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India Orders 'Aggressive' Response to Kashmir Provocation

Indian army soldiers walk near the Line of Control (LOC) trade center at the Chakan Da Bagh, in Poonch, 245 kilometers (152 miles) northwest of Jammu, India, Janaury 14, 2013.
India's army chief says he has ordered his commanders to deliver an "aggressive" response to any firing from Pakistani forces in disputed Kashmir.

General Bikram Singh said Monday that he expects his troops to fire back if they are provoked by Pakistani forces.

Singh's comments were made ahead of a meeting Monday between Indian and Pakistani commanders to discuss last week's deadly flare ups along the de factor border in Kashmir in which both Indian and Pakistani troops were killed.

The clashes between the nuclear-armed neighbors are the worst outbreak of violence in Kashmir since a cease-fire took effect in 2003. But Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said she does not believe the violence will derail an ongoing bilateral peace process.

Pakistan's Foreign Office Friday said "such unprovoked attacks" are against the spirit of the ongoing peace process and create "unnecessary and unavoidable distractions" in peace efforts. Pakistan also said it has pursued dialogue with India "with seriousness" and taken "significant steps" to create a peaceful environment.

The South Asian neighbors have fought two wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. India and Pakistan both claim the region in full.