As India and Pakistan seemingly dial down hostilities that brought the arch enemies to the brink of another war, a massive crackdown on militancy in the Indian-controlled Kashmir region is killing both militants and security personnel in big numbers.
At the Line of Control (LoC), the de facto border between the nuclear-armed neighbours, there was relative calm in the past 24 hours, their armies said on Sunday. The exchange of fire in the past few days has killed seven people on the Pakistani side and four on the Indian side, though the release of a downed Indian fighter pilot by Pakistan on Friday night has helped de-escalate tensions.
"By and large the LoC was calm last night but you never know when it will become active again," said Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, a minister in Pakistani Kashmir. "Tension still prevails."
Indian warplanes carried out air strikes on Tuesday inside northeast Pakistan's Balakot on what New Delhi called militant camps. Islamabad denied any such camps existed, as did some villagers in the area when Reuters visited.
Nevertheless, Pakistan retaliated on Wednesday with its own aerial mission in a show of force. The countries have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.