India summons Pakistani diplomat over killing of civilians in J-K ceasefire violations

Five Indian civilians were killed in unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC by Pakistani forces on March 18, 2018.

india Updated: Mar 19, 2018 23:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India Pakistan ties,Pakistan deputy high commissioner,Ceasefire violations
Pakistan violated ceasefire in Bhimber Gali sector across the LoC, in Jammu and Kashmir.(Raj K Raj/HT File Photo)

India on Monday summoned the Pakistan deputy high commissioner and lodged a strong protest against the killing of five civilians in “unprovoked firing” by Pakistani forces on March 18, terming the incident “highly deplorable,” said a statement from the external affairs ministry.

Pakistan deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah was also told that such “heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct”.

“It was conveyed that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, who are located 2km away from the forward line of defences, by Pakistan forces using high-caliber weapons, is highly deplorable and is condemned in the strongest terms. Such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct. Pakistan authorities are called upon to investigate into such heinous acts and instruct its forces to desist from such acts immediately,” the statement said.

The ministry said more than 560 such violations were carried out by Pakistan forces at the LoC so far in 2018 in which 23 Indian civilians were killed and 70 others injured. The Pakistan side was also asked to end the support being given to cross-border infiltration of terrorists, including through covering fire, the statement further said.

The Indian high commission in Pakistan has informed two more cases of harassment to the foreign office in Islamabad.

Pakistan on Monday announced its displeasure over India denying visas to more than 500 of its pilgrims seeking to visit the shrine of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, which is an annual pilgrimage enabled through a bilateral pact. India said visas couldn’t be given because of the prevailing circumstances and the absence of requisite security clearances.

The pilgrimage comes under the “1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines”.

First Published: Mar 19, 2018 23:15 IST