New Delhi: India summoned the Pakistani High Commissioner in Delhi this morning over yesterday's attack in Kashmir, in which Pakistani troops crossed the Line of Control and killed two soldiers; one was beheaded.
Both sides exchanged strong words today but warned against the escalation of the crisis.
Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said that at today's meeting, Pakistani envoy Salman Bashir, was told that the attack is "unacceptable." India has asked Pakistan to investigate the "barbaric and inhuman mutilation" of the dead jawans, Lance Naiks Hemraj Singh and Sudhakar Singh.
Pakistan has denied India's allegations and offered a United Nations inquiry, which is unlikely to be accepted by India. Mr Bashir told NDTV this evening that preliminary investigations show that Pakistani troops did not enter Indian territory or kill Indian soldiers. He said it's imperative for both sides to "de-escalate the tension."
Sources in the Indian government say that if Pakistan does not agree to an enquiry, New Delhi will consider the suspension or cancellation of a new and more liberal visa process introduced recently by both countries to exhibit improving relations.
While a statement by the Pakistani government has warned against "negative propaganda", the Pakistani army has also denied that its troops were responsible for yesterday's attack. "Indian authorities were informed that Pakistan has carried out ground verification and checked and found nothing of this sort happened as being alleged by India," a Pakistani military official told reporters.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, appearing on a local television channel, described India's allegations as "absolutely unacceptable" and reiterated the offer of an investigation by UN observers.
Pakistan blames India for violating the Line of Control and ceasefire on Sunday by raiding a Pakistani army post. Islamabad says a soldier died in that attack. India has refuted the accusation.
(With inputs from agencies)