Pakistan on Friday described the killing of its soldier who “inadvertently” crossed the Line of Control (LoC) as a violation of the bilateral understanding on inadvertent crossers, and warned that the incident could further vitiate the atmosphere between the two countries.
In a statement, the Foreign Office strongly condemned the killing of the soldier by the Indian Army on Thursday in the Khoi Ratta sector along the LoC. “The killing of our soldier who had lost his way and inadvertently crossed the LoC goes against the understanding reached between Pakistan and India on speedy return of inadvertent line crossers and has the potential to further vitiate the atmosphere.”
Pakistan also asked India to carry out a thorough investigation into the incident. According to the Pakistan Army, the soldier — Sepoy Ikhlaq — lost his way between two posts and crossed over the LoC. From the Army’s account, Pakistan’s contention is that the solider was first questioned by Indians and then killed as some civilians were witness to him being interrogated.
The hotline between the Directors-General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries was activated on Friday morning. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Indian DGMO revealed that the soldier was killed and agreed to hand over his body.
The ISPR, in a statement, said it was regrettable that the soldier was killed by the Indian troops even after he identified himself and explained his position. Further, according to ISPR, this is not the first such incident. “Pakistan returned Indian soldiers in the past who had similarly strayed.”
In October 2011, Pakistan allowed an Indian military helicopter with four personnel aboard to return after it strayed into its airspace in the Skardu sector.