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Pakistan summons Indian diplomat to condemn ‘unprovoked’ LoC firing

Ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border IB in Jammu and Kashmir have left 21 people, including 12 security personnel, dead and more than 80 others, mostly civilians, injured this year.

india Updated: Mar 02, 2018 09:18 IST
Agencies
Agencies
New Delhi, Islamabad
India,Pakistan,Ceasefire violations
Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers patrol near Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch. (PTI FILE)

Pakistan summoned India’s deputy high commissioner JP Singh on Thursday and condemned what Islamabad termed “unprovoked firing” by Indian troops across the Line of Control.

Director general (South Asia & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal said “unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations”, according to the foreign office.

Across the border, an official said two Indian Army soldiers and a civilian were injured in firing and heavy mortar shelling by Pakistani troops targeting civilian areas along the LoC, including in Poonch district and Nowshera town in Rajouri.

In Islamabad, Faisal asked India to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, stressing India carried out more than 400 ceasefire violations in 2018, resulting in the death of 19 civilians, including a 70-year-old man

“The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” said Faisal.

He urged the Indian side to allow the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions. India maintains that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.

As tension flared along the LoC, the Indian side too reported “heavy mortar shelling in Sunderban sector” in Jammu and Kashmir that sparked a forest fire.

There was shelling in Mangiote, Kalai and Minka in the same sector, Rajouri deputy commissioner Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, adding the Pakistani Army targeted civilian areas in Kalsia, Hania, Troi nalla, Baba Khori and Nowshera town located deep inside Indian territory.

A civilian was injured in the shelling in Kalsia, where a house was also damaged, he said. “Shells landed near Nowshera town. It is a worrisome situation as interior areas are being targeted.”

Earlier in the day, two Indian Army soldiers were injured in firing and shelling by Pakistani troops along the LoC, another official said, adding the injured soldiers were hospitalised.

Pakistani Army resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, and mortars from 8.45 am along the LoC in Bhimber Gali sector of Poonch district, a defence spokesperson said, adding the Indian Army was retaliating strongly and effectively.

Ceasefire violations along the LoC and the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir have left 21 people, including 12 security personnel, dead and more than 80 others, mostly civilians, injured this year. Though no ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops was reported along the IB since January 22, intermittent shelling has taken place along the LoC.

The Pakistan Army had fired and shelled forward areas along the LoC in Sunderbani, Nowshera and Khour sectors of Rajouri and Jammu districts on Wednesday also. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliatory fire by Indian troops.

First Published: Mar 02, 2018 09:18 IST