New Delhi: The Indian army this week allowed Pakistani troops to retrieve the bodies of their colleagues killed in Indian retaliation to Pakistan’s violation of a 2003 ceasefire after they waved a white flag, news reports said Saturday.
One of the Pakistani soldiers was killed on 10 September and thereafter Pakistan started firing indiscriminately from their side of the line of control on a bid to provide cover fire as they attempted to bring the body back. This resulted in a second Pakistani soldier getting killed, the news reports said.
The firing from the Pakistani side then stopped after the second casualty and on Friday, three Pakistani soldiers carrying a white flag walked towards the bodies to take them back, the reports quoting unidentified sources said. This was allowed by the Indian side given that the Pakistani troops were carrying a white flag signalling non-hostile intentions and letting known that their intentions i.e seeking time to retrieve the two bodies that were on a clearing in the foothills of the Hajipur sector in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Indian and Pakistani troops have been trading fire across their de facto border in Kashmir for months with a ceasefire agreed to in 2003 in tatters. India says the Pakistani intention is two fold — one to allow terrorists to infiltrate into India under the cover of the firing and secondly to keep tensions high to in a bid to attract international attention that Kashmir is a trouble spot. Pakistan on its part says that it’s India that targets its positions and that it’s troops only retaliate to Indian firing.
Tensions between the two countries have been running high since New Delhi revoked a provision in its constitution and integrated the part of Kashmir under its administration more closely with the rest of the country last month.