July 1999 News

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Pakistan continues to shell Mushkoh

30 July 1999
The Indian Express
By: Joy Purkayastha

Tow soldiers were killed in heavy shelling by Pakistani artillery guns in the Mushkoh Valley sub-sector last night, even as Pakistan continues to dispute the demarcation of the Line of Control (LoC) in this area.

An army spokesman said troops are pushing forward to occupy certain mountain ridges in the Mushkoh Valley, which Pakistan claims fall in its territory contrary to what is shown in the maps signed between the two countries in 1972. These maps were signed by the then military commanders of the two armies in accordance with the Simla agreement.

On July 17, after the deadline for the Pakistan Army intruders to withdraw expired, the Pakistani side hoisted several white flags to indicate that the withdrawal was complete.

Later, however, when troops went forward they found that the flags had been put inside Indian territory. "Our officers have raised objections and negotiations are on. But at the same time they continue to shell our positions," the spokes person said. One of the areas where the dispute is on is Point 5353 in Marpola. While Pakistani claims that this peak is inside its territory, the 1972 map shows that it is on the LoC.

Army HQ said that Pakistan is not adhering to a significant clause in the agreement between the two Directors General of Military Operations on July 11. A senior official pointed out that this clause stipulates that both armies maintain a distance of one km from the LoC on their respective sides. Also, neither side would set up new posts. "But Pakistani troops are positioned right on the LoC and they are creating new posts as well," the officer said.

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