January 07, 2013Print : Top Story
ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani soldier, Naik Aslam, was martyred and two injured in a successful bid to repulse an Indian attack on the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday.
Aslam belonged to Khairpur village in Chakwal district where he will be laid to rest with full military honours today (Monday). Indian troops had crossed the LoC and ‘physically raided a checkpost at Sawan Patra’, said the ISPR.
“Pakistan Army troops effectively responded to the attack. One Pakistani soldier embraced martyrdom,” it said.The Indian troops retreated, leaving behind a gun and a dagger, and an exchange of fire was continuing, it said.
The LoC is an internationally recognised line in Kashmir patrolled by troops from both countries.The Indian military denied its soldiers had attacked a Pakistani position.
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,” Dahiya said. “None of our troops crossed the LoC. We have no casualties or injuries.”
There were more than 75 ceasefire violations along the LoC in 2012, killing eight people. Most of the violations were exchanges of fire between the two sides. The current incident can heighten tensions between the nuclear neighbours after a period of rapprochement.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since 1947. The two countries share many similarities in language and culture, though most of Pakistan’s citizens are Muslim and most of India’s Hindu. Kashmir, and the human rights abuses committed there by Indian troops, is a politically explosive issue in Pakistan.
The two countries fought their most recent war in 1999 on Kargil issue. After a period of quiet, relations between the two countries nosedived again in 2008, when a militant squad rampaged through Mumbai, killing 166 people.
India accused Pakistan of sheltering the masterminds behind the attack, a charge that Pakistan denies. The two countries have been slowly repairing relations in recent months. In November, India executed the last surviving perpetrator of the Mumbai attack.Last month, the two countries signed a deal designed to ease visa restrictions for some citizens.
Tension between the two countries has also spilled over into nearby Afghanistan. India offers military and economic aid there, but many Pakistanis fear this is an attempt to lessen Pakistan’s influence. According to an official Indian report cited by the Press Trust of India, there were 71 firing incidents along the LoC in 2012 in which four Indian soldiers, two Indian civilians and one Pakistani were killed.