Pakistan says Indian fire kills 2 villagers in Kashmir

In this file photo, Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian government forces during a protest against recent killings in Srinagar on April 13, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 26 April 2018
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Pakistan says Indian fire kills 2 villagers in Kashmir

  • Indian troops targeted the villages of Thub and Banchiran on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control with mortars and other weapons, says Foreign Ministry spokesman
  • Army officials say Pakistani forces retaliated and it was unclear if there were any casualties on Indian side

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry says Indian troops have fired across the frontier between the two countries in the disputed Kashmir region, killing two civilians and wounding two others.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal says Indian troops Thursday targeted the villages of Thub and Banchiran on the Pakistani side of the Line of Control with mortars and other weapons. Army officials said Pakistani forces returned fire and it was unclear if there were any casualties on the Indian side.
There was no immediate comment from India.
The nuclear-armed rivals routinely blame each other for starting any skirmishes and insist they are only retaliating.
Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over their competing claims to Kashmir, which is split between them, and both claim the region in its entirety.


Pakistan’s 21-member Cabinet is sworn in, Imran Khan pledges change

Updated 1 min 18 sec ago
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Pakistan’s 21-member Cabinet is sworn in, Imran Khan pledges change

  • President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath of office to 16 federal ministers in Islamabad
  • Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan has also appointed five advisers to his Cabinet

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s 21-member Cabinet was sworn in Monday, a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to cut government spending, end corruption and repatriate public funds.
President Mamnoon Hussain administered the oath of office to 16 federal ministers in Islamabad. Separately, Khan has also appointed five advisers to his Cabinet.
Khan, whose populist party won most parliament seats in the July 25 elections but fell short of a majority, forcing it to form a coalition, took the oath of office on Saturday as Pakistan’s 22nd premier. He campaigned on promises of rooting out endemic corruption and breaking powerful landowners’ monopoly on political power.
“I want to see Pakistan a great country” with social services for the poor, Khan said.
Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said after taking his oath of office that he is aware of foreign policy challenges ahead. Foreign policy, he said, will be revised and set on the correct path, in the “interest of Pakistan.”
Qureshi said he would reach out to counterparts in the region and focus on key issues of critical importance to Pakistan.
“Pakistan needs a peaceful and stabilized Afghanistan; our future is linked to peace in Afghanistan” Qureshi said. He said he wants to visit Kabul soon with a message that “we have to help and support each other and have to look for solutions of each other’s problems.”
Both neighboring India and Pakistan are nuclear powers and cannot afford any adventure, he said. “We have long standing, complex problems and have no option but to start a dialogue.”
He welcomed that Indian Prime Minister Modi in a congratulatory message to Khan expressed desire for talks.
As for ties with the United States, Qureshi said Pakistan wants bilateral relations based on respect and trust.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to make a stop in Islamabad on his way to India and Afghanistan in the first week of September.
“There is a trust deficit in our relations from both sides and we have to bridge it” Qureshi said of US and Pakistan. “In meetings with the US secretary of state, I will boldly apprise him of our aspirations.”