India, Pakistan ties sour as cross-border fire heats up

Indian and Pakistani troops intensified firing across the border over the weekend killing at least four, an Indian official said on Sunday, straining ties between the arch rivals who recently called off top-level diplomatic talks.

Last week India said its foreign secretary would not meet with her Pakistani counterpart as scheduled on Monday because of plans by Pakistan to consult separatists from the border state of Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the meeting.

The cancellation dashed any hopes of near-term peace deliberations, chances of which had risen after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the inauguration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about three months ago.

The Himalayan region of Kashmir has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan since both countries became independent in 1947. They have fought three wars and came close to a fourth in 2001 and there have been regular clashes on the Line of Control that divides Indian- and Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

Giving ammunition to hawks on both the sides against resuming talks, firing across the border has picked up.

Source: Reuters