Pakistan protests over firing incident, blames Indian guards

September 18th, 2009 - 9:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 18 (IANS) Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with India over an “unprovoked” firing by the Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) at a Pakistani checkpost near the Sialkot international boundary, a media report said Friday.
Pakistan has also demanded a flag meeting between the two sides to investigate the matter.

The Online news agency, citing Pakistani interior ministry, said that the Indian security forces have violated a ceasefire agreement by firing at the Pakistani Rangers Thursday night in the Pokhlian sector near Sialkot.

The Pakistani Rangers retaliated and the exchange of fire lasted for about four hours. No loss of life was reported, it said.

The BSF again started firing at the checkpost Friday morning, the report said citing sources.

Meanwhile, senior Pakistani security officials have rejected the Indian media reports that it was the Pakistani side that started the firing first. They said no BSF soldier was injured in the incident.

IANS had earlier reported quoting a senior BSF official that firing continued Friday from the Pakistani side on the Nikowal border post, about 30 km west of Jammu city.

The firing on the post began Thursday evening when two BSF troopers were injured. The Indian side had retaliated after the first bullet hit the post.

“After last night’s lull, there was firing again at the same post to which we have again retaliated,” the BSF official added.

He said the BSF was trying to ascertain the source of the firing. It was unclear whether the firing was from militants trying to sneak into India or from Pakistani Rangers, the border guards of that country.

“The preliminary assessment points more to militants trying to infiltrate to this side,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

He added that the BSF had carried out a check of the three-tiered barbed wire fence from a distance and “there appears no breach, which scales down the possibility of the infiltration having succeeded. But there will be a closer look at the fence once we are sure that firing has stopped. If it was fire from Pakistani Rangers, then it can be termed as yet another ceasefire violation”.

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