NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India said on Tuesday (May 23) it had attacked and damaged Pakistani army posts in Kashmir as it sought to prevent militants infiltrating from the Pakistani side of the disputed region, but Pakistan denied the assertion.
The Indian army said its troops had attacked positions in the Nowshera area, but it did not say when or how it had inflicted the damage. Reuters was unable to verify footage circulated on Indian television showing explosions in a hilly area.
“It is essential that the infiltrations along the Line of Control are controlled,” Indian Major General Ashok Narula told reporters, referring to the disputed border between the Pakistani and Indian sides of Kashmir, known as the LoC.
He also accused Pakistan of firing into villages on the Indian side of the frontier. “The recent action by our troops in Nowshera sector has caused some damage to the Pak(istan) army force which are supporting infiltration,” Narula said.
The Pakistani military’s top spokesman, Major General Asif Ghafoor, dismissed the Indian report. “Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LoC... and firing by Pak Army on civilians across LoC are false,” he said.
The armies of the nuclear-armed neighbours face off along the heavily militarised frontier that divided the Muslim-majority Himalayan region and exchanges of fire are common.
Both sides invariably accuse the other of starting it.
Last week, an Indian father and daughter were killed and about a dozen civilians were wounded in firing.
But an official in Pakistani Kashmir said Pakistan had responded to “unprovoked” Indian firing.
India accuses its neighbour of training and then sending militants across the border to launch attacks and support a separatist movement against Indian rule.
Pakistan denies that, saying it limits its help to providing moral support to the inhabitants of India’s only Muslim-majority state.
Narula said security forces had stepped up operations along the border because infiltrations would rise with the melting of winter snow and the opening of mountain passes.
India is struggling to contain a recent flare-up in protests against its rule in Kashmir, where deep-seated anger and calls for independence remain widespread.