Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says an eight-year-old child has been killed by alleged cross-border Indian gunfire in the Himalayan region of Kashmir.
(Muslim Times) – The ministry further said on Tuesday that an Indian diplomat had been summoned to receive Islamabad’s official protest over the deadly shooting on Monday, which allegedly occurred in the village of Jijot Bahadar in Khuiratta region on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.
There was no official reaction from New Delhi.
Tensions have recently been running unusually high between the two nuclear-armed neighbors. Mutual accusations of cross-border fire have increased, and the two sides often claim civilians have been targeted in hostile fire.
New Delhi also accuses Islamabad of backing militants in the region.
According to Pakistani authorities, Indian forces have violated the cease-fire dividing their respective sectors of Kashmir more than 335 times so far this year, leading to the killing of 15 civilians and the injuring of 65 others.
The development came days after the Pakistani army said it had targeted and destroyed an Indian military post near the village of Tatta Pani, killing five soldiers in retaliation for alleged sniper fire by Indian troops that killed a Pakistani civilian.
Pakistani and Indian troops regularly exchange fire in the restive Kashmir, each accusing the other of initiating fire. In 2016, Indian artillery fire and shelling allegedly struck a passenger bus in Pakistani side of disputed Kashmir, killing 12 civilians.
The Monday incident marked the latest escalation in Kashmir, which has been divided between the two countries since Britain ended its colonial rule of the region. Both countries, however, claim the area in its entirety.
Since the partition 71 years ago, India and Pakistan have fought four wars, three of them over Kashmir. An overwhelming majority of Kashmir’s population of nearly 12.5 million are Muslims.