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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid