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

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora