10 civil­ians killed as In­dia, Pak­istan trade bor­der fire: of­fi­cials

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY NASIR JAFFRY AND PARVAIZ BUKHARI

At least 10 civil­ians were killed Fri­day as In­dia and Pak­istan traded fire across their dis­puted bor­der, of­fi­cials said, less than a week af­ter high-level talks were aborted amid a row over Kash­mir.

Six died near the city of Sialkot in Pak­istan’s Punjab province and at least four vil­lagers were killed in In­dian-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir. Of­fi­cials said more than 50 were wounded.

A meet­ing be­tween the In­dian and Pak­istani na­tional se­cu­rity ad­vi­sors in New Delhi on Sun­day was called off at the last minute amid a dis­pute about whether the agenda should in­clude Kash­mir, the Hi­malayan ter­ri­tory both sides con­trol in part but claim in full.

In a state­ment is­sued to the media, the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs said Pak­istan sum­moned the In­dian High Com­mis­sioner in Is­lam­abad to lodge protest against ceasefire vi­o­la­tions.

“The Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan strongly protested over the latest ceasefire vi­o­la­tions by In­dia in Harpal and Chaprar sec­tors at the Work­ing Bound­ary re­sult­ing in sha­ha­dat (mar­tyr­dom) of 6 civil­ians, in­clud­ing a woman and a child,” the state­ment said

The two sides regularly fire shells and mor­tars across the dis­puted bor­der both in Kash­mir and to the south in Punjab, killing civil­ians.

A se­nior Pak­istani se­cu­rity of­fi­cial told AFP that In­dian forces be­gan fir­ing around 3 a.m. on Fri­day (2200 GMT Thurs­day) and con­tin­ued in­ter­mit­tently dur­ing the morn­ing.

“Six civil­ians em­braced sha­ha­dat and 46 were se­verely in­jured in­clud­ing 22 fe­males due to In­dian un­pro­voked fir­ing/shelling on work- ing bound­ary near Sialkot in Chaprar and Harpal sec­tor,” a state­ment from the Pak­istani mil­i­tary said, adding that they had re­turned fire.

In In­dian-con­trolled Kash­mir, Bor­der Se­cu­rity Force (BSF) of­fi­cial Rakesh Ku­mar Sharma ac­cused Pak­istan of tar­get­ing civil­ians with “un­pro­voked” mor­tar fire.

“Four vil­lagers died in the shelling from across the bor­der, three of them were killed early morn­ing and one died of in­juries in a hos­pi­tal later,” Pawan Kot­wal, the top ad- min­is­tra­tor of the re­gion told AFP.

Another BSF of­fi­cer, J.S.Obe­rio, put the num­ber of in­jured at 16, say­ing at least 10 bor­der posts and sev­eral vil­lages were tar­geted by Pak­istani troops.

Age-old Ten­sions

Pak­istan and In­dia have fought two of their three wars over the Hi­malayan re­gion since both gained in­de­pen­dence in 1947, and it re­mains a ma­jor source of ten­sion.

About a dozen mil­i­tant groups have been fight­ing since 1989 for ei­ther the in­de­pen­dence of the In­di­an­con­trolled por­tion of Kash­mir or its merger with Pak­istan.

Shelling across the de facto bor­der, known as the Line of Con­trol (LoC) in dis­puted Kash­mir and the “work­ing bound­ary” in Punjab, has been on the rise this month.

Sun­day’s talks had brought hopes of a pos­si­ble eas­ing of ten­sions, but these were dashed as the meet­ing was sunk amid a wel­ter of an­gry rhetoric on Satur­day.

AP

(Left) A boy peers out of a bro­ken win­dow near the In­dia-Pak­istan in­ter­na­tional bor­der, about 40 kilo­me­ters from Jammu, In­dia, Fri­day, Aug. 28. (Right) Pak­istani protesters burn a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the In­dian flag to con­demn In­dian shelling at Pak­istani vil­lages, in Peshawar, Pak­istan, Fri­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.