Pakistan summons Indian envoy over ‘unprovoked’ LoC firing

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan today summoned Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria over “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces along the Line of Control.

The Foreign Office (FO) here said in a statement that the acting foreign secretary summoned the Indian envoy and “condemned” the firing incidents today in Pukhlian, Cahprar, Harpal, Charwah and Shakargarh sectors.

Pakistan informed the Indian envoy that the “unprovoked ceasefire violations had killed four members of a family” in village Khanoor while 10 other people were injured.

The FO claimed the firing by the Indian side was still going on.

Indian officials said four civilians and a BSF jawan were killed while 12 others were injured as Pakistan Rangers heavily shelled villages and border outposts (BoPs) in Jammu early today.

This is the third day of shelling and firing by Pakistani troops along the international border (IB) in Jammu frontier and comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir tomorrow.

Pakistan Rangers shelled areas in R S Pura, Bishnah and Arnia sectors of Jammu by resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing since 1 am in R S Pura and Bishnah sectors, a senior BSF officer said.

Yesterday, a BSF jawan was among two persons injured when Pakistani troops opened fire and lobbed mortars at over 15 border outposts and some civilian areas along the international border in Samba and Kathua districts.

On May 15, a 28-year-old BSF jawan was killed when Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by opening fire on forward posts to help infiltrators cross the border in Samba sector. Indian troops have also foiled four infiltration bids along the IB since May 12.

Pakistan said the Indian envoy was informed that the “deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws”.

“The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the FO said.

Pakistan also said that Indian forces along the LoC and the IB are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy weapons.

It alleged that in 2018, Indian forces have carried out more than 1,050 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the border resulting in the deaths of 28 civilians, while injuring 117 others.

Pakistan urged India to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the international border.

It also urged India to permit the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per UN Security Council resolutions.

India maintains that the UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Shimla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

Source: Economic Times