Pakistan protests ceasefire violations, summons Indian diplomat

Islamabad, Aug 19 (IANS) Pakistan summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner on Wednesday for the second time in a week to lodge a strong protest against the continuous “unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.

“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 Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah.

“The Indian firing resulted in the killing of a civilian, Muhammad Shareef,” he said.

The spokesman also added that Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing at Jandrot, Nakyal and Karela sectors, as a result of which another civilian was killed and four others were injured.

On its part, India on Sunday summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest and convey anger over un-provoked firing.

Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in the ministry, “lodged a protest, and conveyed our (India’s) anger, at the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8, particularly with regard to the incidents of yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) in Poonch that saw the systematic targeting of our civilian population and the use of high calibre weapons including artillery”, said an Indian external affairs ministry statement.

Pakistan and India declared ceasefire in 2003 and guns had been relatively silent along the LoC. However, both sides occasionally exchange fire. An escalation has been seen in recent weeks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, met in Russian city of Ufa last month and agreed on a meeting of the national security advisors which is set for August 22.

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.

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