India, Pakistan calm tempers after border beheading
NEW DELHI (AFP) – The beheading of an Indian soldier may have sparked a war of words between Delhi and Islamabad but the two nuclear rivals are both determined to prevent it from wrecking a fragile peace process.
India delivered a dressing-down to Pakistan’s top envoy to New Delhi on Wednesday after senior ministers and the military denounced what they described as an “inhuman” and “dastardly” attack in the disputed Kashmir border region.
Pakistan’s foreign minister in turn said she was “appalled” at the reaction from Delhi as Islamabad insisted no such incident had taken place. Pakistan says one of its soldiers was killed in cross-border firing on Sunday.
But for all the initial angry verbal exchanges, the episode has so far not triggered further military exchanges between the tens of thousands of troops on both sides of the de facto border known as the Line of Control (LoC). And as tempers begin to subside, diplomats on each side are now stressing their desire to calm things down.
“It is important to exercise utmost restraint, not indulge in mutual recrimination,” Salman Bashir, the Pakistani high commissioner to New Delhi, told India’s NDTV on Thursday.