Director General of Military Operations to meet Pak counterpart, ambassador could be summoned
The Director General of Military Operations is due to meet his Pakistani counterpart later this morning, to take up the issue of the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani army.
Earlier, Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid said the incident was “absolutely unacceptable” and “inhuman” and promised that India would make a "proportionate" response.
We need answers from the Pakistani side. We may have to go beyond the procedures,” Khurshid said.He said that the External Affairs Ministry would now hold a meeting with the Ministry of Defence, before it decides how to proceed with the case.
The Times Now television channel reported that the Pakistan High Commissioner would also be summoned to explain the incident later today.
Pakistani troops intruded into Jammu and Kashmir Tuesday and killed two Indian soldiers by slitting their throats.
There have also been reports of firing along eight other Indian Army posts along the Line of Control although this has not been officially confirmed as yet.
India summons Pakistan High Commissioner
India has summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir to lodge a protest over the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani Army troops. The MEA has summoned the envoy at noon.
Meanwhile, there are reports that 29 Baloch regiment of Pakistan Army unit has been identified as being behind the ceasefire violation.
AK Antony condemns 'highly provocative, inhuman act" by Pakistan
Defence Minister AK Antony condemned the killing of two soldiers by the Indian army as "highly provocative" and said that the way one of the Indian soldier's bodies had been treated was "inhuman".
Both soldiers killed in the attack had their throats slit, while one of them had been beheaded.
"We will convey our protest to the Pak govt and our DGMO will talk to his Pak counterpart. We are closely monitoring the situation", he said.
US issues statement on Pakistan ceasefire violation
"We all hope - our Pakistani and Indian partners - that we can maintain peace and stability in the region. The secretary (of defence) has affirmed that on visits throughout that region, including to India," Pentagon press secretary George Little told reporters.
The issue of tensions, historical tensions between India and Pakistan, is one that defence secretary Leon Panetta, knows very well, he said in response to a question.
His remarks came hours after Pakistani regular soldiers crossed into Indian territory in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and ambushed an Indian patrol killing two soldiers, one of whom was decapitated in a "provocative" attack.
"On the issue of terrorism, let me say that we stand with everyone in the world to include those in India and in Pakistan who take a very hard line against terrorists who want to kill civilians, whether it's Pakistani, Indian or American civilians," Little said.
"We have all been affected by terrorism, and we believe that there needs to be a united front against terrorist groups operating in that region of the world and in others," he said.
The department (of defence) officials have had regular dialogue with Indian counterparts, he said.
Earlier, the US state department asked India and Pakistan to take steps to end the exchange of fire and resume normal trade and travel across the Line of Control.
"We urge both sides to take steps to end exchanges of fire and to resume normal trade and travel across the line of control," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
Gruesome killing of soldiers is a warning to India: Jaitley
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that the gruesome killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan army was a warning to the government of India, and said that the government now had to be very careful in the manner in which it dealt with Pakistan, going forward.
"The government of India must be firm in dealing with Pakistan. It must clearly define the dos and don'ts, particularly the redlines, this is a warning as far as India is concerned", he said.
Jaitley added that the Indian government needed to meticulously collect all facts pertaining to the event including the names of the soldiers who carried out the attack, the officers who authorised out and so on, and name and shame Pakistan before the international community.
'Mutilating bodies is standard operating procedure for Pakistan'
Former Army Chief General Shankar Roychowdhury, reacting to the murder and mutilation of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan army, has said that mutilation of bodies was nothing new for Pakistan, and was in fact, standard operating procedure for them.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, the former Army Chief added that India would have to respond in the strongest possible manner. When asked if dialogue should continue he said, "Well the Indian government seems to want to talk, so let them. But nothing will come of it".
Pakistan Border Action team carried out attack: Indian army
Army Sources have told CNN-IBN that Tuesday's attack on two Indian army soldiers was carried out by the Pakistani border action team, which comprises elements of the Baloch battalion and possibly SSG commandos.
The unnamed sources also told the news channel that the attack was clearly in retaliation for the killing of Pakistani soldiers in the Haji Pir area two days ago
The Poonch terrain, where the attacks were carried out is largely flat, and Pakistani villages run close to the Line of Control.
The army believes that the villages were used as cover to facilitate the entry of the border action team across the border.
Breaking: Pakistan Envoy Salman Bashir reaches Ministry of External Affairs
Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir who was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to explain the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control in Kashmir, has reached the Ministry premises in New Delhi.
He will first meet the Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai, who will then brief External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
Earlier Khurshid told media channels that the incident was “absolutely unacceptable” and “inhuman” and promised that India would make a "proportionate" response.
Mathai is likely to warn Pakistan that the incident is likely to be a huge impediment to the future of any bilateral talks in the future, and demand that the soldiers and officers responsible for the attack be brought to book immediately.
Congress spokesperson says Pakistan should not test India's patience
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said they favour talks with Pakistan to improve relations between the two nations but Pakistan should not test the tolerance of India.
"But after what has happened, Pak should understand that such acts will not always be tolerated," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.
"Pakistan should not test the limits of India's tolerance," he said.
Pakistani High Commissioner leaves after meeting
Pakistani High Commissioner Salman Bashir has left after his meeting with Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai but there's still no confirmation on what the Indian government has told the official.
Bashir did not speak with the waiting reporters after the meeting while no one from the Indian government has come out to speak yet.
Pak newspaper calls for calm over LoC incident
Amid escalating tensions on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, a Pakistani newspaper Wednesday urged Pakistan and India not to let the events turn into a war.
Calling the recent sequence of events along the LoC as disputed, The News International pointed to the varying versions emanating from New Delhi and Islamabad.
India and Pakistan "cannot, must not, allow (the killings) to propel" in the direction of war, it said.
Pakistan has accused Indian troops of killing one of its soldiers. Indian officials charged Pakistani troops with sneaking into Jammu and Kashmir and killing and mutilating two Indian soldiers.
"Serious as this incident is we cannot, must not, allow it to propel us in the direction of further confrontation," it said in an editorial titled "Line of Fire"."
The exact sequence of events around the incident in which one of our soldiers lost his life Sunday is, as ever, disputed."They (India) say that our (Pakistani) troops opened fire entirely unprovoked in the north Uri sector of Indian Kashmir and that the Indian troops responded and forced our troops to cease fire," it said.
The daily referred to the death of two Indian soldiers in Sona Gali in Poonch district.It said Sunday's incident was the "most serious incident of recent times" since a ceasefire took effect along the LoC from November 2003.
"There have been numerous violations of the ceasefire, and each side accuses the other of failing to honour it and the entire border region remains highly volatile despite a thaw in relations over the last year," the editorial said.
"Incidents such as this have the potential to put relations between the two countries back in the freezer unless they are handled with the utmost delicacy.
"The daily said the LoC -- which divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan -- was a "flashpoint along its entire length and has the capacity to derail the efforts of those with peaceful intent.
"It is not for us to adjudicate one way or another, but it is for us to urge moderation and restraint by all sides."It said that "neither nation needs or wants another war".
Pakistan should not test India's patience: Rashid Alvi
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said that Pakistan's actions were provocative, raised doubts about their commitment to a good relationship and warned them not to test India's Patience.
"The way they have beheaded our soldiers is brutal and barbaric. We want good relationship with our neighbour but whether Pakistan wants peaceful relationship is doubtful."
He added that Pakistan should not test India's patience.
Indian officials said Pakistani soldiers sneaked into Jammu and Kashmir taking advantage of a thick fog Tuesday and killed the Indian soldiers and wounded a third.
India lodges 'strong protest, demands investigation into incident
Foreign Secretary Shri Ranjan Mathai summoned Pakistan High Commissioner to the Ministry of External Affairs today and lodged a strong protest on the actions of the Pakistan army on January 8, 2013.
Regular Pakistan troops crossed the Line of Control at Mendhar sector and engaged the Indian troops who were patrolling this sector.
Two Indian soldiers were killed in the attack and their bodies subjected to barbaric and inhuman mutilation.
The Government of Pakistan was asked to immediately investigate these actions that are in contravention of all norms of international conduct and ensure that these do not recur.
The Foreign Secretary recalled that the experts of both countries had met in New Delhi on December 27, 2012 to discuss conventional CBMs, wherein maintaining the sanctity of the LOC, one of the most important CBMs between the two countries, was emphasized.
Incident along LoC must not be allowed to escalate: Khurshid
Ministry of External Affairs Salman Khurshid has said that while India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over the "unacceptable" incident over the Line of Control, it was also important that the incident was not allowed to escalate.
"The way the soldiers bodies were treated is a matter of deep concern. This is unacceptable and this has been conveyed, we hope that this message has gone home and we expect that there will be some response from the other side", he told reporters in New Delhi.
However he warned that it was important that the matter was not escalated. "We cannot and must not allow for an escalation of whatever has taken place", he said.
Bodies of soldiers receive guard of honour in Mendhar
The Bodies of the two Indian soldiers killed in Tuesday's LoC attack have been brought to Mendhar, where assembled troops honoured them by giving them a guard of honour.
Meanwhile India's Director General of Military Operations Gen Vinod Bhatia met his Pakistani counterpart and told him that mutilation and brutality are unacceptable to India.
He had also pointed out that Pakistani soldiers had crossed the LoC and killed two Indian soldiers, while no Indian soldier had crossed the LoC.
Khurshid says they are hoping for response from Pakistan
Condemning the incident which resulted in the death of two Indian soldiers, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that they had conveyed their emotions to their Pakistani counterparts and were hopeful of some action being taken.
"Those who have committed this crime should confess to it and face action for it," he said.
He said that all discussions that have taken place between the two countries was in mutual interest of both countries, region and world. India had conveyed its protest over the incident and the minister cautioned against allowing the peace process between the two countries being derailed.
"I still think we have to be careful that forces attempting to derail efforts of normalisation should not be successsful," he said.
"We have summoned High commissioner of Pakistan and sent a very clear message. We hope to get a response on it," the minister said.
When asked whether he would define this incident as a war crime, Khurshid said," I am not here to define the nature of the event that has taken place. This event is completely unacceptable and counter productive."
Pakistani Foreign Minister says they are ready for third party probe into incident, says Pakistani Army innocent
"We have completed our investigation. If India doesnt believe in it, we are willing to accept 3rd party enquiry," Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told CNN-IBN.
She also told the channel that they are ready for a third party to verify that they are not involved in the deaths of 2 Indian soldiers.
Family of killed soldier says they are proud of his sacrifice"We are saddened we will never see him again but are proud that he gave up his life fighting for the country," a relative of one of the slain soldiers said.
Mortal remains of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh to be cremated in Madhya Pradesh on Thursday
The mortal remains of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, who was one of the two soldiers killed in an alleged attack by Pakistan army across the LoC, is likely to be brought to Madhya Pradesh by this evening and the funeral is expected to take place tomorrow, official sources said.
A team of Madhya Pradesh police officials has reached his village to receive the body of Singh, they said.
Singh, 30, hailed from Darhia village near Churhat in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh. He is survived by wife Durga Singh and a four-month-old son. Singh had joined the Indian Army in 2002 and was working with the Rajputana Rifles Regiment.
Darhia village is a part of the Churhat Assembly constituency of Madhya Pradesh. Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Ajay Singh, who represents Churhat in the House, said it was very sad that a valiant soldier had lost his life at the hands of Pakistani military.
Hina Rabbani Khar 'appalled' at statements coming in from India
Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has taken the role of the aggrieved party, saying that after four years of her government trying to improve relations with India, she is "a bit appalled" at the statements coming in from India.
She added that when Pakistani soldier Lance Naik Aslam was killed because of Indian firing 400 metres inside the border, the government followed a normal course of action.
"You did not see the Foreign Minister or anyone responsible issue any statements. We followed the due course of action", she said.
Khar added that an internal investigation had established that the army was not responsible for the killing of the two soldiers. "We don't know what else to say. We have completed our investigation. If India doesnt believe in it, we are willing to accept 3rd party enquiry", she said.
Important thing is to de-escalate this situation: Pak ambassador
Pakistan ambassador to India, Salman Bashir said that both India and Pakistan had agreed for the need to de-escalate the situation, and said that he had reiterated Pakistan's commitment to maintaining the ceasefire along the Line of Control.
Speaking to the media after his meeting with Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, Bashir also repeated Hina Rabbani Khar's veiled criticism of the way the situation has been handled by India.
"As far as Pakistan is concerned, we have refrained from going to the media and preferred to use channels of communication", he said.
The comments echoed Khar's statement that when Pakistani soldier Lance Naik Aslam was killed because of what she claimed to be Indian firing 400 metres inside the border, the government followed a normal course of action.
"You did not see the Foreign Minister or anyone responsible issue any statements. We followed the due course of action", she said.
Soldiers were beheaded after they were shot: Indian army
The Indian Army said Wednesday that two of its soldiers were first shot dead by Pakistani troops and then beheaded, and one of the heads had not been found.
"The head of one of the soldiers is yet to be recovered," said Brigadier JK Tiwari, deputy general officer commanding (GOC) of the 25 Division headquartered in Rajouri.
He said they were "escorting a patrol party near the Sona Gali area close to the LoC (Line of Control)" in Jammu and Kashmir when they were shot dead and beheaded.
The army had not been able to recover the head of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh, he said.
The brigadier was speaking to the media after attending the guard of honour for the two soldiers killed Tuesday.
According to him, eight soldiers led by two escorts -- the victims -- was patrolling the area, about 600 meters inside the LoC.
"There was very thick fog and visibility was almost nil," he said, adding that the Pakistani soldiers were in black dress and had laid an ambush. They opened fire at the Indian patrol, killing the two soldiers in the front.
In the meantime, the other soldiers in the patrol opened retaliatory fire. The gun battle continued for about 25 minutes.
When the rest of the patrol reached the dead men, they found that they had been beheaded.
Brig. Tiwari did not rule out possibility of the raiders having taken the head of one of the soldiers with them. "The bodies of the soldiers were recovered after the firing stopped," he said.
The bodies were sent to their hometown after a wreath laying ceremony and guard of honour at Rajouri.