Pakistani military officials perform funeral prayers for their fallen comrade Havildar (Sergeant) Mohyuddin, who was allegedly shot by Indian troops
Kashmir violence could turn ‘ugly’ – Pakistani Islamist New Delhi says ‘perplexed’ by border killings

ISLAMABAD, Jan 11, (Agencies): The Pakistani Islamist leader accused of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai massacre said India was trying to destabilise Pakistan and predicted violence in the disputed region of Kashmir could get “ugly”.

“We do not want any force to be used or any military operation for this. But the Indians are opting for the other alternative,” Hafez Saeed told Reuters in a telephone interview on Friday.

Saeed founded Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the militant group which India blames for the rampage in Mumbai, where gunmen killed 166 people over three days. He denies any wrongdoing and links to militants.

Saeed also denied allegations by Indian officials that he had recently visited Kashmir, potentially to incite action against India, just before the recent outbreak of the worst violence in the territory since the nuclear-armed neighbours agreed to a ceasefire nearly a decade ago.

In the third fatal attack in Kashmir this week, a Pakistani soldier was killed on Thursday by “unprovoked” Indian fire, a Pakistan army spokesman said.

He was shot while manning a post in the Battal sector of Kashmir, which is split between the two sides by a heavily fortified border known as the Line of Control (LoC), the spokesman said.

Saeed accused India of trying to disrupt the peace process with Pakistan and dragging its feet on the long-standing issue of Kashmir.

“This is their usual practice. Betraying the international community and destabilising Pakistan,” said Saeed. “And that’s what they are doing this time.”

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since becoming independent from Britain in 1947, two of them over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. India considers the entire region of snow-capped mountains and fertile valleys an integral part of its territory.

Meanwhile, Pakistan summoned the Indian ambassador on Friday to protest against “unacceptable and unprovoked” attacks by the Indian army that killed two Pakistani soldiers in five days in Kashmir.
Pakistan said its soldiers were killed on Sunday and Thursday.

On Tuesday, India said two of its soldiers were killed by Pakistani troops and that one of them was beheaded in the disputed Himalayan region, which is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan but ruled in part by each.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry said it had summoned India’s high commissioner to Islamabad to lodge a “strong protest on the repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian army”.

India said its troops opened fire in response to Pakistani fire on both occasions. Pakistan has denied any responsibility for the Indian soldiers’ deaths.

On Friday, Pakistan called on the Indian government to investigate the “repeated” violations of the ceasefire, which has held along the Line of Control (LoC) — the de facto border in divided Kashmir — since 2003 and to take steps to prevent them from happening again.

In the meantime, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said Thursday he was “perplexed” by the killing of two Indian soldiers on the Pakistan border but stressed that a fragile peace process should not be derailed.

New Delhi has in the past accused Islamabad of staging border attacks to deflect attention from domestic issues or to draw global attention to the Kashmir issue.

But Khurshid said he had no answers this time.

“Why should this happen? It perplexes me. I don’t think anyone on the other side of the border is achieving anything wholesome,” Khurshid told reporters in Paris after meeting with French counterpart Laurent Fabius.




 

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