Several civilians killed in border skirmish . . .
Rockets and mortar shells exchanged between Pakistani and Indian troops have left 15 people dead and more than 30 injured in the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. India-Pakistan tensions date back to India's partition in 1947, and the two countries have claimed the disputed region ever since. The last such deadly attack was in February 2019 when Pakistan shot down an Indian fighter jet and captured a pilot in retaliation for an Indian airstrike. India claimed the airstrike was aimed at militants located in Pakistan who were responsible for a suicide bombing that killed 40 Indian soldiers in India-administered Kashmir.
Pakistan alleges India funded terrorist agencies . . .
Over the weekend, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that Pakistan has well-documented evidence of India sponsoring terrorism on Pakistani soil in an effort to destabilize the country and weaken its economic partnership with China through the latter’s Belt and Road Initiative. The two South Asian countries routinely accuse each other of being responsible for the instigation of violence. Indian officials claim that Pakistan started the recent conflict, while the Pakistani military says the clash was in retaliation for violence last week between Pakistan-supported Kashmiri separatist rebels and Indian soldiers in the India-controlled Kapwara district that killed four Indian soldiers.
Dispute over Gilgit-Baltistan . . .
The month of November began on a tense note between the two countries, with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan announcing that his government has granted provisional provincial status to the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan. A strategic location that borders Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and India, Gilgit-Baltistan has a complex administrative structure. Though controlled by Pakistan, it was never formally integrated into the country. Meanwhile, India maintains that Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of Jammu and Kashmir and has firmly rejected Pakistan’s decision to modify the territory’s status. Whether the recent India-Pakistan clash is related to the dispute over Gilgit-Baltistan is still unclear. But irrespective of India’s objections, yesterday Pakistan held legislative assembly elections for Gilgit-Baltistan, and PM Khan’s political party has reportedly won the most seats.