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India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 100 Million And Trigger Global Cooling

India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 100 Million And Trigger Global Cooling 

Every geopolitical analyst is currently observing and studying the developments that are occurring along the Line of Control (LoC) between India and Pakistan. Any major flare-up in flighting between both countries could ignite a nuclear war that would kill hundreds of millions and trigger global cooling. 

The scenario for nuclear armageddon between India and Pakistan was highlighted in a report by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com titled Pakistani Kashmir Chief: Standoff With India May Spark Nuclear Armageddon.

Now, a new report in Science Advances, titled Rapidly expanding nuclear arsenals in Pakistan and India portend regional and global catastrophehas modeled what a nuclear war could look like between both countries.

“Pakistan and India may have 400 to 500 nuclear weapons by 2025 with yields from tested 12- to 45-kt values to a few hundred kilotons. If India uses 100 strategic weapons to attack urban centers and Pakistan uses 150, fatalities could reach 50 to 125 million people, and nuclear-ignited fires could release 16 to 36 Tg of black carbon in smoke, depending on yield,” the study said.

Alan Robock, a professor in environmental sciences at Rutgers University who co-authored the paper, said more than 100 million deaths on both sides of the LoC could be seen, followed by global mass starvation and global cooling.

“The smoke will rise into the upper troposphere, be self-lofted into the stratosphere, and spread globally within weeks. Surface sunlight will decline by 20 to 35%, cooling the global surface by 2° to 5°C and reducing precipitation by 15 to 30%, with larger regional impacts. Recovery takes more than 10 years. Net primary productivity declines 15 to 30% on land and 5 to 15% in oceans threatening mass starvation and additional worldwide collateral fatalities,” the study continued.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Pakistan Suspends Bilateral Trade With India, Expels Envoy

Pakistan Suspends Bilateral Trade With India, Expels Envoy

The Kashmir crisis triggered by India’s revoking of Article 370 from its constitution has exploded into a fast escalating renewed crisis between nuclear armed arch-rivals India and Pakistan.

Merely within the last 24-hours Pakistan has recalled its ambassador while expelling its Indian envoy, and more importantly has taken the drastic step of suspending bilateral trade with India

“We will call back our ambassador from Delhi and send back their envoy,” foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi announced in televised comments, according to the AFP, while a separate government statement declared trade suspended and a downgrading of diplomatic ties. 

File image of Pakistani National Security Council meeting

The committee has decided on “downgrading of diplomatic relations with India” and “suspenstion of bilateral trade with India,” according to the statement

PM Khan further directed the military to “continue vigilance” after previously saying Pakistan would take “all possible options” in support of Kashmir’s Muslim-majority population – this after regional media has reported “tens of thousands” of Indian troops have surged into Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), while a phone and internet blackout is in place. 

In a worrisome sign that the two historic rivals and neighbors could be again moving to open war, Khan is reported to have said“We have to choose between dishonor and war.”

Pakistan’s foreign minister informed the United Nations early this week it is prepared to act in response to the “critical situation”- which Khan reiterated to the high level defense committee meeting Wednesday.

The now voided Article 370 is legally and historically what assured a high degree autonomy for the Indian administered Muslim-majority state, enshrined in the constitution, which inhabitants there see as justifying remaining part of India. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata leadership in New Delhi, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, revoked J&K’s status quo ability and rights to maintain their own local governance on Monday.

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Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, India, Pakistan, and a Planet in Peril

Tomgram: Dilip Hiro, India, Pakistan, and a Planet in Peril

There are a few genuinely upbeat news stories when it comes to this planet and people trying to figure out how to save us from ourselves and our fossil-fuel addiction.  This at a moment of record global surface temperatures and record ocean heating when, despite the Paris climate accord of 2015, carbon dioxide from those fossil fuels is once again entering the atmosphere in record amounts.  Take little Costa Rica, where Claudia Dobles, an urban planner who just happens to be the wife of the country’s president, has launched a model national decarbonization plan aimed at fully weaning that country off even the slightest reliance on fossil fuels by 2050.  Or consider Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital, whose mayor, Frank Jensen, is working to make it “carbon neutral” by 2022.  Or think about the scientists now exploring far more controversial and futuristic geo-engineering schemes to try to deal with a world that could, in the decades to come, run amuck in global-warming terms — including the possibility of spraying planet-cooling aerosols like sulfur dioxide (in imitation of the gases emitted by volcanoes) into the atmosphere to reverse the effects of global warming.

Of course, while all of the above are hopeful, none of them offer full-scale solutions to a crisis that threatens to quite literally sink not just cities, but potentially civilization itself.  As it happens, there is an obvious solution to the climate-change crisis staring us all in the face, one that TomDispatch regular Dilip Hiro (author of a particularly timely new book, Cold War in the Islamic World: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Struggle for Supremacy), brings up today.  Forget Costa Rica, Copenhagen, aerosols, even that climate accord.  Forget Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.  Forget it all. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Former India Envoy To Pakistan: Massive Navy Operation A Warning To Beijing

Former India Envoy To Pakistan: Massive Navy Operation A Warning To Beijing

Former Indian government officials and military analysts have told Russian media sources that India’s large scale naval deployment, including nuclear submarines and an aircraft carrier, was fundamentally aimed at sending a message to China, not necessarily Pakistan. Indian warships on parade off the coast of Mumbai, via Reuters.

A major naval deployment exercise called TROPEX 2019 involvingsome 60 ships and an equal number of aircraft had been slated to run from January to early March, but according to reports quickly turned into a real time operational situation following the Feb. 27 crisis over Kashmir.

Notably, the games which had already been underway at the time of the crisis had involved the INS ‘Vikramaditya,’ a Russian-built aircraft carrier, and multiple other nuclear submarines essentially becoming “active” as the situation unfolded

But now Indian analysts in an interview with Russia’s RT have presented the interesting prospect that the TROPEX 2019 naval exercises-turned-“active” was “a clear signal to Beijing, rather than Islamabad.”

“China is using Pakistan as a tool to contain India, so the redeployment of an aircraft carrier, warships and nuclear-powered submarines to North Arabian Sea is a clear signal to Beijing, rather than Islamabad,” the analysts, including former Indian envoy to Pakistan Gopalaswami Parthasarathytold RT.

Parthasarathy insisted that “India does not base its defense preparedness on what Pakistan does or does not do,” however cited India’s greater concern as what China does to contain Indian influence in the Indian Ocean.”

Once India’s top envoy to its rival nuclear-armed neighbor, Parthasarathy continued, “Pakistan is an instrument used by China to contain India through supplies of weapons, missiles and even nuclear weapon designs.” And he emphasized further while significantly downplaying Islamadad as a threat: “Pakistan, by itself, does not worry us. We can more than match and manage Pakistan.”

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Nuclear Nightmare: India and Pakistan are on the Brink

Nuclear Nightmare: India and Pakistan are on the Brink

India and Pakistan are in the throes of the most serious military standoff between them since 2002. After years of absorbing terror attacks conceived by non-state groups based on Pakistani soil, India decided enough was enough after a February 14 vehicle-borne improvised explosive device killed forty paramilitary personnel. It’s response? An airstrike on what it claimed was a camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammed, the group that claimed the attack, on Pakistani soil. 

That retaliation was immediately celebrated in India, where it was seen as a show of muscular resolve—a message that New Delhi wouldn’t simply allow Pakistan’s tolerance and covert encouragement of the non-state groups to go unpunished. But the strike humiliated Pakistan’s defense establishment, which was perceived to have been caught off-guard.

India described the strike as preemptive and driven by highly specific intelligence about a credible imminent threat. Critically, New Delhi underscored that the targets were “non-military”—that it wasn’t looking to start a war. In any case, Pakistan’s version of events was sharply divergent, with its military claiming that India had struck nothing more than foliage. 

There was some recent precedence to make sense of the initial Indian strike and Pakistan’s response. New Delhi had retaliated to a lower-casualty attack in Kashmir in September 2016 by conducting what it called “surgical strikes” into Pakistan-administered Kashmir, taking out facilities used by terrorists. Pakistan simply wrote off that action and took the public position that nothing had happened, offering a face-saving off-ramp for both sides that prevented a crisis like the one we’re seeing today from bubbling up.

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India’s Military On High Alert, Stands Ready For “Possible Retaliatory Action” From Pakistan

India’s Military On High Alert, Stands Ready For “Possible Retaliatory Action” From Pakistan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s response to Tuesday’s dramatic escalation with nuclear armed rival India was to direct his armed forces and the public to “remain prepared for all eventualities.” This after Pakistani officials confirmed that Indian fighter jets dropped “four bombs” in its sovereign territory while noting the Indian attack was repulsed and while going back the aircraft “jettisoned their payload” — implying the mission was cut short due to Pakistani defense efforts, according to the Times of India“India has committed uncalled for aggression to which Pakistan shall respond at the time and place of its choosing,” Khan’s office said soon after the brazen violation of Pakistan’s airspace.

“There will be some form of escalation,” Kamran Bokhari, an expert on Pakistani-Indian relations at the Center for Global Policy with the University of Ottawa told Bloomberg. “Pakistan will have to strike back  I am not saying this will lead to an all out war, but I don’t see that it’s over.” Indian Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs meanwhile praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his bold actions and underscored the military’s preparedness to deal with “any possible retaliatory action” by Islamabad.

Pakistan and India are in the midst of a nuclear arms race. Image source: AFP/Dawn

The incident marks the most dangerous and significant escalation since 2001, when after a mass terror attack on government buildings in New Delhi, both countries moved ballistic missiles and troops to their border amidst heated rhetoric on who’s to blame for the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) bombings. 

Tuesday’s provocative cross border Indian jet raid was in retaliation for one of the deadliest terror attacks in the history of the long-running Kashmiri insurgency. Earlier this month, a Muslim ‘mujahidin’ drove a car loaded with explosives into a bus packed with Indian paramilitary soldiers, killing more than 40 in what became known as the Pulwama attack. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

India-Pakistan War: Pakistan Army Prepares For Conflict, Tells Hospitals To Be Ready

India-Pakistan War: Pakistan Army Prepares For Conflict, Tells Hospitals To Be Ready

The Pakistan military is preparing to defend against future attacks by India, and would respond with “full force,” the army’s spokesman announced Friday, amid worries of retaliation from India after the Pulwama terror incident, reported Reuters

“We have no intention to initiate war, but we will respond with full force to full spectrum threat, that would surprise you,” Major General Asif Ghafoor said.

“Don’t mess with Pakistan.”

“We do not wish to go to war. If it is imposed on us, we have the right to respond,” Major General Ghafoor told journalists during a news conference in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, one week after a Pakistani-based terror organization claimed responsibility for the Pulwama attack that killed 40 Indian policemen in the Kashmir region. 

The Times of India has obtained new government documents, one by the Pakistani military and another from local authorities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), which suggests the Pakistani military is preparing for an upcoming conflict on the Line of Control (LOC), a military control line between the Indian and Pakistani controlled parts of the former state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan Army based in Headquarters Quetta Logistics Area in Quetta Cantonment sent a letter to Jilani Hospital on February 20 to prepare for medical support in the event of war. 

“In case of emergency war on the eastern front, Quetta logistics area is expected to receive injured soldiers from civil and military hospitals of Sindh and Punjab. After initial medical treatment, these soldiers are planned to be shifted from military and civil public sector to the civil hospital in Balochistan till the period of availability of beds in CMHs (civil-military hospitals),” the letter to Jilani hospital’s Abdul Malik by one Asia Naz, force commander, HQLA, said.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mapping The Countries Shutting Down The Internet The Most

With President Trump raising the threat rhetoric over conservative bias among the giant US megatech firms, it is worth remembering that when it comes to curbing dissent and freedom of expression, some governments take the drastic step of shutting down the internet.

Across the world, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, internet shutdowns and deliberate slowdowns are becoming more common and they generally occur when someone (usually a government) intentionally disrupts the internet or mobile apps to control what people do or say.

According to Access Now data reported by Vice News, India has the most shutdowns of any country by a huge distance – 154 between January 2016 and May 2018. By comparison, second-placed Pakistan only had 19 shutdowns during the same period.

Infographic: The Countries Shutting Down The Internet The Most | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

In many countries, flicking the off switch on the internet is a preemptive or reactive measure in response to mass or potential unrest.

Egypt’s 2011 revolution and the failed Turkish military coup of 2016 are prime examples.

This is also true in India to a certain extent where internet access is cut off due to political turmoil, protests and military operations.

Shutdowns are even known to occur in certain regions to prevent cheating during examinations. Recent cases include a 45-day internet shutdown in Darjeeling in West Bengal due to political demonstrations and protests from activists seeking a separate state while Nawada in Bihar experienced a 40-day shutdown due to communal clashes.

Given how important the internet has become, limiting access to it can have financial consequences. In India, the huge number of shutdowns and their length, are getting very expensive. A report by The Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), found that 16,315 hours of intentional internet downtime between 2012 and 2017 has cost the Indian economy $3.04 billion.

The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

The World Transformed and No One in America Noticed

The world transformed and nobody in the West noticed. India and Pakistan have joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The 17 year-old body since its founding on June 15, 2001 has quietly established itself as the main alliance and grouping of nations across Eurasia. Now it has expanded from six nations to eight, and the two new members are the giant nuclear-armed regional powers of South Asia, India, with a population of 1.324 billion and Pakistan, with 193.2 million people (both in 2016).

In other words, the combined population of the SCO powers or already well over 1.5 billion has virtually doubled at a single stroke.

The long-term global consequences of this development are enormous. It is likely to prove the single most important factor insuring peace and removing the threat of nuclear war over South Asia and from 20 percent of the human race. It now raises the total population of the world in the eight SCO nations to 40 percent, including one of the two most powerful thermonuclear armed nations (Russia) and three other nuclear powers (China, India and Pakistan).

This development is a diplomatic triumph especially for Moscow. Russia has been seeking for decades to ease its longtime close strategic ally India into the SCO umbrella. This vision was clearly articulated by one of Russia’s greatest strategic minds of the 20th century, former Premier and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who died in 2015. In the past China quietly but steadfastly blocked the India’s accession, but with Pakistan, China’s ally joining at the same time, the influence of Beijing and Moscow is harmonized.

The move can only boost Russia’s already leading role in the diplomacy and national security of the Asian continent. For both Beijing and Delhi, the road for good relations with each other and the resolution of issues such as sharing the water resources of the Himalayas and investing in the economic development of Africa now runs through Moscow.

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Pakistan Panic: 3rd Currency Devaluation In 2018 Sends Sovereign Risk Soaring Above Argentina, Ukraine

While many of the world’s eyes are on the carnage in Argentina as EM collapses, Pakistan has quietly devalued the Rupee three times this year, amid tumbling reserves which has sparked enough investor anxiety to send CDS spiking.

Pakistan is now ‘riskier’ than Greece, Ukraine, and Argentina…

The country has been roiled by domestic political and economic turmoil and was not helped this week when Moody’s changed the outlook on Pakistan to negative from stable citing heightened external vulnerability risk.

Moody’s affirmed its B3 rating

Says foreign exchange reserves have fallen to low levels and will not be replenished over the next 12-18 months, absent significant capital inflows.

Moody’s says low reserve adequacy threatens continued access to external financing at moderate costs, in turn potentially raising government liquidity risks.

It certainly looks like they are losing control of the currency…

 

And to pile on – Pakistan’s main stock index – down 33% YTD in USD terms – just suffered a ‘death cross’…

Notably all of this carnage has accelerated since the start of January which coincided with Pakistan’s decision to ditch the dollar(following Trump’s remarks) and get closer to China.

“SBP has already put in place the required regulatory framework which facilitates use of CNY in trade and investment transactions,” the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said in a press release late Tuesday, ensuring that imports, exports and financing transactions can be denominated in the Chinese currency.

“The SBP, in the capacity of the policy maker of financial and currency markets, has taken comprehensive policy related measures to ensure that imports, exports and financing transactions can be denominated in yuan,” Dawn news, Pakistan’s most widely read English-language daily, announced while quoting the SBP press release.

sdf
Image source: WION News

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Pakistan And America Are In The Throes Of A Serious Diplomatic Crisis

Pakistan And America Are In The Throes Of A Serious Diplomatic Crisis

The steady deterioration of relations between these two erstwhile long-time allies is continuing with the latest political crisis between them that was sparked by the US’ decision to limit the distance that Pakistani diplomats in DC could travel outside the city. Islamabad imposed reciprocal measures against American diplomats located anywhere in the country, and the situation has since remained frozen, but is nowhere near resolved. While American-Pakistani relations have been worsening for the past couple of years now and especially since Trump’s aggressive New Year’s tweet against the country, they hit a low point when an American military attaché who had hit and killed a motorcyclist was originally forbidden from leaving the country aboard a US military plane that had come to retrieve him last week. A Pakistani court had ruled that he didn’t have full diplomatic immunity but he nevertheless left the country on Monday under unclear circumstances.

It was presumably the legal actions initially pursued against this diplomat that infuriated the US to the point of wanting to humiliate all Pakistani diplomats in the American capital through the imposition of new travel restrictions, but Islamabad had a good reason for broadening its own reciprocal decree to include all American diplomats anywhere in the country. It was reported at the end of last month that the CIA failed in its secret plan to stage a jailbreak to free its local agent who was accused of cooperating with American intelligence in its quest to kill Bin Laden, and it’s well-known that US diplomats sometimes clandestinely go beyond their official duties in running spies inside their host nation. That’s probably what the Pakistanis are worried about after the news broke that the CIA was trying to organize a jailbreak, one which probably would have been violent and likely resulted in the deaths of some prison guards.

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India Builds Over 14,000 Bunkers In Preparation For War With Pakistan

The Government of India is planning to construct 14,460 bunkers for civilians in five border districts in Jammu & Kashmir – Samba, Poonch, Jammu, Kathua, and Rajouri – which reside along Line of Control (LoC) and the international Indo-Pakistani border, reports The Times of India.

The state-owned National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC) will build these bunkers in populated regions that rest within 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from the de facto border between the two countries, which have experienced an increasing amount of incursions by the Pakistani Army.

In February, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced during a State Assembly that 41 civilians had been killed in ceasefire violations along the LoC by Pakistan between 2015 and 2017. To safeguard civilians from Pakistani shelling across the border, NBCC will build 13,029 small bunkers and 1,431 more massive community bunkers. The Times of India said the construction program would cost around 4.157 billion rupees (US$63.8 million).

Oneindia News: India builds bunkers along the LoC with Pakistan for villagers

The chairman and managing director of NBCC, A K Mittal, told The Times of India that “pre-cast construction methodology” would be used for the bunkers.

“Strategically located casting yards will be used to fabricate RCC components, which shall be transported by trailer/ tractors and the bunkers will be erected by cranes and labourers. We will plan in such a way that each bunker is completed in maximum 2-3 days,” he added.

The Times of India provides insight into the specific locations where the individual and community bunkers will be built.

“In Samba, 2,515 individual and eight community bunkers will be built. Similarly, in Jammu 1,200 individual and 120 community bunkers will be constructed. A maximum of 4,918 individual and 372 community bunkers will be built in Rajouri. In Kathua, 3,076 individual bunkers will be constructed. Poonch will get the maximum number of 688 community bunkers and will get another 1,320 individual bunkers.”

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The Iran-Pakistan border is a geopolitical powder keg

The Iran-Pakistan border is a geopolitical powder keg

1626196-pakistaniran-1517732231-284-640x480.jpg

The Iran-Pakistan border contains all the ingredients for a geopolitical explosion – regional rivalries, Sunni-Shia conflicts, ethnic insurgents, espionage, drug smuggling and human trafficking.

China considers the stability of the region so important that it brokered a series of border security meetings between Iran and Pakistan over the past year.

Much of China’s multi-billion-dollar investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) hinges on the commercial viability of the Pakistani port of Gwadar, near the Iranian border, for which it has a 40-year operational lease. Moreover,  CPEC is the regional linchpin of the Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious plan to connect Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa to China through a series of land-based and maritime economic zones.

Additionally, the planned Chinese naval base on Pakistan’s Jiwani peninsula, even closer to the Iranian border and located at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, is a critical military node in China’s “String of Pearls” facilities designed to dominate the strategic sea lanes in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean.

Such ambitions present a direct economic and military threat to India. Commercially, Gwadar competes with joint Iranian-Indian development of the port of Chabahar, just 150 miles to its west.

According to numerous reports, Saudi Arabia contributes to the instability of the border region by sponsoring virulently anti-Shia Sunni militant groups, such as Jaish al-Adl, who launch attacks on Iran from safe havens in Pakistan.

Iran retaliates by supporting the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), an ethnic separatist group, whose sanctuaries and leader, Dr. Allah Nazar Baloch, are claimed to be inside Iranian territory and routinely conduct cross-border operations against Pakistani government targets. Members of the BLF are suspected to be in contact with Iranian intelligence, often through drug lords acting as intermediaries. BLF members are occasionally confused with their anti-Shia counterparts. Some months ago, a BLF team was mistakenly attacked by Iranian border guards. One member, shot in the encounter, was taken to Imam Ali Hospital in Chabahar for treatment, but later died of his wounds. The other team members were subsequently released by Iranian forces.

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World War 3? Pakistan Vows REVENGE On India After Attack

World War 3? Pakistan Vows REVENGE On India After Attack

As the world quietly goes about their business, Pakistan has vowed to get revenge on India after an attack.  The tensions between the two nations are quickly spiraling out of control leading many to wonder if World War 3 will break out in the area soon.

According to the Express UK, the devastating attack from India along the contested border known as the Line of Control (LoC) as tensions between the two South Asian nations flare, a retired soldier has claimed. The LoC splits the region of Kashmir, with Pakistan owning one side and India, the other. The region of Kashmir has beencontested by both countries for decades causing high levels of tensions between the neighboring states.

Fayaz Ahmad, a politician from the Kashmir region of India, stated that announcements were made over some loudspeakers on the Pakistan side of Balakote that have declared acts of “retaliation” will take place.  “They said that India has killed many of our soldiers, we will take revenge for it after we bury our dead today. People are advised to take safety precautions,” said Ahmad.

Another resident in the region, Naseer Ahmad, spoke of “bombs exploding” and bullets being fired in the midst of heavy shelling. “All one could hear was the sound of bullets hitting tin or bombs exploding. The firing continued from morning till evening. We could see smoke from the hills around us. We are stressed. We don’t know what will happen when it will stop,” said the resident.

On Sunday New Delhi said that Pakistan had been “punished” for its “misadventure”, according to Brigadier Y.S Ahlawat of the Indian Army.  “In a befitting reply, the Indian Army has retaliated accurately with heavy fire on the Pakistani posts which were involved in ceasefire violations,” Ahlawat said.

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40,000 Indians Flee As Fighting Erupts On Pakistan Border

Along the 786 km-long Line of Control (LoC) which divides the State of Jammu Kashmir between India and Pakistan, sporadic cross-border military gunfire between both countries is not that unusual.

However, this weekend, in the region of Noushera, Rajouri and Akhnoor sectors of Jammu and Kashmir, more than 40,000 Indians have fled their homes and shops amid the fourth consecutive day of intense shelling from Pakistani military forces, the Economic Timesreports.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180122_india.jpg

In the latest report from Indian 24 News, cross-border firing between both countries continues along the international border in the Kanachak and Pargwal sectors in Jammu, besides the LoC in the Nowshera area of Rajouri district on Sunday evening.

The number of people killed on the Indian side this month has risen to 13 including three armymen, three BSF personnel and seven civilians. The toll is almost as high as number of causalities on the Indian side in the entire of 2017, when nearly a dozen people including security personnel were killed on the entire border from Kathua to Poonch district. In most of the villages, almost entire populations have shifted to safer places fearing an escalation of firing along the border. Sources said that most of the people had shifted to their relatives’ homes.

Arnia, a border town in the Jammu district in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, India, with a population of 18,000, is now deserted as the intense shelling from Pakistan drove residents to safer grounds.

The Economic Times describes a first-hand account of the chaos in Arnia, as 80-year-old Yashpal and his family huddled in their house until two mortar shells damaged it.

“It had happened during the 1965 and the 1971 wars. Such large number of mortar bombs had not since fallen in Arnia,” Yashpal said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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