India, Pakistan Exchange Fire; Indian Army Accused Of Killing Pakistan Soldier

 @AmruthaGayathri
on January 06 2013 5:34 AM

Tensions between India and Pakistan flared Sunday when Pakistan accused Indian troops of killing a Pakistani soldier in Kashmir, while the Indian army alleged that Pakistan had initiated unprovoked cross-border firing.

The Pakistani army said Indian troops breached the Line of Control (LoC) and raided the Sawan Patra checkpost in the disputed territory. But the Indian military denied its soldiers had attacked a Pakistani position.

"Pakistan army troops effectively responded and repulsed the attack," a Pakistani army spokesman said in a statement, Reuters has reported.

Indian army spokesman Col. Jagadish Dahiya said Indian troops had not crossed the LoC. "However, there was a ceasefire violation by Pakistan. Our troops retaliated by firing," Dahiya said.

"None of our troops crossed the Line of Control. We have no casualties or injuries,” he said.

The Pakistani military's public relations office said the two sides were still exchanging fire in the area, according to a BBC report.

Though there is a long history border skirmishes in Kashmir, they have been far less frequent in recent years. A ceasefire has been in effect along the de facto border since November 2003.

Disrupting a period of rapprochement, bilateral talks were temporarily suspended following the terror attack Nov. 26, 2008, by Pakistani militants in Mumbai. In November last year, India executed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the 10-member squad that carried out the attack.

Sunday’s incident is likely to affect the improving ties between New Delhi and Islamabad, which signed a landmark agreement last month to ease visa restrictions on travel for some citizens.

In August last year, India allowed investment from Pakistan, paving way for Islamabad to normalize bilateral economic ties by implementing the much-delayed Most Favored Nation status for New Delhi.

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