`Killing of Pak soldier by India can further vitiate atmosphere`

Pakistan condemned the killing of one of its soldiers by Indian troops along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

Updated: Feb 15, 2013, 20:57 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan on Friday condemned the killing of one of its soldiers by Indian troops along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the incident had the "potential to further vitiate the atmosphere" between the two countries.

The killing of the Pakistani soldier "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", Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said.

"Pakistan calls upon the government of India to carry out a thorough investigation into this unfortunate incident and to ensure that such incidents do not recur," Khan said in a statement.

An Indian Army spokesman said in New Delhi that the Pakistani soldier was killed after he intruded into Indian territory in Naushera sector along the LoC yesterday.

The incident comes a month after Pakistani troops entered Indian territory and killed two Indian soldiers and beheaded one of them.

The Pakistani soldier fired at an Indian patrol and was killed in a firefight, the Indian Army spokesman said.

Indian authorities returned the body of the Pakistani soldier during a flag meeting along the LoC today.

Foreign Office spokesman Khan contended that the Pakistani soldier had "lost his way and inadvertently crossed the LoC". A spokesman for the Inter-Services Public Relations, the media arm of the Pakistani military, condemned what he described as the "inhuman and brutal" killing of the soldier.

He also said the soldier "lost his way between two posts and inadvertently crossed the LoC in Khoi Ratta sector".

The military spokesman said the Pakistani side learnt of the death of the soldier when the Directors General of Military Operations of the two countries spoke on their hotline this morning.

"This is not the first such event. We have returned Indian soldiers in the past who had similarly strayed," he said.

The 742-km LoC witnessed a string of clashes last month - the worst violations of a ceasefire that was put in place by India and Pakistan in late 2003.

Both sides traded angry charges over the incidents before the DGMOs agreed on steps to de-escalate the situation.