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Pakistan summons Indian envoy

world Updated: Dec 18, 2008 18:06 IST

AFP
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Pakistan on Thursday summoned a top Indian diplomat to convey Islamabad's concern over recent violations of its airspace by Indian fighter jets, the foreign ministry said.

Pakistan has said that Indian air force planes "inadvertently" violated its airspace last week, flying over the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir and the eastern city of Lahore.

The banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, which India blames for last month's deadly attacks on Mumbai, is known to be active in both areas.

"The Indian deputy high commissioner (deputy ambassador) was called into the foreign office on Thursday and a diplomatic note was handed over to him," the Pakistani ministry said in a statement.

The note conveyed the "concern of the government of Pakistan on technical and airspace violations by Indian aircraft on December 12 and 13 in non-conformity with a bilateral agreement".

Islamabad said it had confirmed the airspace violations with New Delhi, but a spokesman for the Indian air force denied the allegations.

Relations between the nuclear-armed South Asian states have deteriorated in the wake of the Mumbai attacks, which left 172 people dead.

India said on Tuesday that the peace process with Pakistan was on hold, but reiterated it was not preparing for war. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed confidence on Wednesday that the dialogue would resume.