The Line of Control (LoC) continues to be a hotbed of violence this week, as Pakistan and India both appear to ramp up their violations of the ceasefire agreement there. The LoC is a disputed area which both India and Pakistan claim to hold.
Four people have died in five days along the LoC. Earlier this week, Indian officials said Pakistani troops killed two of their soldiers, although Pakistan has denied responsibility for those two deaths.
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Pakistani Director General, ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa said, India has violated the ceasefire agreement ten times within the last ten days, martyring two Pakistani soldiers and injuring a third. He said when his army retaliated against the Indian forces that opened fire along the LoC, the Indian soldiers fled the area, leaving their weapons behind. Bajwa has now condemned what he calls India’s repeated violations of the ceasefire agreement along the LoC.
Akbaruddin, a spokesperson for India’s foreign ministry, told Bloomberg that “there was a controlled response from our side” after Pakistan began firing on us without provocation.
Today, Pakistani Foreign Secretary, Jalil Abbas Jilani, requested that the Indian ambassador come to Islamabad to discuss the LoC skirmishes. He also asked India to launch an investigation into Indian troops’ repeated ceasefire violations along the LoC and repeated the offer for the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan to have an independent inquiry into the matter.
The ceasefire along the LoC has been in force since 2003, although it has been violated sporadically by both sides since it was put in place. India and Pakistan embarked on another attempt to build peace between the neighboring countries in 2011. A press release from the Pakistani Foreign Office today said “such unprovoked attacks were against the spirit of the ongoing peace process.”
Meanwhile, China said it is staying out of the dispute over the LoC. The government said it believed the dispute was for Pakistan and India to resolve between themselves. A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry said it didn’t back Pakistan’s request for a UN inquiry. The statement indicated that China is a “neighbour and friend” to both nations and that it hopes the two countries can resolve the disagreement through dialogue.
India has not fully trusted China in recent years, due in part to China’s military connections with Pakistan. China has continued to invest in infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, calling its interests in the region “purely commercial.”