ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan accused India on Friday of launching an "unprovoked attack" on a Pakistani post in disputed Kashmir on the eve of a high-level U.S. visit aimed at defusing tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
Pakistan said the Indians suffered heavy casualties but there were no losses for the Pakistani forces. But Indian officials said the report was false and no such clash took place.
Two of the three wars between India and Pakistan have been over the disputed province of Kashmir, which both countries claim in its entirety.
A Pakistani army statement said the attack in the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir was launched Thursday night in the Gultari region but "the Pakistan army successfully defended the post, causing heavy casualties to the enemy."
The statement said the Indians, in a "highly escalatory act," sent planes to bomb Pakistani troops defending the post but were unable to drive them back.
"Despite the Indian armed forces' desperate measures, they continued to be pinned down, unable to move or extricate," the statement added.
No further details were released, and the Indian Defense Ministry denied that any of its aircraft had been sent over parts of Kashmir under Pakistani control.
"The Pakistani claims are totally untrue," Indian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Nirupama Rao said in New Delhi. "The story is false and baseless. No such incident has occurred yesterday and there are no Indian casualties."
Kashmir is the main item on the agenda in talks between Indian officials and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who arrived in New Delhi on Friday. Armitage is due in Islamabad on Saturday.
Pakistani government spokesman Maj. Gen. Rashid Quereshi accused India of provoking violence "whenever there is a high-profile visit to this region."
"We are exercising maximum restraint, not indulging in the same kind of escalation, just defending ourselves," Quereshi said.
In New Delhi, Indian officials said they planned to tell Armitage that Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had broken his pledge to halt the infiltration of Pakistan-based Islamic militants into Indian Kashmir.
Musharraf gave assurances to Armitage during his last visit to the region on June 6 that Pakistan would end cross-border terrorist attacks in India.