India has asked Islamabad to respect the ceasefire agreement along the LoC, after Monday’s 17-hour firefight in the Nowgam sector in Kupwara district. Though guns fell silent, finally, around 7 am on Tuesday, the vigil on the LoC is still at its strictest.
Although Indian army spokesman Col. Anil Kumar Mathur termed the cause of the clash as “misunderstanding” after the flag meeting, Defence Minister A.K. Antony dubbed the increase in ceasefire violations “a matter of concern”, as this was the 19th such incident since January.
The army claimed on Monday that a Pakistani patrol crossed the LoC and objected to the location of a surveillance post being built by the Indian army. A Pakistani soldier opened fire, triggering the firefight, which killed one Indian and four Pakistani troops.
However, Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) alleged that the Indian troops wanted to establish a forward post in Pakistan’s territory. A release posted on the ISPR website claimed that the Indian troops opened “indiscriminate and unprovoked fire” after Pakistani troops protested.
Denying any casualty on the Pakistani side — although the body of a Pakistani soldier was returned after the flag meeting — and claiming that there was evidence of Indian intrusion, the ISPR said the Indians fled after the firefight, leaving behind their service weapons.
A defence ministry spokesperson told HT that the director general of military operations had lodged a protest with his Pakistani counterpart on Tuesday.