Kashmir takes the hit of LoC violation | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 13, 2018


Kashmir takes the hit of LoC violation

Figures show cross-border clashes reach the highest levels in 15 years

Cross-border clashes between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan in Kashmir have reached the highest levels in 15 years, figures from both sides show, with hundreds killed or wounded and no solution in sight.

The de facto border dividing the mountainous territory had been relatively quiet in the wake of a 2003 ceasefire between the South Asian neighbours, each of whom rule part of Kashmir but claim it in full.

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But recently the number of ceasefire violations -- loosely defined as shelling, gunfire or fighting -- at the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) has been steadily increasing.

Independently confirmed data is virtually non-existent, and figures given by both sides can vary wildly. But both show the same trend -- a powerful, sustained surge over the past two years that has intensified since the beginning of 2018.

According to India, the number of Pakistani violations rose from 152 in 2015 to 860 in 2017. Delhi recorded 351 incidents in January and February 2018 alone.

Pakistan claims even higher numbers: 1,970 violations in 2017 against 168 two years earlier, and 415 until the beginning of March 2018.

Happymon Jacob, author of a 2017 report on ceasefire violations for the United States Institute of Peace, said he has no reason to doubt the figures.

An Indian analyst based in Delhi, Jacob has been monitoring violations through reports in Indian and Pakistani media, as well as conducting field visits and interviews with military officials on both sides.

Islamabad's figures are higher as "India is firing more than Pakistan. There is far more firepower, soldiers, posts, on the Indian side," he said.

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