05:58 GMT05 August 2021
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    0 47

    A flare-up in disputed Kashmir involving gunfire and mortar attacks has left five civilians dead and over a dozen wounded, according to Pakistani officials. The incident follows a series of escalations between the long-time rivals over the last two days.

    A statement from the Pakistani military said Thursday’s incident was "due to Indian unprovoked firing," which resulted in the deaths of five civilians.

    "We remain committed to steps that contribute to peace and tranquility on the border," Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said, according to Reuters.

    "However, there should be no doubt that any unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side would meet with an effective and forceful response from our forces."

    The skirmish appears to be the culmination of a series of events which began on Wednesday, when the Pakistani military claimed to have shot down and captured a small surveillance drone. Pakistan attributed the UAV to India, though Jaishankar claimed that the aircraft seemed to be a design which is "commercially available."

    On Wednesday, India also said that Pakistani troops had opened fire on five of its forward bases and six villagers. This resulted in the death of a female civilian.

    Thursday’s incident is a major setback for Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who met during the summit in Ufa, Russia last week. In a sign of strengthened relations between the two countries, both leaders agreed to future talks between their national security advisors.

    In March, Jaishankar met with his Pakistani counterpart, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, and both nations agreed to ensure peace along the border.

    "We agreed that ensuring peace and tranquility on the border was vital," India’s top diplomat told reporters.

    A disputed border region, Kashmir has seen skirmishes between the Pakistani and Indian militaries for decades. Both nations claim the territory in full. A 2003 ceasefire cut down on clashes, though they do still occur.

    Relations saw a major setback in 2008, when a series of coordinated attacks on Mumbai killed 166 people, injuring over 300 others. These attacks were carried out by militants based out of the section of Kashmir administered by Pakistan.

    India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting militants along the border, claims the Pakistani government has denied.

    India has also seen conflict along its border with Myanmar recently. Last month, a large group of militants ambushed an Indian Army convoy travelling through Manipur. Using rocket launchers, militants killed over 20 soldiers before escaping across the mountainous and porous border.

    That incident was called the deadliest attack on Indian security forces in over two decades.


    India, Pakistan Could Not Afford to Be Left Out of SCO – Think Tank
    India's Strained Ties With Pakistan Bilateral Issue - Envoy to Russia
    India, Pakistan Most Likely to Become SCO Members Friday
    Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Nawaz Sharif, Narendra Modi, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, border clashes
    Community standardsDiscussion