Monday 6 July 2009

India says rockets launched from Pakistan onto its territory

India handed over a protest note to Pakistan over rockets fired from across the border, a top official said on Monday (July 6).
Rockets fired from across the border fell in two villages, Dhandae and Bhairwal, in northern Punjab state on Saturday (July 4).

It was not clear whether the firing on Saturday night was from separatist militants or from Pakistani troops.

Paramilitary Borders Security Force (BSF) chief told reporters in Dhandae after his officers visited the site that India has asked Pakistan to investigate the incident.

"According to preliminary enquiry, it is quite clear that it came from Pakistan's side. We have had a talk with Pakistan authorities and rangers at the commandant level. Apart from that, we have handed over a protest note also. We have asked them to carry out investigations and tell us who was behind this," BSF's director general M.L Kumawat said.

Two rockets were fired into Dhandae and one in Bhairwal.

India has in the past accused Pakistani troops of cross-border firing to help militants cross the border to join a nearly 20-year revolt in the Indian side of Kashmir. Pakistan denies the accusation.

Ties between the nuclear-armed countries have chilled since attacks in Mumbai in November blamed on Pakistan-based guerrillas.

India has resisted calls to resume peace talks demanding Pakistan act against militants accused of carrying out acts of violence in India.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met for the first time since the Mumbai attack on the sidelines of a regional conference in Russia last month.

They agreed that their top foreign ministry officials would meet soon and the countries' political leaders would hold talks on the sidelines of a Non-Aligned Movement summit in Egypt in mid-July.

The neighbours have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.


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