KL NEWS NETWORK
Tensions have flared up in Jammu and Kashmir State ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s planned visit to the region Friday. Expectations have been riding high following reports that PM Modi is likely to announce a mega package of more than Rs 70,000 Crore to the state besides attending the birth centenary celebrations of Girdhari Lal Dogra, a late Congress leader who was father-in-law of senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
For a past few days, Indian and Pakistani forces alleged each other of violating peace along the Line of Control (LoC) and the International Border (IB). On Wednesday, forces manning the IB and the LoC in Jammu region alleged heavy firing and shelling by their Pakistani counter parts while Thursday morning Pakistan said that its four civilians were killed in firing by Indian forces.
Forces Wednesday claimed that one woman and five others including two BSF personnel and three civilians were injured in firing from the other side of the IB and the LoC.
Quoting the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the newspaper reports said, “those killed in Sialkot have been identified as Ghulam Mustafa, Rahat and Muhammad Boota. Zarina Bibi, an 18-year-old, was killed in Rawalakot.”
The attack comes just days after India and Pakistan exchanged talks in Russian city of Ufa, skipping the issue of Kashmir in their joint statement disappointing separatists and Pakistani leadership.
Meanwhile, Pakistan today lodged a strong protest against “cross border firing by India” and claimed to have allegedly shot down an Indian spy drone. Indian officials, however, denied the Pakistani claim saying that drone does not appear of a kind used by them.
Indian and Pakistani Premiers had met last week for first time after relationship strained last year when a Pakistan High Commissioner to India met separatist leaders despite reservations from the Indian side. US on Wednesday welcomed the resumption of talks while terming the meeting as “important step.”
With another round of violence taking over, it would be interesting to see how Modi will assuage the fears from all quarters and forge peace.