ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Army has said that no firing incident has taken place at the Line of Control (LoC).
“No Pakistani troop carried out any firing across the LoC on Indian positions. This allegation is categorically denied,” a military spokesman said in a brief statement.
AFP adds: Earlier in the day, India said that Pakistani troops shot and killed an Indian army officer near the Line of Control in Kashmir.“A junior commanding officer was shot dead by the Pakistani troops near Poonch sector,” a senior Indian army official told AFP in New Delhi.
“Suddenly there was firing from the other side and our officer was killed,” the officer added, requesting anonymity.
The dead man, named as Bachan Singh was posted in Poonch region at Saujaya, 200 kilometers southwest of Srinagar.
Another senior Indian army officer, Rajesh Kalia, stationed in Occupied Kashmir, said the latest attack had “not been declared as a ceasefire violation” along the heavily militarised frontier as a probe was still under way. The Indian army retaliated in a “controlled manner and the area is calm now”, he added.
Monitoring Desk adds: In an interview with Hindustan Times, former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that the MFN status to India was not operationalised because of the tensions at Line of Control in Kashmir “If the LoC tensions hadn’t happened, the MFN was through. President Zardari had pushed for it and it had the approval of the Cabinet. The LoC tensions shocked all of us,’’ Khar told HT.
“It was deeply disappointing for me personally,’’ said Khar, adding “We took the very bold MFN decision and made sure that all parties were on board. We built political consensus but were shocked to hear India’s army chief up the ante.’’
Khar says she was chided by the then opposition parties but her response was, we don’t want a tit for tat.
Pushing for peace ties with India, Khar, who served as the foreign minister for over two years, emphasised that she was neither a dove nor a hawk, but a realist who pushed her government’s policy for better relations with India. “We have to develop the region together. We don’t beat our chests on India-bashing and don’t want a nation growing up hating Indians or Hindustan.’’
The minister regretted that while Pakistan was willing to go that extra mile to improve relations, the Manmohan Singh government was not able to contain the “Pakistan-beating mentality’’ promoted by Indian news channels which then also “infected the Congress and its government and state assemblies.”
When reminded that India needs to see movement in the 26/11 trial going on at a snail’s pace in an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi, Khar responded saying, “We do not want the kalank of not punishing the guilty but for how long will India hold itself hostage. Pakistan is not stuck on the Samjhauta train blast trial in which many innocent Pakistanis were killed.”
“I will take full marks for creating the atmosphere and the dynamics for better ties with India but I have to say that the political leadership in India has not helped shape the same narrative.”