A teenage girl and a woman were killed when Indian and Pakistani soldiers traded fire in the Himalayan region of Kashmir on Saturday. Indian and Pakistani troops have been involved in intense exchanges of fire in the disputed region after three soldiers were killed in clashes on New Year’s Eve. Pakistan’s military said the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) yet again resorted to unprovoked firing on the border near Sialkot. The shooting killed a 13-year old girl and an 8-year old boy was injured. In New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Pakistani Rangers had opened fire late Friday to which BSF had responded. They claim that Pakistani shelling claimed the life of a 45-year-old woman and wounded eight more villagers in the Samba and Kathua sectors of Jammu and Kashmir. Singh asked Pakistan not to violate the ceasefire agreement, “We want good ties with our neighbours, but Pakistan is violating the ceasefire repeatedly.” However, with regards to diplomatic overtures from high officials in government, India has been the one, since the BJP came into power, to threaten Pakistan vocally. Pakistan has only ever signalled towards peace. We don’t want to open more fronts. We don’t want more war.

India and Pakistan have been involved in several low-intensity border clashes over the past two years. They accuse each other of violating a 10-year-old ceasefire agreement in Kashmir. Two Pakistani troops and an Indian soldier were killed Wednesday in shooting incidents across the border in Narowal district and several hundred Pakistani families fled the area on Friday after shelling. The crisis is gaining momentum, and is going unnoticed. This is how wars start.

The stories of the casualties of casual fire between the Rangers and the BSF are usually buried and forgotten, because no body wants to take the responsibility of being the first aggressor. Over the past two years, the firing has become so frequent and it is almost impossible to determine who fired the first shot. International covenants dealing with war, determine a just war to be that which is in self-defence. The tag of being the first aggressor is therefore crucial to the politics of war. India seems to be trying its best to pin it on Pakistan and sadly the casualties have already started piling up.