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Pakistan army holds exercises near India border

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Islamabad  – Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif plans on Wednesday to witness military exercises near his country’s border with neighbouring India, as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals over the disputed region of Kashmir remain high.

Fighter jets, tanks and artillery are expected to be used in the exercises in the Kahirpur Tamewali area of the eastern district of Bawalpur, some 50 kilometres from the border, a military official told dpa.

pakistan-nawas-sharif

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (4th L, front), Pakistani Army Chief General Raheel Sharif (3rd L, front) and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong (3rd R, front) with sailors of the COSCO Wellington cargo vessel in Gwadar, Pakistan, on November 13, 2016. Sharif plans to witness military exercises near his country’s border with neighbouring India. (Photo: Liu Tian/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

The premier is expected to be the chief guest at the event, an official of his office confirmed, adding that army chief Raheel Sharif and the heads of the air force and navy are also expected to attend.

Both officials spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to media.

The exercises are being conducted two days after seven Pakistani soldiers were killed in shelling by Indian troops across the Line of Control, a de facto frontier that divides the Himalayan valley of Kashmir between the two countries.

In September, 19 Indian soldiers were killed in Kashmir, worsening already strained relations between the South Asian rivals.

India blamed that attack on a jihadist group allegedly operating from Pakistan, but Islamabad denies the charge.

Pakistan warned India Monday against an escalation of border tensions after the soldiers were killed, saying a conflict between nuclear-armed countries could result in “unspeakable consequences.”

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since they gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947.

Two of the wars were over Kashmir, a region divided between the two sides but claimed by both in its entirety.

– dpa

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