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Fresh firing at Line of Control; Pakistan bars Indian trucks

Fresh firing at Line of Control; Pakistan bars Indian trucks
New Delhi India today confirmed that Tuesday's brutal deaths of two soldiers by Pakistani troops will not impact the recent decision by both countries to introduce a more liberal visa process.   

However, the Line of Control in Kashmir simmered with tension with fresh firing on both sides. Indian trucks were stopped from entering Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir for the cross-border trade that has been used to promote confidence and trust between the two countries. 

The ceasefire was violated again this evening. The Indian Army said it had delivered "an appropriate response" to firing from Pakistan, which claims it lost a soldier in "unprovoked firing" by India in the Battal area. (Read: Pak violates ceasefire again in Poonch sector)

Pakistan has denied India's claim that its troops crossed the Line of Control on Tuesday to ambush a patrol party near Mendhar, 220 kilometres north of Jammu. Two Indian jawans were killed. The head of one of the bodies had been severed.

India has asked Pakistan to investigate the "barbaric and inhuman mutilation" and has rejected Islamabad's offer of a United Nations inquiry. "We are certainly not going to agree to internationalise the issue or allow the United Nations to hold an inquiry. That demand is obviously rejected out of hand," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said after a cabinet meeting.

A few hours later, Pakistan refused to allow 25 trucks from India to cross the Line of Control in the Poonch district and enter a designated trade centre in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. Local Indian officials were not able to contact their Pakistani counterparts. 21 items, mainly agricultural produce, are bartered every week between the two sides.

Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj said in a series of tweets today, "The Government must go in for tough measures and we will support the Government in such decisions. It is matter of honour for the country. It is question of the morale of our armed forces."

(With inputs from agencies)
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