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

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify Power Base

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' 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 Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs