RAWALPINDI: The Pakistani Army yesterday asked India to share “actionable evidence” of its allegations that the bodies of two Indian soldiers were mutilated in the disputed region of Kashmir. The director generals of military operations (DGMO) for the two sides spoke to each other for the second time in two days, statements from the Indian and Pakistani armies said. India said its DGMO expressed “grave concern” over Monday’s incident and reiterated its accusation that Pakistani troops targeted the patrol on the Indian side of the Line of Control. Pakistan once again denied the charge and demanded that India offer proof to back up its claim. The Line of Control is a de facto border that divides the Kashmir region into two parts, one administered by India and the other by Pakistan. The nuclear-capable South Asian neighbours have fought three wars, two of them over Kashmir, which both claim in entirety. The border incident comes at a time when Indian authorities have come in for criticism on their handling of protests by local youth.
“Allegations of mutilation are an Indian attempt to divert the attention of the world from the situation within the valley,” the Pakistani military’s media wing ISPR said in a statement. “DGMO Indian Army conveyed that such dastardly and inhuman act is beyond any norms of civility and merits unequivocal condemnation and response,” the Indian statement said. Pakistan’s DGMO said the country’s forces were committed to maintaining peace along the LoC, but warned that any misadventure “shall be appropriately responded to.” The exchange came as the funeral rites of the two Indian soldiers were held. The Indian government was criticised on social media with messages to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Twitter handle demanding strong action be taken against Pakistan. Tensions between neighbours have risen after an Indian national, Kulbhushan Jadhav, was sentenced to death in April by a Pakistani Army court after it convicted him of espionage.