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Pakistan protests cross-border firing, Indian envoy summoned

Islamabad: Pakistan on Monday summoned Indian envoy J.P. Singh here to lodge a protest against the recent “un-provoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces on the Line of Control.

New Delhi had on Sunday called Islamabad’s envoy to convey anger over the recent border violations with high calibre weapons by Pakistani troops.

The Pakistani foreign ministry claimed that three people were killed and 15 civilians were also injured as a result of the latest Indian fire along the LoC in the disputed Kashmir region.

“The Indian Deputy High Commissioner was called by the Dir. Gen. (South Asia & SAARC) on Monday. A protest was lodged against un-provoked ceasefire violations on August 15 to 16, by Indian troops at the Line of Control in Kotli Sector, which resulted in killing of three civilians,” the foreign ministry said.

“The Deputy High Commissioner was conveyed that the Indian side must investigate the incident, share the findings of the investigations with Pakistan, instruct its troops to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement said.

On its part, India on Sunday summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest and convey anger over un-provoked firing.

Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in the ministry, “lodged a protest, and conveyed our (India’s) anger, at the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8, particularly with regard to the incidents of yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) in Poonch that saw the systematic targeting of our civilian population and the use of high calibre weapons including artillery”, said an Indian external affairs ministry statement.

“The issue of continued unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8 had been raised on several occasions at the DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) level.

“Assurances were also received from the Pakistan military authorities that the firings would stop and their troops would be instructed accordingly. But in fact, the firings have continued up until today,” it said.

The Pakistani statement said Islamabad noted with regret and deep concern that during the last two months, so far, there have been 70 ceasefire violations from the Indian side of the LoC and the Working Boundary.

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Pakistan and India declared ceasefire in 2003 and guns had been relatively silent along the LoC. However, both sides occasionally exchange fire. An escalation has been seen in recent weeks.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, met in Russian city of Ufa last month and agreed on a meeting of the national security advisors which is set for August 22.

(IANS)

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