Kashmir Border Clashes Spark India, Pakistan Diplomatic Spat

Pakistan summoned India’s top envoy in Islamabad to protest the killing of one of its soldiers along the disputed Kashmir border, as a series of clashes sparked a diplomatic row that threatens the neighbors’ peace bid.

The meeting yesterday came a day after Pakistan said Indian troops fired at a Pakistani army post, killing one soldier. Pakistan’s foreign office said in a statement that it “lodged a strong protest on the repeated, unacceptable and unprovoked attacks on Pakistani soldiers by the Indian army.”

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Syed Akbaruddin, said in New Delhi that “there was a controlled response from our side” after “unprovoked firing” from Pakistan.

Some of the most serious cross-border skirmishes in a decade between the two nuclear-armed neighbors, which resumed peace talks in 2011 after a three-year break in ties over the Mumbai terrorist attack, began last weekend and have triggered charges and counter allegations.

Pakistan’s military said a soldier died repelling a Jan. 6 Indian raid along the mountainous de facto border. India said a Pakistani strike on a patrol Jan. 8 near the Line of Control killed two of its soldiers and they were “subjected to barbaric and inhuman mutilation.”

While India continues to press Pakistan to pursue the militants responsible for the raid on its financial capital of Mumbai in 2008, the two countries have eased visa restrictions and taken steps to raise cross-border commerce. Sports ties have also resumed, with Pakistan’s cricket team touring India this month.

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