Pakistan says shot down Indian drone near disputed borders

Pakistani army says it shot down spy drone belonging to India near disputed Kashmir region which constitutes backbone of cross-border problems between nuclear-armed neighbours

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Pakistani military announced on Wednesday that it shot an Indian spy drone down near the disputed borders along Kashmir's heavily-militarised Line of Control.

"An Indian spy drone was shot down by Pakistani troops which intruded into Pakistan along [the Line of Control] near Bhimber today. The spy drone is used for aerial photography," a statement from the Pakistani military said.

Bhimber is in Kashmir near the mountainous Himalayan region claimed by both Pakistan and India and causes fire exchanges time to time between the parties.

The Pakistani military exhibited a photo showing a Chinese-made DJI Phantom 3, Huw Williams, the Unmanned Systems Editor at IHS Jane's International Defence Review, said on Wednesday.

"Due to its limited operating range - about two km - if the Indian military is using the system it would most likely be for close reconnaissance or security work," Williams said. "Our Middle East editor believes that Islamic State are using similar systems," he added.

The relations between India and Pakistan have developed through the border problems since the partition of British India in 1947 when Muslims and Hindus agreed to declare their own independent states.

Since then the Kashmir issue raises tension between Islamabad and New Delhi which contested their own sovereign rights and fought three wars over Kashmir region in 1947, 1965 and 1999.

Kashmiri resistance groups in the Indian-held Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or reunification with neighbouring Pakistan since 1989.

India deploys over half a million soldiers to the Indian-held Kashmir in order to prevent nationalist uprising and Pakistan’s meddling of the region through the militant insurgency.

The parties continue the peace process considering the border problems and the Kashmir issue for a long time, but the talks were frequently interrupted due to the lack of a common understanding and sporadic cross-border terror attacks in both sides of the disputed borders.

The Kashmir problem has frequently sparked an outcry in nationalist Indian public and media which have long been blaming Pakistan for allowing cross-border militants to infiltrate into Kashmir and causing terror attacks on Indian targets.

Recently, India accused Pakistan of supporting militancy inside India’s borders as it reacted the release of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, a Pakistani national, who was convicted as the mastermind of 2008 Mumbai attack that killed more than 200 people.

The attacks had hit India's financial capital and seriously strained ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours which had already been at odds due to the decades-old Kashmir problem.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up the issue of 2008 Mumbai attack trial with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif last week on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Russia where their official attendance to the SCO was announced by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

India’s porous borders with both Pakistan and China create an overwhelming border security deficit on the mountainous Himalayan region which also caused military conflicts with China.

China and India fought a brief but bloody war in 1962 over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern Himalayas where the Tibetan separatists have been aiming to cross-border attack on Chinese targets.

Since the 1962 Sino-Indian War erupted due to the Tibet problem as well as border security, China has become Pakistan’s cordial ally, a relation was once labeled as “time-tested friendship” by both Chinese and Pakistani leadership.

Both countries use drones to check the disputed borders and militants’ cross-border moves from air, but the issue raises concern since it has been using for spying and proxy war against each others.  


TRTWorld and agencies