ISLAMABAD: Pakistan summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner on Wednesday to lodge a strong protest against the recent ‘unprovoked ceasefire violations’ by Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Harpal and other sectors.
“The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was called in by the Director General (South Asia and SAARC) at the Foreign Office to lodge a strong protest against the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian troops at the Line of Control (LoC) in Harpal and other sectors,” said FO Spokesman Qazi Khalilullah.
“The Indian firing resulted in the martyrdom of a civilian, Muhammad Shareef,” he said.
The spokesman also added that Indian forces also resorted to unprovoked firing at Jandrot, Nakyal and Karela sectors, as a result of which another civilian was killed and four others were injured.
Pakistan expressed concern over continuous unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary, urging India to immediately stop the violations and observe the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding to create peace and tranquility.
With the national security advisers of both countries scheduled to meet in New Delhi on August 23, tensions have been high due to regular bouts of violence reported on the shared Kashmir border between the two nuclear-armed states. Both countries have in the past few weeks used diplomatic channels on multiple occasions to protest ceasefire violations by the other.
Indian authorities have also claimed several civilian deaths from ‘unprovoked firing’ by forces on Pakistan’s side.
Ties between the two rival states, both of which claim in full the disputed Jammu and Kashmir terriotory, and have fought two wars over it, were further strained after Pakistan invited separatist leaders for talks in its New Delhi diplomatic enclave on August 23 – the same day security advisers from both countries are scheduled to hold landmark talks.
Yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced alarm at the latest upsurge in violence along the disputed border of India and Pakistan in Kashmir and urged restraint on the part of both governments.
Earlier in August, Pakistan Army lodged a strong protest with the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) over unprovoked firing by Indian troops along the working boundary at Sialkot’s Pukhlian sector.
The army had launched a similar complaint with the UN body in July also, in relation to incidents of unprovoked firing by Indian forces at Sialkot’s Chaprar sector and in Rawalakot’s Neza Pir sector along the LoC.
Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by the UN-monitored de facto border of LoC but is claimed in full by both the countries.
Ceasefire violations along the LoC and working boundary between Pakistan and India continue intermittently, with casualties reported on both sides.
Official sources say unprovoked firing by Indian troops on the working boundary has been continuing for the past many weeks.
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