Indian diplomat summoned over 'ceasefire violations'

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/17/2019 12:30:53 PM

6 killed in Indian firing so far: Pak

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD, Aug 16: A Pakistani soldier was killed on Friday in retaliatory firing by the Indian army after the neighbouring troops violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla, Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
In this connection, Pakistan today lodged a strong protest with India, the third in as many days, over the alleged ceasefire violations by Indian troops along the Line of Control (LoC) after its military claimed that its another soldier was killed by Indian troops in Buttal town, taking the death toll of those killed in the firing to six. The Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the unprovoked firing in the Lipa and Battal sectors in which one security personnel and two civilians were killed on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, Pakistan military's spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor had claimed that five Indian personnel were killed in the cross-border firing. However, the Indian army, as per agencies report, rejected his statement, calling it “fictitious.”
Pakistan FO spokesperson Mohammad Faisal today urged the Indian side to instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. He said the Indian side should permit UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions. India maintains that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla agreement and the consequent establishment of the LoC.
According to Pak FO statement, “The Indian forces have continuously violated the 2003 ceasefire arrangement – targeting innocent civilians.”
“The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation," the spokesperson added. Pakistan had summoned Ahluwalia on Wednesday and Thursday also to lodge protest against alleged ceasefire violations by Indian troops.
On Thursday, ANI had reported that at least three Pakistan army soldiers were killed in the Indian security forces' response to the unprovoked firing from across the border. Pakistan had violated ceasefire in Uri, Poonch and Rajouri sectors of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
The unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side began on the day India was celebrating its 73rd Independence Day.
“The Indian army befittingly retaliated to the ceasefire violation by the Pakistani troops. The three Pakistani soldiers who were killed in the ceasefire violations have been identified as Naik Tanveer, Sepoy Ramazan and Lance Naik Taimoor,” agencies reports said.
“The Indian army has also denied the Pakistan army's claims that five Indian soldiers died in the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC),” ANI reported.
India's response came after Pakistan army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor Thursday accused the Indian army of "increasing firing" along the Line of Control to, he said, "divert attention from precarious situation in Jammu and Kashmir."
Asif Ghafoor had claimed that five Indian soldiers were killed and bunkers were damaged in the firing.
He had tweeted, “In efforts to divert attention from precarious situation in IOJ&K, Indian Army increases firing along LOC. 3 Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat. Pakistan Army responded effectively. 5 Indian soldiers killed, many injured, bunkers damaged. Intermittent exchange of fire continues."
There have been reports of the Pakistan army increasing its deployment along the LoC after India’s decision to withdraw special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Indian army has also strengthened its vigil along the LoC and kept its personnel on high alert to effectively deal with any “misadventure” by Pakistan, a senior military official said.
The developments come amid heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after former's action to reorganise Jammu and Kashmir and scrap some provisions in Article 370, which gave special status to the state.
The revocation of Article 370 also followed the increased deployment by the Pakistani army along LoC. The Indian army has also strengthened its vigil along the LoC and kept its personnel on high alert to effectively deal with any “misadventure” by Pakistan.
India has repeatedly urged Pakistan to “respect” the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement, which is violated by the neighbouring country time and again.

 

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