India And Pakistan Once Again Exchange Fire Along Kashmir Contact Line

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India And Pakistan Once Again Exchange Fire Along Kashmir Contact Line

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On August 15th, Pakistan’s Army reported that Indian troops had fired across the Line of Control in Kashmir. Pakistan responded and there were casualties on both sides.

Pakistan said at least three of its soldiers and five Indian soldiers were killed, in addition to two civilians on the Pakistan side.

On August 16th, Pakistan army spokesman General Asif Ghafoor said “another brave son of soil lost his life in the line of duty” in Buttal town.

Reuters cited an unnamed Indian Army spokesperson who said that India had suffered no casualties and denied any reports by the Pakistani side.

“No casualties. This assertion is wrong,” was cited. the Indian army said that from around 0700 local time Pakistan violated a ceasefire between the two nations.

Most recently, White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley said that US President Donald Trump and Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan spoke on the phone. Trump told Khan that it was important India and Pakistan reduce tensions in Jammu and Kashmir through “bilateral dialogue.”

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claimed that the two had a “cordial conversation”, and agreed to keep in touch over the Kashmir dispute.

“Prime Minister Khan conveyed Pakistan’s concern on recent developments in Kashmir and the threat they pose to regional peace,” he was cited as saying.

The UNSC held a closed-door meeting, requested by China, on Kashmir. Discussions were open only to its five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members. India and Pakistan didn’t attend the meeting.

Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters as he headed into the meeting that Moscow is concerned about the latest developments, but he said it was “a bilateral issue.”

Amnesty International Secretary-General Kumi Naidoo said in a statement that council members “need to remember that their mandate is to protect international peace and security – and they should seek to resolve the situation in a way that puts the human rights of the people in this troubled region at its centre.”

The video shows statements following the meeting.

The Chinese ambassador to the UN said the Security Council feared that the situation in Kashmir may get worse. Zhang Jun said the situation in Kashmir is “already very tense and very dangerous”. He added that the members of the council generally feel India and Pakistan should both refrain from unilateral action over Kashmir.

Pakistan’s ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said people in Indian-administered Kashmir “are not alone”, adding that they “may be locked up … but their voices were heard today.”

“We are grateful to China in also joining us and calling this meeting. The voice of the Kashmiri people, the voice of the people of occupied Kashmir has been heard today in the highest diplomatic forum of the world. They are not alone … their plight, their hardship, their pain, their suffering, their occupation and the consequences of that occupation has been heard in the UNSC.”

Lodhi said that the very fact this meeting had taken place is “testimony to the fact that this is an internationally recognized dispute.”

India’s ambassador to the UN Syed Akbaruddin criticized international interference over Kashmir, saying that it was an internal matter.

“We don’t need international busybodies to try to tell us how to run our lives. If there are issues, they will be discussed, they will be addressed by our courts,” he said.

On the Chinese and Pakistani envoys’ remarks after the UNSC meeting, he said, “For the first time after the end of Security Council consultations, we noted that two states (China and Pakistan) who made national statements tried to pass them off as the will of the international community.”

“India remains committed to ensure that the situation in Kashmir remains calm and peaceful. We are committed to all the agreements that we have signed on this issue. We note that there are some who try to project an alarmist approach to the situation, which is far from the ground realities.”

The ”results” of the UNSC meeting won’t be made public, since they appeared to have an informal nature.

The situation in Kashmir appears stable, despite communications still being blocked and there being restrictions imposed by the Indian government.

The situation along the Line of Control is simmering, but seems unlikely that there would be a sharp escalation.

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