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Pakistani Leader Vows 'Restraint and Responsibility' on Border Clashes

On Wednesday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif promised "restraint and responsibility" in his response to the escalating clashes with Indian forces in the disputed region of Kashmir, Agence France-Presse reported.

An "unprovoked Indian shelling" into Pakistani-controlled Kashmir resulted in the death of one civilian and the injury of his daughter, Pakistani military officials said.

In a joint news conference with visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Sharif told reporters that "Pakistan will continue to respond to the situation with restraint and responsibility in the hope that steps will be taken by India to reduce tensions," according to AFP.

He went on to say that "we have to defuse tension and de-escalate the situation. Our objective is peace. For that, what we need is more diplomacy."

On Tuesday, India's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Syed Akbaruddin, hinted that the renewed violence in the disputed territory would harm relations between the two nuclear-armed South Asian countries, the Associated Press reported.

He also repeated India's demand that Pakistan assert control over anti-Indian militant groups, charge those responsible for conceptualizing the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and prevent territory under Pakistani control from being used to launch attacks against India, AP reported.

Both sides have accused the other of violating a 2003 ceasefire in recent days.

"Our side responded to the unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side with small arms. Intermittent firing went on for the whole night till Monday morning (local time)," Indian army spokesperson Rajesh Kalia was quoted as saying on Tuesday in a separate AFP report.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said it had "summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner" in order to voice consternation over an alleged Indian violation of the 2003 ceasefire, "which has resulted in the loss of an innocent civilian life in Rawalakot," according to the wire service. 

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This article provides an overview of Pakistan’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

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