India on Thursday denied Pakistan army chief Raheel Sharif’s claim that his men killed 11 Indian soldiers in cross-border firing on November 14.
“No fatal casualties due to Pak firing on 14, 15 or 16 Nov. Pak Army Chief claim of killing Indian soldiers on 14 Nov false,” Indian Army’s Northern Command tweeted.
No fatal casualties due to Pak firing on 14,15 or 16 Nov. Pak Army Chief claim of killing Indian soldiers on 14 Nov false.@adgpi— NorthernComd.IA (@NorthernComd_IA) November 16, 2016
According to a report in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper, Gen Sharif on Wednesday said 11 Indian troops were killed on November 14 after Pakistan army “responded to unprovoked firing”.
Earlier on November 14, Pakistan said seven of its soldiers were killed in firing by Indian troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.
Gen Sharif dared the Indian Army to “accept their losses”, stressing that the “Pakistan army accepts and owns its casualties”, the Dawn said.
He also trashed India’s claims of surgical strike, saying it was limited to mere words and New Delhi had to face embarrassment over the claim, Pakistan’s popular TV channel Geo News reported.
Relations between the two countries have nosedived after Indian soldiers on September 29 crossed the LoC and hit militants preparing to sneak into from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The surgical strike was carried out 11 days after suspected Pakistani militants attacked an army base in Uri in which 19 soldiers were killed.
The two sides have since exchanged heavy fire along the border as well and LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, killing soldiers and civilians on both the sides.
India had even ordered evacuation of villagers living along the frontier and decided against attending a Saarc summit that Islamabad was to host. The conference had to be called off as some other South Asian Association for Regional Conference joined Indian pull-out that followed Uri attack.
Early December India hosts Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan, an effort to rebuild the war-ravaged country. Pakistan foreign policy affairs chief Sartaj Aziz said on Wednesday he would be in Amritsar for the meet, which will offer the neighbours an opportunity to bring down the temperature.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are expected at the December 3-4 event.
(With IANS inputs)