India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2014–2015)

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The India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2014–2015) were a series of armed skirmishes and firing exchanges between the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers along the Line of Control (LoC) in the disputed Kashmir region, as well as Punjab. Started from mid-July 2014, military officials and media reports of both countries gave different accounts of the incidents, each accusing the other of initiating the hostilities. The incident sparked outrage both in Pakistan and India and harsh reactions by the Indian and Pakistan armed forces and governments.

Later in October 2014, the situation became aggressive, following which Indian Defence Minister Arun Jaitley urged Pakistan to stop "unprovoked" firing and warned that the response by India would be "unaffordable". His Pakistani counterpart, Khawaja Asif replied to the warning with subtle mention of "nuclear power" that the country would be able to respond "befittingly" to the "Indian aggression".[citation needed] On 12 October 2014, Pakistan's Foreign and National Security Adviser, Sartaj Aziz, sent a letter to UN and appealed to resolve the crises.[17] However, the United Nations ignored Pakistan's proposal to intervene in the crisis and reiterated that the dispute be resolved through bilateral discussions.[18]

In September 2015, a delegation headed by DG Rangers Maj. Gen. Umer Farooq visited India for biannual talks and both sides agreed to stop ceasefire violations. The DG BSF, Devendra Kumar headed the Indian delegation.[19] The Indian home minister Rajnath Singh told the Rangers delegation that "Indian forces will not fire the first bullet along the international border."[20] Rangers delegation raised the issue of killing of a Rangers personnel called for a flag meeting by Indian BSF fire earlier. The DG BSF guaranteed that no such incident would occur in the future again.[19] Both sides achieved consensus to conduct joint investigations if incidents occurred in the future and to further strengthen the border control.[19]

Incidents

2014

July

  • India- In mid July one BSF soldier was killed after Pakistani Rangers fired upon Pittal border outpost along international border in Arnia forward area of R S Pura in Jammu district.[21]
  • Pakistan – On 20 and 23 July, two civilians from Azad Kashmir were killed in Mirajke during a skirmish between Indian BSF and Pakistani forces.[22][23]
  • India – On 22 July, an Indian soldier was reportedly killed in firing by Pakistani troops at Indian positions on the Line of Control. Later it was revealed he was killed by infiltrating militants and not by firing by Pakistani troops[24]

August

  • India – Another incident occurred early August when an Indian soldier, allegedly trying to cross the border from Bajwat sector in Sialkot, was arrested by Pakistani Rangers. He was freed two days later on 8 August.[25]
  • Pakistan – In late August, two civilians were allegedly killed by the Indian BSF in Sialkot region.[26][27]

October

  • India – Early October, a 17-year-old girl was killed in alleged cross-border firing by Pakistani troops in Poonch district.[28] Pakistani military official accused India of violating the ceasefire and opening fire in Pakistani village near Sialkot, after which Pakistani military retaliated.[29]
  • Pakistan – On 6 October, Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) personnel fired along the working boundary in Sialkot, killing four.[30] The Indian media reported death of 5 civilians in a ceasefire violation from Pakistan in Arnia belt of Jammu district.[31]
  • Pakistan – The following day, one woman was killed in Charwah sector by Indian troops.[32] and eight people were killed as Indian security forces allegedly fired and shelled a village the Chaprar Sector.[33] Later that day, two women were killed as Pakistani troops targeted 50 security outposts along the LoC.[34]
  • Pakistan – On 9 October, two Pakistani civilians were killed by Indian forces.[35] Meanwhile, two Indian women were killed by Pakistani forces in an unrelated incident.[36]
  • Pakistan – On 11 October, Indian forces allegedly violated the ceasefire after a brief lull. No loss of life was reported.[37] Later, the Pakistani army allegedly violated ceasefire in Arnia targeting BSF outpost[38]

November

  • India – On 8 November, a civilian and a soldier were killed by Pakistani troops in Kamalkot area of Uri sector.[39][40]
  • Pakistan – Pakistani officials detain a 13-year-old Indian student for mistakenly crossing the border before handing him over to Indian authorities at the Chakoti-Uri crossing point the next day.[41]
  • Pakistan – On 20 November, a Pakistani soldier was killed by Indian troops in the Pandu sector near Muzaffarabad, Azad Kashmir.[42][43]

December

  • India – On 30 December, Pakistani officials handed over 16-year-old girl to her family who had mistakenly crossed the Line of Control (LoC).[44]
  • India – On 31 December, One BSF soldier was killed by Pakistani fire in Jammu & Kashmir's Samba sector.[45]
  • Pakistan – On 31 December, Two Pakistan rangers,[46][47] Naik Riaz Shakir and Lance Naik Muhammad Safdar were killed in Indian BSF firing at Shakargarh Sector of Narowal district. According to Pakistani sources, the soldiers were heading to participate in the flag-meeting when they were fired upon by BSF troops at Zero Point.[48] The Pakistani officials also claimed that the BSF fired at those who went to rescue the injured soldiers too.[49] The BSF officials claimed that the firing was in retaliation to the previous day's Pakistani firing[50] and that five Pakistani soldiers were killed instead.[51]

2015

January

  • Pakistan – On 2 January, a 13-year-old girl was killed by Indian BSF firing in Pakistani residential areas of Zafarwal,[52]
  • India – On 2 January, two Indian soldiers and one female civilian were killed by Pakistani army fire.[53][54] The Hindu reported that 2 Pakistani Rangers were killed after 9:30 PM IST during the exchange.[55]
  • Pakistan – On 5 January, Four civilians were killed by Indian firing and shelling on Pakistani residential areas, including 18 years old Azeem from Bore Chak and a woman from Sukhmal village in Zafarwal sector and two other civilians. Pakistani soldiers also responded by firing on BSF posts.[56]
  • India – On 5 January, A BSF soldier was killed by Pakistani firing on BSF posts at Hiranagar in Samba sector of Jammu & Kashmir.[57][58][59]

February

  • Pakistan – On 14 February, a sixty-year-old villager was killed by Indian fire in Rawalakot sector along the Line of Control.[60][61]

April

  • India – On 11 April, Pakistani drone was claimed by BSF to be spying on Indian territory along the International Border.[62]

May

  • Pakistan – On 1 May, a Pakistani civilian was killed by Indian BSF in Shakargarh sector.[63]
  • Pakistan – On 30 May, Indian Police captured a Pakistani pigeon from Pathankot. The bird had Shakargarh and Narowal written on its body in English, along with some numbers and words in Urdu. Indian intelligence believed that the pigeon was being used for spying purposes.[64]

July

  • India – On 5 July, a BSF soldier, was killed in cross border fire by Pakistani Rangers on 6 BSF outposts in Arnia sector near the Line of Control.[65][66][67]
  • Pakistan – On 5 July, Indian Army handed back an 11 years old boy, Sameer Kayani, from Azad Kashmir, who had mistakenly crossed the Line of Control.[68]
  • India – On 9 July, a BSF soldier, was killed by Pakistan Rangers fire at a BSF post in Baramulla sector.[69][70][71]
  • India – On 11 July, Pakistan Rangers handed over the body of Kant Lal, from Jammu, who drowned in the river Chenab to the BSF.[72][73]
  • India – On 15 July, one Indian civilian was killed by Pakistan Rangers firing on Kanachak and Bhalwal Bharath areas along International Border.[74][75]
  • India – On 15 July, the Pakistan Army claimed to have shot down an Indian spy drone in Bhimber, Azad Kashmir. According to ISPR, the spy drone was being used for aerial photography.[8][76] An official of the Indian Air Force denied the claim. A photo supplied by the Pakistani military appeared to show a Chinese-made DJI Phantom 3, said Huw Williams, an unmanned Systems Editor at IHS Jane's International Defence Review. "Due to its limited operating range — about two km — if the Indian military is using the system it would most likely be for close reconnaissance or security work," Williams said.[77] Pakistan summoned the Indian high commissioner in Islamabad to raise the issue.[78] On 27 July, the Pakistani ISPR released "some images and video clips" maintaining that the spy drone flew from an Indian post and entered into Pakistani territory, including the images of Indian ASCOM, an Indian soldier and aerial views of Indian Sector outposts and company headquarters along LOC.[79][80][81] On the next day, India rejected the Pakistani claims, with the Indian Government sources claiming "India has dismissed the 'proof' furnished by Pakistan."[82]
  • Pakistan – On 16 July, five Pakistani civilians were killed by Indian BSF fire at the Malana and Salehpur villages in Chaprar sector near Sialkot.[83][84]
  • United Nations – On 20 July, a team of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan visited the areas affected by cross border fire on the Sialkot working boundary. "The UNMOGIP visited areas most affected by recent Indian firing and were shown evidence of ceasefire violations," an ISPR statement said.[85][86] The team flew by helicopter to the Pakistani side of the boundary; "The UNMOGIP observers visited Saleh Pur, Chaprar and Malane in Chaprar Sector near working boundary", the statement added,[87] on Pakistan Army's request.[88]
  • Pakistan – On 25 July, a Pakistani civilian, Mohammed Wasim, was killed by BSF fire at Polas village in Chirikot sector of Azad Kashmir.[89][90]
  • India – On 30 July, an Indian soldier was killed in cross border fire by Pakistan Rangers at an Indian post in the Krishna Ghati sector in Poonch along LoC.[91][92][93]

August

  • Pakistan – On 4 August, two Pakistani civilians were killed in BSF fire on Pakistani residential areas near Sukhial village along the Working Boundary near Sialkot. The killed included 14 years old Atif and 22 years old Muhammad Adnan.[94][95]
  • India – On 4 August, one civilian was killed by Punjab Rangers fire at 12 BSF outposts in Kanachak and Pargwal sectors of Jammu district.[96][97]
  • Pakistan – On 7 August, Indian toy bomb killed a child at Hillan Sector, Muzaffarabad.[98]
  • Pakistan – On 9 August, a woman was critically injured by BSF fire on Pakistani residential areas in Jandrot sector along LOC.[99] The 28 years old Fareeda belonged to Kotli, Azad Kashmir and was being treated in the Combined Military Hospital, Rawalpindi, where she died on 11 August.[100][101]
  • Pakistan – On 14 August, the day of Independence of Pakistan, one woman, Muneera Akhtar, was killed by Indian army firing in Nezapir sector.[102]
  • Pakistan – On 15 August, two civilians were killed in cross border firing along LoC in Kotli.[103][104]
  • India – On 15 August, the day of Independence of India, 5 Indian civilians were killed in cross border firing along LoC.[105]
  • India – On 16 August, a woman was killed by Punjab Rangers fire in Poonch district along LOC.[106]
  • Pakistan – On 17 August, a woman was killed by Indian BSF fire in Nakyal sector along LOC.[107]
  • Pakistan – On 18 August, one civilian was killed by Indian BSF fire in Nakial sector of Kotli district of Azad Kashmir.[108]
  • United Nations – On 21 August, United Nations observers visited the villages in Sucheetgarh and Charwah sectors along the Working Boundary hit by Indian shelling.[109]
  • Pakistan – On 22 August, a 30 years old civilian was killed by Indian BSF fire in Batal Sector.[110]
  • India – On 25 August, an Indian soldier was killed by Punjab Rangers fire along LoC in Nowgam sector.[111]
  • Pakistan – On 28 August – 8 civilians were killed and another 50 were injured including 22 women by Indian BSF firing in Sialkot sectors of Pakistan.[112][113][114]
  • India – On 28 August, three civilians were killed and sixteen injured along LoC by Punjab Rangers fire in RS pura sector.[115]
  • United Nations – On 29 August, United Nations observers visited for the third time the residential areas and villages affected by Indian shelling and fire. The observers visited the Kundanpur village in Sialkot and reviewed damage caused by Indian BSF fire.[116]
  • Pakistan – The Indian fire on the Pakistani residential areas and villages displaced people from at least 50 villages in Sialkot, Pakistan. Three relief centres were established by the Pakistani district administration in Daallowali, Harpal-Balaarwali and Panur villages. According to district administration officials, fresh shelling and fire by BSF had affected at least 50,000 villagers while caused displacement of 40,000 of them.[117]

September

  • India – On 7 September, an Indian civilian was killed by Punjab Rangers fire along LoC in Poonch sector.[118]
  • India – On 11 September, the Pakistan Army handed over an Indian woman hailing from Nakarkot village in Poonch district to Indian authorities. She had mistakenly crossed LOC and entered Azad Kashmir at Chakoti Sector.[119]
  • India – On 13 September, Chuni Sohan Lal, a BSF soldier was killed by Pakistan Rangers fire in Rajouri district along LOC.[120][121]
  • Pakistan – On 15 September, Shams Khan, a Pakistan Rangers soldier from Gilgit-Baltistan, was killed by BSF firing in Azad Kashmir's Battal sector along LoC .[122]
  • Pakistan – On 17 September, three civilians were killed by Indian firing aling LoC in Nakial sector of Azad Kashmir.[123][124]
  • India – On 18 September, a civilian was killed by unmarked ship fire in Okha Coast, Gujarat.[125] Some Indian media reports claimed that Pakistan Navy fired on the Indian boats.[126][127] However, the reports of Pakistani fire could not be verified.[125]
  • Pakistan – On 18 September, a 25-year-old woman was killed by Indian firing.[128]

October

  • India – On 23 October, one civilian was killed by Pakistani rangers firing in Samba Sector.[129]
  • Pakistan – On 26 October, two Pakistani civilians died by Indian BSF firing in Shakargarh sector.[130]

November

  • India – On 2 November, two Indian Army soldiers were killed in Gurez sector, according to defence spokesperson.[131]

Reactions

India

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "I want to assure the people that we will not let down our country" and 'everything will be fine soon'."[132][133] While then Defence Minister of India, Manohar Parrikar said that, "If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make the cost of this adventurism unaffordable".[134][135] The Indian Home Minister, Rajnath Singh said that the Pakistan must stop ceasefire violations across the border, "times have changed in India".[31][136]

According to Indian claims, 18 militants were also killed[137] and 19 alleged militant camps destroyed in October.[138]

Pakistan

The Pakistani military officials and the government accused India of violating the ceasefire and opening fire in Pakistani territory, after which Pakistani military retaliated. Both condemned the LoC violation by Indian Army.[29][139][when?] The Pakistani Defence Minister, Khawaja Asif responded to the Indian counterpart on 'unafforable adventurism', "We don't want to convert border tension between two nuclear neighbors into confrontation".[140][141][142][when?]

In a rally in Multan, Pakistani politician Imran Khan stated that "Modi had been given a mandate by the Indian people, but if he chooses to use it for war, then he will regret it."[citation needed] Unofficial statement issued by the ISPR, Chairman joint chiefs General Rashad Mahmood reportedly marked that Narendra Modi is threat to peace and if he wants war then he will see just what the unified Pakistani military will do to India.[citation needed] On 12 October 2014, Pakistan's National Security Adviser (NSA), Sartaj Aziz, sent letter to UN and appealed to resolve the crises.[17] However, the United Nations rejected Pakistan's proposal to intervene in the crisis and reiterated that the dispute be resolved through bilateral discussions.[18]

According to claim by the Director-General of Pakistan Rangers Major-General Tahir Javaid Khan, India fired close to 30,000 mortar rounds between 2010 and 2014.[143] He also said Indian violation of ceasefire was up to the intensity of fighting a small-scale war.[143]

On 31 December, National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz directed a letter through the Embassy of Pakistan, New Delhi, to External Minister Sushma Swaraj protesting the "breach of trust" over the killing of two Rangers personnel.[144] In response to letter, External Minister Sushma Swaraj reportedly dismissed Pakistan allegations.[145]

On 28 August 2015, the chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif reportedly quoted, "Indian ceasefire violations, targeting of civilians is "highly unprofessional, unethical, irresponsible and cowardly."[146]

United Nations

United Nations- On 9 October 2014, United Nations general secretary Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson issued a statement that he wants the both countries "to engage constructively to find a long-term solution for peace and stability in Kashmir".[147][148]

See also

Notes

References

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