The tension between India and Pakistan over border firing has escalated into a diplomatic row with New Delhi slamming the “allegations” contained in a letter Nawaz Sharif’s adviser on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz wrote to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to “protest the killing” of soldiers in cross-border firing.
Aziz, who was instructed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take up the matter with the Indian authorities, condemned the firing and lodged a strong protest over the killing of two Pakistan Rangers in the Border Security Force firing on December 31.
The BSF said the firing was in retaliation as one of their jawan’s, Sri Ram Gowria, was killed after Pakistan Rangers targeted a BSF patrol party along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The BSF Thursday, tried to hand over a protest note to Pakistan Rangers over the killing their colleague but the Rangers refused to accept it, sources told HT.
In the letter written by Aziz, which was handed over to Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan by foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, he demanded probe into the “unprovoked border firing” to bring the perpetrators to account.
“The letter underlines that the regrettable ambush of the soldiers would undermine mechanisms established by the two countries to ensure peace and tranquility along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB),” the Foreign Office said in New Delhi in a statement.
During the meeting with Chaudhry, Raghavan rejected Pakistan’s assertions by terming it as baseless, sources said.
According to the statement, Chaudhry said that “it was not in Pakistan’s interest to ratchet up tension on the LoC and WB, since our law enforcement agencies and armed forces were fully engaged in combating terrorism and militancy across the country”.