News / Asia

Pakistan: Indian Shelling Wounds Civilians in Kashmir

Indian paramilitary and police patrol near a barbed wire fence during a curfew imposed on the Kashmiri summer capital in Srinagar on July 19, 2013.
Indian paramilitary and police patrol near a barbed wire fence during a curfew imposed on the Kashmiri summer capital in Srinagar on July 19, 2013.
Ayaz Gul
Pakistan on Friday alleged there has been no let up in shelling by Indian troops that began early this month across the Kashmir border. The military says that two people have died and 12 have been wounded, including four soldiers. The Foreign Ministry also has dismissed the Indian prime minister’s statement in which he asked Pakistan to prevent Islamist militants from using Pakistani soil to attack India.

Authorities in Pakistan and India accuse one another of starting the latest round of hostilities in the disputed Kashmir territory in violation of a mutually declared cease-fire that has largely held for more than a decade.

The skirmishes began two weeks ago when New Delhi alleged that a group of heavily armed Islamist militants and Pakistani soldiers crossed the military line of control in the remote Poonch district of Kashmir and killed five Indian soldiers.

Islamabad denies any role in the incident and instead accuses India of killing two civilians and wounding eight others in what it condemned as “unprovoked” shelling across the disputed border. The Pakistani military says the firing also injured four of its soldiers.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif earlier this week urged India to take steps to “defuse the tension and de-escalate the situation” in Kashmir and give diplomacy a chance to settle differences.

On Thursday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that relations with Pakistan could only improve once Islamabad prevented Islamist militants from using Pakistani territory to attack India.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad Friday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry explained Pakistan’s position.

“Pakistan has a longstanding determination not to allow our territory to be used for terrorism anywhere in the world," he said. "We believe that Pakistan, being itself a victim of terrorism, has absolutely no interest in that. We are, as a nation, trying to overcome this menace, and the present government is fully committed [to do so] and is in the process of formulating a comprehensive counter terrorism strategy.”

Pakistan has been fighting its own protracted war against Islamic militants for more than a decade. The extremist outfits have responded by carrying out frequent suicide and other terrorist attacks, killing thousands of Pakistanis, including security forces. A recent privately conducted survey says that in the last three months alone, more than 1,700 people have died in at least 70 major terrorist attacks around the country. 

Pakistan wants peace in the region and seeks "tension-free" relations with India, said Chaudhry.

“The anticipated meeting between the Prime Minister of Pakistan and Prime Minister of India in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly next month would be one such occasion where all these issues are likely to come up. Should that meeting take place, that would be a useful opportunity, a welcome opportunity, to discuss steps not only to reduce tensions, but also to improve relations between the two countries," he said.

Prime Minister Sharif returned to power in June for an unprecedented third, non-consecutive term and has called for a “new beginning” in Pakistan’s relations with India. But the latest military clashes threaten attempts on both sides to resume a wide-ranging dialogue to ease tensions and resolve long running disputes, including Kashmir.

New Delhi has long accused the Pakistani military of nurturing militants to fuel a Muslim insurgency in the Indian-ruled portion of Kashmir, charges Islamabad denies.  The territorial dispute is blamed for two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since gaining independence from Britain in 1947 and brought them to the brink of a third conflict in 1999.

Indian authorities blame Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, or LeT, for major terrorist attacks in the country in recent years and have consistently demanded Islamabad hand over the group’s founding leader, Hafiz Saeed, to New Delhi before the countries can hold any talks on contentious bilateral issues. 

Pakistan insists Indian officials have so far not provided any proof that would link the Islamic cleric with subversive acts in India. Critics and Pakistani newspaper editorials, however, consistently question the freedom Saeed enjoys to deliver provocative anti-India speeches at time when the Shrift government is attempting to resume peace talks with the neighboring country.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid