Pakistan showing utmost restraint’


Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz said in an earlier statement: “Pakistan government has been exercising utmost restraint and responsibility… Unfortunately, all our efforts to secure peace and tranquillity on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary have elicited no cooperation from the Indian side.”

Meanwhile, in India where Pakistan is blamed for starting the clashes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to have given a free hand to his National Security team and military to aggressively respond to the violations.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan but both lay claim to the scenic Himalayan region.

Clashes occur regularly along their disputed border known as the Line of Control (LoC) as well as along the internationally recognised frontier dividing Indian-administered Kashmir from Punjab.

Violence has fallen in the region since 2004, when the countries began a peace process a year after signing a ceasefire agreement that has largely held.

But there has been speculation that India’s new right-wing nationalist government will take a more hardline approach.

India, which has an estimated 500,000 troops deployed in its part of the disputed region, called off peace talks last month after Pakistan consulted with Indian Kashmiri separatists.

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