Multiple border shootings lead to increased tension in Kashmir
(16 January 2013)
Several deadly exchanges have occurred across the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed territory of Kashmir throughout early January 2013. The deaths of both Indian and Pakistani soldiers have led to both countries’ governments issuing strong statements, and a breakdown in diplomatic relations. The dispute began on 6 January, after Indian troops were accused by Pakistan of having crossed the LOC and killing one of its soldiers. The latest shooting occurred on 15 January, resulting in the death of a Pakistani soldier. Pakistan has claimed it was an unprovoked attack, while India has denied responsibility. In the previous week, two Indian and two Pakistani soldiers were killed, with one Indian soldier reportedly having been beheaded. The Indian government has suggested these killings by Pakistan were premeditated as part of a planned operation. Indian PM Manmohan Singh stated that "After this barbaric act, there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan." The de-facto border and cease-fire line was designated a Line of Control after the signing of the Simla Agreement between the two countries on 3 July 1972. A ceasefire agreement has been in place for the LOC since November 2003. Although there is periodic exchange of fire across the line, the recent conflict has been some of the worst reported. Pakistan has reportedly called for UN monitors in the region to conduct an inquiry in to the recent conflict, but India has argued that this is not necessary.
Sources: ‘Kashmir border: Pakistan says India killed soldier’, BBC, 16 January 2013; ‘Pakistan blames Indian troops for death of another soldier in Kashmir as tensions rise’, Associated Press, January 16 2013.