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Pakistan says to protest to India over new Kashmir killing

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 16 Jan 2013 05:24 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Katharine Houreld

ISLAMABAD, Jan 16 (Reuters) - The Pakistani army said on Wednesday it will protest to India over the killing of a Pakistani soldier in Kashmir, the fifth fatality in hostilities between the nuclear-armed neighbours this year.

Indian troops shot dead the soldier at a position called Kundi during firing from the Indian side of the Line of Control in the disputed Himalayan territory, Pakistan's army said in a statement.

The Indian defence ministry declined to comment.

Two Pakistani and two Indian soldiers were killed in early January in the worst outbreak of violence in Kashmir since India and Pakistan agreed a ceasefire nearly a decade ago.

Government spokesmen on both sides have sought to play down the deaths and insisted they would not derail talks meant to improve relations between the two countries.

But a new visa regime, that was hailed as a sign of thawing ties before the latest fighting, hit teething problems on Tuesday. Pakistani senior citizens were turned away after turning up at the Wagah border post on the first day the scheme was to come into effect.

"The visa on arrival for senior citizens, which was to start from January 15, has now been put on hold, owing to technical issues," a senior Indian home ministry official said.

In a sign of the emotion the attacks have evoked in India, nine Pakistani hockey players who were signed up to play in a private league are being sent back home following protests over the Kashmir violence.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two of them over Kashmir.

India-Pakistan ties had improved after nose-diving in 2008 when gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai in a three-day rampage India blamed on a Pakistani militant group.

Firing and small skirmishes are common along the internationally recognised 740-km (460-mile) Line of Control despite a ceasefire that was agreed in 2003.

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