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Pakistan lodges protest with India over soldier's killing in Kashmir

From Shaan Khan, CNN
January 11, 2013 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Indian demonstrators burn a banner which reads 'Down with Pakistan, Shame on Pakistan' in Ahmedabad on January 10, 2013.
Indian demonstrators burn a banner which reads 'Down with Pakistan, Shame on Pakistan' in Ahmedabad on January 10, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned India's high commissioner
  • Pakistan's foreign secretary wants India to investigate a shooting incident
  • Pakistan accused Indian soldiers of killing one of its soldiers in the disputed Kashmir region
  • India has accused Pakistan of killing two of its soldiers in the flashpoint region

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistan called on India Friday to investigate what it called repeated violations by Indian soldiers along the de facto border between the two nations in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

Pakistan's Foreign Office summoned the high commissioner of India, Sharat Sabharwal, to its offices to protest the killing of one of its soldiers on the Pakistani side of the border known as the Line of Control.

Opinion: How India mistreats Kashmir

Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani also demanded that the Indian government investigate recent clashes between the two countries in the Kashmir region. Jilani's call came just days after Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai summoned the Pakistani high commissioner to lodge complaints about the killing of two of its soldiers in the Kashmir region Tuesday.

India and Pakistan have traded bitter accusations over allegations of repeated violations of a cease-fire in recent days at the Line of Control, increasing tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.

Rising tensions in Kashmir
Pakistan: India crossed Kashmiri border

Read more: South Asian rivals take baby steps to warmer relations

It began with a clash Sunday that, according to the Pakistani military, saw Indian troops cross the Line of Control and attack a military post. Pakistani army troops repulsed the attack, but one Pakistani soldier was killed and another critically injured, Pakistan said.

The Indian Defense Ministry, however, said Pakistani troops opened fire unprovoked on Indian posts in the north Uri sector of Indian-administered Kashmir. Indian troops retaliated and forced Pakistani troops to stop firing, the ministry said. It did not immediately report the number of casualties.

Read more: India says 2 soldiers killed in clash in Kashmir

That was followed Tuesday with allegations made by India that Pakistani troops took advantage of thick fog in a wooded area to cross over to its side of the border.

The Indian military says one of its routine patrols spotted the Pakistani troops in the Mendhar sector of Poonch district, and a firefight lasting about 30 minutes ensued, during which two Indian soldiers were killed.

The Indian government on Wednesday accused Pakistani troops of subjecting the two soldiers' bodies to "barbaric and inhuman mutilation," calling the alleged actions "highly provocative."

Pakistan denied the accusations, saying India was trying to distract attention from a weekend clash in the Himalayan territory that left a Pakistani soldier dead.

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The Pakistani Foreign Ministry rejected the allegations that its troops had crossed the Line of Control and killed Indian soldiers.

The two South Asian neighbors have had a cease-fire along the de facto border since November 2003. But it has been violated repeatedly, with both sides accusing the other of offenses.

Bilateral talks were suspended in 2008 after an attack by Pakistani militants in Mumbai, India's most populous city, killed more than 160 people. The negotiations have since resumed.

The conflict over Kashmir dates back to 1947, after Britain relinquished control of the Indian subcontinent, giving birth to modern India and Pakistan.

Kashmir was free to accede to either nation. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of the kingdom at the time, initially chose to remain independent but eventually opted to join India, thereby handing key powers to the central government in New Delhi. In exchange, India guaranteed him military protection and vowed to hold a popular vote on the issue.

The South Asian rivals have fought two full-scale wars over the territorial issue.

Islamabad has always said that majority-Muslim Kashmir should have been a part of Pakistan. A United Nations resolution adopted after the first war called for a referendum allowing the people of Kashmir to choose which country they wanted to join, but that vote for self-determination has never been held. Pakistan wants that referendum to take place.

India says that Pakistan lends support to separatist groups fighting against government control and argues that a 1972 agreement mandates a resolution to the Kashmir dispute through bilateral talks.

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