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Pakistan: political parties unite amid rift with India

(AGI) - Islamabad, Oct. 3 - In an extraordinary gathering of leading political p...

Pakistan: political parties unite amid rift with India
Kashmir India Pakistan

(AGI) - Islamabad, Oct. 3 - In an extraordinary gathering of leading political parties in Pakistan on Monday, a message of unity and deterrence was sent across the border to India in the wake of escalating tension between the two nuclear armed countries. The two countries remain engaged in sporadic exchange of fire at the Line of Control (LoC) in the Kashmir region following an uptick in violence in this valley in the Himalayas, which is claimed by both the countries. Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan chaired the meeting of parliamentary leaders to discuss the security situation at the LoC. In his speech at the meeting, Sharif urged upon the UN to take notice of the Indian 'atrocities' in Indian Administered Kashmir and cross-border shelling at the LoC. Later, a joint statement was issued that noted "the people, the government, the political parties and the armed forces of Pakistan are firmly united in supporting the Kashmiri people's right to self-determination, as guaranteed to them by the UNSC resolutions". It condemned the continued killings of innocent Kashmiris, which are a grave violation of human rights, and of international humanitarian laws. The statement charged that Indian forces have killed more than 110 civilians, including women and children, and blinded over 700 people by use of pellet guns in the last 87 days in Indian Administered Kashmir, a claim rejected by New Delhi. The Indo-Pak ties flared-up following the killing of a young rebel leader Burhan Wani in Indian Administered Kashmir in July. This was followed by a militant attack on an Indian Army base, allegedly by the Pakistan-backed militants in September that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. On September 27 Indian Army responded with 'surgical strikes' inside Pakistan Administered Kashmir that claimed the lives of at least two Pakistani soldiers. Since then, ties between the two South Asian neighbours who have been engaged in at least four wars, three of them over Kashmir, are fast deteriorating. (AGI) .