Published: Tue, August 06, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Take back BAT operation bodies, says India; Pakistan mum

Take back BAT operation bodies, says India; Pakistan mum

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the shelling by India and warned on Twitter that the situation has the potential to "blow up into a regional crisis".

Thousands of Indian students and visitors were fleeing Indian-controlled Kashmir over the weekend after the government ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims visiting a Himalayan cave shrine "to curtail their stay" in the disputed territory, citing security concerns.

Last week, India rebuffed U.S. President Donald Trump's offer to mediate between the south Asian nation and Pakistan, which have long-running tensions centering on Kashmir, an area in the Himalayas claimed in full - and ruled in part - by both. The Pakistani leader called upon the global community and the United Nations to take note of the situation in Kashmir. He reiterated that "the only road to peace and security in South Asia runs through a peaceful and just settlement of Kashmir".

In this regard, the information will be shared with the envoys of P5 members of the Security Council, he added when asked how would Pakistan respond to the alleged Indian aggression. He also said the Imran Khan government will move the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to move a resolution rejecting India's decision.

India has firmly stated that any discussion on Kashmir, if warranted, will be only with Pakistan, and only bilaterally.

Khan also accused New Delhi of violating its worldwide obligations regarding the Kashmir conflict and argued that this has resulted in "heightening the conflict dynamics in the region".

The Indian Army has asked Pakistan to take back the bodies of the intruders from Border Action Team (BAT), who were killed while attempting to infiltrate the Line of Control on Saturday. Photographs issued to the media showed the bodies lying on the Indian side of the LoC. Condemning what she described as Indian democracy's "darkest day", former Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti tweeted that Delhi's move was illegal and unconstitutional, and would make India "an occupational force" in the state.

The army today said they offered Pakistan to retrieve the bodies of their personnel killed at Keran sector on Saturday but Pakistan has shown no response.

It said the Indian military, on the intervening night of July 30 and 31, targeted citizens including women and children in Neelum Valley through artillery using cluster ammunition - resulting in the killing of two civilians, including a boy and injuries to 11 other people, according to the ISPR statement.

Meanwhile, along the Line of Control (LoC), a heavily militarised de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, there was a fresh surge in hostilities between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Ordinary Kashmiris fear the government measures are a prelude to intensifying a crackdown against anti-India dissenters. The Pakistani foreign office in a statement issued overnight Sunday said, "We reject Indian allegations of cross-LoC action by Pakistan and possession of bodies".

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