ISLAMABAD – Pakistan accused India of “warmongering” and lodged an official protest on Wednesday after another soldier was killed in disputed Kashmir in a flare-up that threatens to derail a fragile peace process.
Diplomats on both sides have warned against allowing a spate of deadly cross-border incidents to wreck the tentative progress that has been made since a total break in relations following the 2008 attacks on Mumbai.
But tensions escalated as Pakistan reported another of its soldiers was killed Tuesday in “unprovoked” firing across the militarized border, bringing the toll on both sides to five since January 6.
Pakistan army’s director-general of military operation telephoned his Indian counterpart Wednesday to “strongly protest” over the death, an official told AFP.
The country’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar hit out at strident comments by Indian politicians over the incidents, and warned against “upping the ante” between the nuclear-armed neighbours.
“We see warmongering,” Khar said at the Asia Society in New York late Tuesday.
“It is deeply disturbing to hear statements which are upping the ante, where one politician is competing with the other to give a more hostile statement.”
India says two of its soldiers have been killed, one of them beheaded, since hostilities erupted along the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border in Kashmir where a ceasefire has been in place since 2003.