We only fired back, India tells Pakistan

The Indian envoy told the Pakistan government Friday that the Indian Army gave a "controlled response" to "unprovoked" firing by Pakistani troops along the Jammu and Kashmir border.

Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal conveyed this to Pakistan Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani in Islamabad, the external affairs ministry spokesman said here. Sabharwal was Friday served a "note verbale" after Pakistani alleged that Indian firing and shelling along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir killed a Pakistani soldier.

"As we understand it, there has been unprovoked firing by Pakistan in the Mandher sector and there was controlled response from our side," the spokesman said.

The Indian high commissioner also told the Pakistanis that the sanctity of the LoC "is the most important confidence building measure between India and Pakistan".

The two countries agreed to a ceasefire along the winding LoC, which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, in 2003. The truce has largely held on in the past decade.
The spokesman also reiterated India's refusal to involve any third party to probe the allegations and counter allegations from the two countries on the LoC.

India and Pakistan "have a mechanism to bilaterally solve such issues", the official said. He said the Director Generals Military Operation of both countries were in contact. "We are fully capable of handling all these matters without involving the UN or any other third party."

Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated in Kashmir since Jan 6 when a Pakistani solider was killed allegedly by Indian troops. Two days later, two Indian soldiers were killed and beheaded near the LoC. Indian officials blamed Pakistani troops for the horror.

India summoned the Pakistani envoy Thursday to lodge a strong protest.  The spokesman added that New Delhi and Islamabad were also discussing Pakistan's decision to prevent trucks from Jammu and Kashmir from entering Pakistani Kashmir.

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