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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs