Pakistan chopper comes under fire in Kashmir

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The Prime Minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir Raja Farooq Haider gestures as he speaks to media in Islamabad on September 30, 2018. The prime minister of Pakistan-held Kashmir said on September 30 his helicopter came under Indian fire while flying close to the highly militarised Line of Control (LoC) but he escaped unhurt. The incident happened in Havaily district in Poonch sector while Raja Farooq Haider was on his way to a nearby village to give his condolences after the death of a local politician.AAMIR QURESHI / AFP

The prime minister of Pakistan-held Kashmir said on Sunday his helicopter came under Indian fire while flying close to the highly militarised Line of Control (LoC) but he escaped unhurt.

The incident happened in Havaily district in Poonch sector while Raja Farooq Haider was on his way to a nearby village to give condolences to the family of a local politician who had died.

“My helicopter had not even committed any violation and was flying well within our side of the LoC when Indian troops opened fire,” Haider said in a statement from Islamabad.

Raja Arshad, a senior local administration official in Havaily, confirmed the incident and said Haider was unhurt and there was no damage to the helicopter.

The LoC serves as a de facto border dividing the contested Himalayan region between India and Pakistan.

There has been a surge of shelling along the LoC in recent months as tensions between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan rose.

The two countries have been in dispute over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947, and fought two of their three wars over the territory.

New Delhi has long accused Islamabad of supporting militant groups waging an insurgency in Kashmir. Pakistan denies the accusation, calling the uprising in Kashmir an indigenous freedom struggle.

This month, India blamed postage stamps released by Pakistan depicting Kashmiri freedom struggle as part of its reason for cancelling rare talks between the neighbours in New York.