News / Asia

India and Pakistan Trade Heavy Gunfire in Kashmir

A village woman displays a vessel damaged by gunfire allegedly from the Pakistan side of the border at Jora Farm village in the India-Pakistan border Ranbir Singh Pura region, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Jammu, India, Aug. 23, 2014.
A village woman displays a vessel damaged by gunfire allegedly from the Pakistan side of the border at Jora Farm village in the India-Pakistan border Ranbir Singh Pura region, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) from Jammu, India, Aug. 23, 2014.
Ayaz Gul

Fresh skirmishes between India and Pakistan along their disputed Kashmir border have killed four civilians and wounded several others on both sides. Bilateral tensions appear to have escalated after New Delhi earlier this week called off long-awaited diplomatic talks with Islamabad.

Indian and Pakistani authorities are blaming each other for starting the border clashes in violation of a mutual cease-fire in the divided Kashmir region.

The two sides have largely followed the accord that went into effect in November 2003, but sporadic violations have become routine over the past couple of years.

Senior Indian security officials say their forces retaliated after Pakistani troops fired guns and mortar rounds Saturday morning on a dozen Indian border posts and nearby villages.

The hostilities, Indian officials claim, have killed and wounded several civilians. Indian authorities say over 3,000 villagers have also been evacuated to safe areas.

Army officials in Pakistan are reporting deaths of at least two villagers and injures to many others, including women on their side of the disputed Kashmir border. They allege the casualties occurred when Indian forces “resorted to unprovoked firing” in the Sialkot region.

Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif emphasizes the need for both sides to ease border tensions. He says that instead of “heating up the environment” efforts must be made to “bring down the temperatures” through urgent resumption of diplomatic contacts.
 
“We will definitely protect our borders [and] protect our territory. And these violations are not good for the region and for the relationship between the two countries," he said. "We think that peace should be pursued in this region and these skirmishes on the border and these violations on the border they should stop.”
 
The minister says the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in recent months has demonstrated “goodwill” to establish “cordial and friendly” ties with the new Indian government.

Despite the border tensions, Asif sounded confident a meeting between foreign secretaries of the two countries that India cancelled earlier this week “will take place very soon”.

New Delhi called off the meeting that was scheduled for August 25 to show its outrage at a meeting the top Pakistani diplomat in India held with separatist leaders from the Indian portion of Kashmir.

But India has tolerated such meetings in the past and Pakistan criticized the move as a “setback” to efforts aimed at establishing regional peace.

Earlier this month, Pakistan summoned a senior Indian diplomat to the foreign ministry to lodge Islamabad's protest over "unprovoked Indian firing" in the same area where Saturday's clashes took place.

Pakistani officials claim Indian troops have committed more that 50 cease-fire violations within the past two months. 

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rizwan Ul Haque from: Karachi
August 24, 2014 6:45 AM
Enough is enough. Now this war game should end. India must understand...a stronger Pakistan is its interest.


by: Anonymous
August 24, 2014 3:00 AM
especial thanks to india government to revenge afghanistan against cherkestan.
thanks


by: Walter from: Sri Lanka
August 23, 2014 10:55 PM
India and Pakistan should allow the U N sponsored referendum to be held in Kashmir with immediate effect.
However India will never allow this for narrow and selfish reasons.
India will talk about the security issues, but those issues affect all Countries.
Kashmir is a wealthy region and India is eyeing it's potential.
Like Navi Pillay said the U N security council has no backbone.
Russia and China are protecting their economic and ideological stand. If India and Brazil get seats in the Security Council they too would follow Russia and China.
Therefore this world will never enjoy the peace and tranquility that is talking about.
There will be unrest in each and every Country.
If ever the U N can be mandated with a Police Force with at least 75% of the General Assembly voting in favour, will be the one and only way some sort of peace is achievable.


by: Hassan from: USA
August 23, 2014 9:39 AM
Why don't, India and Pakistan both, leave both Kashmir's become independent countries. This is over 60 year old conflict.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid