First lull in Kashmir since latest India-Pakistan escalation

Posted March 04, 2019

That came after Pakistan's military said its air force shot down two India Air Force jets in its airspace and captured a pilot on the ground in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on February 27.

Indian Air Force officials said earlier it was up to the political leaders to decide when and how to release evidence of the Balakot strike. The three died after a shell fired by Pakistani soldiers hit their home in the Poonch region near the Line of Control.

In a sign of improvement in ties, Pakistan's minister for railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, told reporters Saturday that the Samjhauta Express train service linking the Pakistani city of Lahore with the Indian border town of Atari would resume on Monday.

While the exact details of the restrictions were discussed in a closed-door session, and thus remains classified, Miller then broadly outlined some of the restrictions, which he said were over a "dozen new and unprecedented elements" of the security plan for Pakistan.

Mir said the tension along the borders are resulting in avoidable fatalities.

India and Pakistan have been locked into a dispute over the territory of Kashmir since partition in 1947.

India said it struck at militant training camps, but Islamabad denied any such camps existed, as did some villagers in the area when Reuters visited. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the region, and most people support the rebels' cause against Indian rule while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

Tensions between Pakistan and Indian escalated rapidly following the February 14 suicide vehicle bombing as India started pointing a finger at Pakistan after the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant group which, Indian alleges, operates from Pakistan, purportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Indian army said Pakistani troops attacked Indian posts at several places along the militarized line.

Varthaman, who was in one of the eight MiG-21s that took on the invading Pakistan Air Force jets and shot down an F-16, was released at the Wagah border on Friday.

Separately two civilians were killed and two others wounded, including a woman, in Indian shelling in the Tatta Pani and Jandrot sector near the LoC, said ISPR.

"Whenever India fires mortars, it's we who suffer", said Mohammad Latif, a laborer who took refuge at a government building that was vacated for sheltering displaced families. "We reaffirm that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and is a matter strictly internal to India", spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said.

Indian army says its soldiers responded.

The UK government has repeatedly called for a de-escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan since the Pulwama attack on February 14, with senior government ministers holding talks with their counterparts in India and Pakistan.