Pakistan summons Indian envoy; cross-border buses, trade impacted

Pakistan summons Indian envoy; cross-border buses, trade impacted

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Indian troops patrol along the Line of Control.

New Delhi Pakistan summoned Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal in Islamabad today to protest against the death of a Pakistani soldier last evening in alleged firing by Indian troops in Kashmir.

A statement released after the meeting said that Pakistan protested against "the repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian army." (Read full statement)

Islamabad has also suspended cross-border trade and a bus service between the Poonch sector in India and Rawalakot on its side of the Line of Control (LoC). Both services were introduced to build confidence and trust between the two countries. Vegetables and fruit are bartered every week at designated trade centres along the LoC.

Defence Minister AK Antony said today that the recent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control in Kashmir are "a major cause of concern". He also said, "We will take every step to protect our interest and the Indian armed forces."

India has also said that if Pakistan targets its posts again, it will respond "appropriately".

Despite the hostility that has peaked since Tuesday when two Indian soldiers were killed and one of them was beheaded, both sides have cautioned against an escalation of the crisis.

Pakistan has denied that its soldiers crossed the LoC and killed the jawans, and has offered a United Nations inquiry, which India has flatly rejected. The External Affairs Ministry summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir on Wednesday to ask for an investigation into the "barbaric and inhuman mutilation" of its soldiers' dead bodies.

The tension began on Sunday when the Pakistani army accused India of killing one of its soldiers and wounding another in a cross-border attack.

India said its troops had opened fire following a Pakistani mortar attack, but denied they crossed the border. Four soldiers have been killed in the last five days.

Story First Published: January 11, 2013 14:04 IST