Skirmishes across the heavily militarized line of control, which separates Indian-controlled Kashmir from Pakistani Kashmir, have continued this week with casualties reported on both sides. But while the spat hasn't boiled over into an all-out armed conflict between the two nuclear armed powers, that remains a distinct and unsettling possibility.
In the latest headlines emanating from the border, Pakistan claimed on Tuesday that it had intercepted an Indian submarine attempting to cross into Pakistani-controlled waters, according to RT.
"The Pakistan Navy used its specialised skills to ward off the submarine, successfully keeping it from entering Pakistani waters," a Pakistani spokesman said.
"The Indian submarine was not targeted keeping in view Pakistan's policy of peace."
It added that it didn't engage the submarine, and followed this up by releasing a video of the submarine, which shows the mast of the vessel poking above the water.
However, Indian officials denied any knowledge of the incident, and said they are working on "verifying" the provenance of the video. One Indian spokesman suggested that the footage might be a "propaganda stunt" by Pakistan. One source told India Today that the footage appeared to have been shot in 2016.
Pakistan, meanwhile, said this was the second time it had intercepted an Indian submarine since 2016.
Here's a timeline of the latest incident between India and Pakistan, which is the most severe flareup between the two sides since the end of the last India-Pakistan war in 1971.
Text courtesy of India Today:
- On February 14, a Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber rammed into a bus that was part of a Central Reserve Police Force convoy. 40 jawans were martyred in the attack, which took place in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama. India vowed a befitting response to the attack.
- On February 26, the Indian Air Force entered Pakistani airspace and bombed a terrorist camp in Balakot. The camp was Jaish-e-Mohammad's largest. A large number of terrorists, trainers and commanders were killed in the attack, which India officially called an "intelligence-led, non-military, pre-emptive action."
- A day later, Pakistani fighter jets attempted hitting military installations in Jamm and Kashmir. Indian MiG-21 jets scrambled to intercepted the Pakistani fighters and engaged them in a dogfight. Indian jets managed to shoot down an F-16.
- In the February 27 dogfight, an Indian MiG-21 jet was shot down by the Pakistani fighters. The MiG's pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, fell in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and was taken into the custody of the Pakistani army.
- Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was released two days later by Pakistan in what PM Imran Khan said was a "peace gesture". Varthaman's release was seen as a development that would cool things down between India and Pakistan.
- Skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani forces have continued. There have been multiple ceasefire violations across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. There have been reports of shelling and heavy arms fire.
In keeping with its vast conventional arms superiority over its neighbor, the Indian Navy has 16 submarines, compared with Pakistan's 5