War of words escalate between India and Pakistan, as tensions rise on Kashmir border

January 14, 2013 – INDIA India’s army chief held out the threat of retaliating against Pakistan for the killing of two soldiers at the de facto border in Kashmir, saying he had asked his ground commanders to be aggressive in the face of provocation. General Bikram Singh’s strong remarks on Monday, amid mounting public anger at the alleged decapitation of one of the slain soldiers, appeared set to ratchet up tensions further with Pakistan, although analysts said a breakdown in ties was highly unlikely. Islamabad blames India for the latest crisis in ties.
The two nations have fought three wars, two over Kashmir, since independence in 1947 and are now both nuclear-armed. Terming the beheading of the soldier as “gruesome,” Singh told a news conference: “We reserve the right to retaliate at a time and place of our choosing.” Last week’s fighting was the worst outbreak of violence in Kashmir, the Himalayan region both nations claim, since the two sides agreed a ceasefire nine years ago. Both armies have lost two soldiers each in the fighting along parts of the 740-km (460-mile) ceasefire line this month.
The head of one of soldiers was severed, New Delhi said, inflaming tempers in the country and prompting his family to start a hunger strike demanding that the remains be brought back. “The attack on January 8 was premeditated, a pre-planned activity. Such an operation requires planning, detailed reconnaissance,” Singh said. 
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