- India and Pakistan have gone to war FOUR times – 1947, 1965, 1971, 1999
- Tensions are rising again over control of Kashmir, which is mainly Muslim
- Eighteen Indian soldiers were killed by ‘terrorists’ earlier this month
- Now two Pakistani soldiers have died after ‘cross-border fire’ from India
Pakistan today blamed ‘cross-border fire’ from India for the death of two of its soldiers in the disputed region of Kashmir as fears grow that the two old enemies may go to war again.
India and Pakistan have gone to war four times since they gained independence from Britain in 1947 and diplomats are concerned the situation in Kashmir may be the trigger for another conflict.
India said it had conducted ‘surgical strikes’ along the disputed border with Pakistan – known as the Line Of Control – in a bid to thwart attacks by those it claims are ‘terrorists’.
Pakistan and India often trade fire in Kashmir, which is split between the two countries and claimed by both in its entirety.
Both countries have troops stationed on the strategic Siachen Glacier, which is so cold that soldiers are regularly warned not to fall asleep while on duty for fear of freezing to death.
Earlier this month 18 Indian soldiers were killed in an attack by Kashmiri rebels, who New Delhi suggests are supported by Pakistan.
Earlier this month Kashmiri ‘terrorists’ attacked this Indian Army base at Uri, killing 18 soldiers
India said the attack on the Uri army base was carried out by a Pakistan-based group called Jaish-e-Mohammed.
More than 80 people have been killed in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir since July, many of them civilians shot by the army.
India and Pakistan are both now believed to possess nuclear weapons, which makes the current tensions even more alarming.
Indian soldiers (left) and Pakistani troops (right) are both stationed on the Siachen Glacier, at the eastern end of the disputed border in Kashmir
Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, India’s director-general of military operations, said today it had carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on Wednesday night.
Pakistan’s military said two of its soldiers had been killed by ‘cross-border fire’ and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned India’s ‘naked aggression’.
Lt Gen Singh said: ‘Some terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launchpads along the Line of Control.’
He said they had ‘very specific and credible’ intelligence about ‘terrorist launchpads’ near the villages of Bhimber, Kel and Lipa.
India has a large military presence in Kashmir, which has a Muslim majority. Many Kashmiris want to be independent or part of Pakistan
Lt Gen Singh said: ‘Significant casualties have been caused to these terrorists and those who are trying to support them.
‘The operations aimed at neutralising the terrorists have since ceased.’
He said the operation was designed to stop those who planned ‘to carry out infiltration and terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir and various other metros in our country’.
Lt Gen Singh said: ‘The operations were basically focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carrying out destruction and endangering the lives of citizens of our country.’
India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi (left) and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (right) are seen meeting in 2014 but since then tensions have grown markedly
But Pakistan reacted angrily. A statement by the military read: ‘There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross-border fire initiated and conducted by India.
‘As per rules of engagement same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops.
‘The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists’ bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects.
‘This quest by Indian establishment to create media hype by rebranding cross-border fire as surgical strike is fabrication of truth.’
Kashmiri demonstrators hurl stones at an Indian police vehicle during a protest in Srinagar last month
On Tuesday India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced he would not attend the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation summit in Islamabad in November, a major snub to Pakistan.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they gained independence in 1947.
The Indian-controlled part has a Muslim majority and there are a number of armed separatist groups who are fighting to break free from New Delhi.
China said this week it hoped ‘Pakistan and India will strengthen channels for dialogue, appropriately handle any differences, improve bilateral relations and together protect the region’s piece and stability’ but it is widely believed to be backing Pakistan.
India recently threatened to cut off water to Pakistan from rivers it controls but it is thought to have backed off after China warned it would respond by reducing the flow of water from Himalayan rivers which end up in India.
Tags: aish-e-Mohammed, allies of pakistan, Britain, Burhan Wani, China, cross-border attacks, cross-border raids, cross-border terrorist attacks, France, Himalayan territory, India, India said it had conducted 'surgical strikes' along the disputed border with Pakistan, India targeted 'terrorist launchpads' in Kashmir, India's Prime Minister Narenda Modi, Indian Army, Indian Army base at Uri, Insia, Kashmir, Kashmiri 'terrorists', Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, Line Of Control, Pakistan, Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, SAARC, separatist leader, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, Srinagar, terrorism, terrorists, U. S., United Nations, Uri attack