With most of the Western hemisphere on holiday, another crisis appears to be developing on the India–Pakistan border known as the Line of Control (LoC). The incident started on Saturday, where at least four Indian soldiers were killed, in an exchange of fire with the Pakistani Army on the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir, ABC News reported.
The two sides reportedly exchanged heavy fire in the Keri sector of the Rajouri district, about 222 km southwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The skirmish started when Pakistani troops used automatic weapons, small arms, and mortars to attack Indian positions in Shahpur area of J&K’s Poonch district. The Indian army said Pakistani soldiers violated the 2003 cease-fire, calling the attack an “unprovoked cease-fire violation.”
Indian media is admitting that Pakistan conducted a surgical strike (Not like their bollywood one) in #Rajouri Occupied Kashmir in retaliation to bombardment of villages of Azad Kashmir on LOC by Indian army. pic.twitter.com/MvVEcYso99— Asfandyar Bhittani (@BhittaniKhannnn) December 24, 2017
A local government official said that the "Pakistani army today resorted to unprovoked firing along the LoC here, killing three troopers and wounding one" He added that "the slain included an officer of the rank of Major.”
Strength to the families of the four Armymen lost today at LoC Keri, Rajouri sector. An incident that sounds like it was more than just a ceasefire violation. RIP, braves. pic.twitter.com/aMzlQhTaZS— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) December 23, 2017
Following the incident, heavy cross-border firing and shelling was reported at several places in the region.
On Sunday, India launched a retaliatory attack, gunning down a Pakistani solider in J&K’s Jhangar, The Indian Express said. The incident occurred when a Pakistani sniper along the LoC was ‘neutralized’, Army sources reported.
The Indian troops retaliated and the exchange of fire was going on till reports last came in the evening, sources said. “Firing and shelling exchanges started at 1.30 pm, and were continuing,” the official added.
Meanwhile, ANI reported that gunshots were heard in the militant hotbed of south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The sound of firearms were heard from Arem Mohallah Watoo village and the Army and police have launched a joint cordon and search operation.
The Indian Express also said that the ceasefire violation by Pakistan was an attempt to “push in armed terrorists” into India before closure of the mountain passes this winter. Indian security forces have killed over 200 militants this year, including top commanders on the LoC. Meanwhile, hardly de-escalating the already tense situation, Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua warned the world of a possible “nuclear war” in South Asia.
Pakistan’s National Security Advisor Nasser Khan Janjua has accused the US of siding with India and warned of a possible “nuclear war” due to the delicate security situation in South Asia.
“The stability of the South Asian region hangs in a delicate balance, and the possibility of nuclear war cannot be ruled out,” Janjua was quoted by the Pakistani media as saying at a seminar in Islamabad on Monday.
“India has been stockpiling a range of dangerous weapons as it threatens Pakistan continuously of conventional warfare,” he told the seminar on the “National Security Policy – Vision for Pakistan” that was organized by the Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS).
India and Pakistan have a long history of skirmishes on the LoC, and have fought multiple wars on the border since India gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947. Last year, Indian and Pakistani soldiers engaged in some of the worst fighting along the Line of Control since the two countries agreed to the cease-fire accord.