ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday registered yet again a strong protest with India over the latest ‘unprovoked’ firing by Indian troops along the Line of Control (LoC) that killed three civilians.
This was the third time in a week that the Indian deputy high commissioner was summoned to the Foreign Office to convey Islamabad’s deep concerns over unabated ceasefire violations by Indian troops along the LoC that divides the disputed Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir.
“A protest was lodged against unprovoked ceasefire violations on 15 to 16 August, by Indian troops at the Line of Control in Kotli Sector, which resulted in the martyrdom of three civilians – Shafi Khan, 55, Shahpal Khan, 56 and Sara Khatoon. Moreover, at least 15 civilians were also injured as a result of Indian fire,” said the Foreign Office in a statement.
The Indian deputy high commissioner was conveyed that the Indian side must investigate the incident, share the findings with Pakistan, instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, it added.
Islamabad noted with regret and deep concern that during the last two months, so far, there had been 70 ceasefire violations from the Indian side of the LoC and the working boundary, according to the statement. India, on the other hand, has accused Pakistan of violating the ceasefire.
On Sunday, the Indian external affairs ministry summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner in New Delhi Abdul Basit to record its protest.
However, before being called in to the Indian external affairs ministry, Basit alleged that India was responsible for the recent spike in LoC tensions. “There have been 70 ceasefire violations from this [the Indian] side of the working boundary during July and August. We are obviously very concerned about that,” he said.
There is no let-up in incidents of cross-border firing along the LoC and working boundary even though the two neighbours are all set for a crucial meeting between their national security advisers in New Delhi.
The sought-after huddle is scheduled for August 23 and 24 where the two countries are expected to raise each other’s concerns over the issues related to terrorism.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 18th, 2015.