India summons Pakistan envoy over 'civilian deaths' along LoC

By AFP
Published: August 16, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI: India summoned Pakistan’s envoy in New Delhi on Sunday to protest against the weekend killing of ‘at least half a dozen civilians’ in border firings, hiking tensions ahead of talks between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Six civilians died on the weekend in troubled Indian Kashmir after firing and shelling by Pakistani troops from across the border, according to Indian police.

Another two civilians were killed in shelling by Indian soldiers into the Pakistani side of the disputed Himalayan region, according to a Pakistani official on Saturday.

Read: Unprovoked Indian firing killed one, injured three along LoC: ISPR

“We are concerned about the ceasefire violations in the months of July and August,” Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit told reporters outside the foreign ministry office in Delhi where he had been hauled in.

“There have been close to 70 ceasefire violations from this side of the LoC (Line of Control) and working boundary,” he said.

India and Pakistan often accuse each other of violating a 2003 ceasefire agreement along their de facto border known as the Line of Control that divides Kashmir.

Read: Woman killed by Indian shelling in Kashmir

Firing and shelling between troops has occurred on an almost daily basis for the past week along the border, after an uptick in such incidents in recent months.

Top security officials of the two countries are scheduled to meet in the Indian capital from August 23 in what Pakistan last week  described as “ice breaking” talks.

After months of stalemate and recriminations, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif spoke for nearly an hour while visiting Russia in July.

Read: Sartaj Aziz to visit India for talks on August 23

Kashmir has been divided between the two countries since the end of British rule but is claimed in full by both. The neigbours have fought two wars over control of the Muslim-majority territory.

Firing resumed along their frontier on Sunday in India’s Poonch sector, 320 kilometres south of the region’s main city of Srinagar, said Indian defence ministry spokesman Manish Mehta.

Three civilians, including a woman, had died overnight on Saturday in hospitals from injuries sustained in firing, said Danesh Rana, inspector-general of police for the region.

Read: Kashmiris mark India’s independence as black day

Three others were killed late Saturday when a mortar bomb fired from the Pakistani side hit their car in the Balakote area of the sector, Indian officials have said.

“The number of dead civilians is now six,” Rana told AFP.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Indian
    Aug 16, 2015 - 8:11PM

    India should retaliate with the four time force.Recommend

  • bahaha
    Aug 16, 2015 - 9:24PM

    They keep summoning each other like its a game. Why dont they create a DMZ of 5km each side and do some drone monitirigRecommend

  • Azi
    Aug 16, 2015 - 10:35PM

    Look, the hyena with blood in its moth is coming for peace talks.Recommend

  • Punjabi
    Aug 17, 2015 - 12:13AM

    Mr Abdul Basit is the most suitable appointee for the position in India. He gives the pathetic Indian leadership a lot of tension with his proud, strong and resounding statements. He is a professional diplomat who has a cheerful demeanor but it must not be mistaken for weakness. Recommend

  • Azi
    Aug 17, 2015 - 1:46AM

    @Indian:

    And it will get a response four times the force. PA has stopped falling victim to Indian games of first killing people then calling envoys for possible cease fires and peace attempts. Its time you people get a taste of your medicine. In all these acts, the biggest loser really is Indian Army, which according to your own def. minister has lost respect with in Indian population and with these provocations resulting in deaths on your side of the border people really do only blame IA for 2 things, one not being able to take the retaliations and actually starting up fights. So keep at it, IA is nothing more than a band of thugs who “think” they are good at anything.Recommend

  • z a
    Aug 17, 2015 - 1:57AM

    why don’t both the countries leave this area and let the natives decide what they want.Recommend

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