India, Pakistan summoned envoys over cease-fire violation

Pakistan and India summoned each other’s top diplomats on Wednesday amid heightening tensions on the border which caused casualties on both the sides.

According to Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, Indian deputy high commissioner JP Singh was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by Director General South Asia and SAARC Dr Mohammad Faisal to lodge a strong protest over cease-fire violations on the Line of Control by Indian forces.

He said that the DG strongly condemned the unprovoked cease-fire violations on November 08, 2016, by the Indian forces on the LoC in Khuirata and Battal sectors, resulting in killing of four civilians, namely Ashfaq, Naeem Ghazi, Kulsoom Bibi and a young girl Amna, of 10 years of age and injuries to seven others.

The Director General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Cease-fire Understanding; investigate the continued incidents of cease-fire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the cease-fire, in letter and spirit, stop targeting the villages and civilians and maintain peace on the LoC.

The spokesperson further said that India had committed 222 cease-fire violations so far during the current year, out of which 184 had been on the LoC and 38 on the Working Boundary, resulting in loss of 26 lives of civilians and injuries to 107 others.

Meanwhile, in a statement an ISPR spokesman said that India also resorted to unprovoked firing and mortar shelling in Keil, Shahkot, and Jara sectors in Neelum Valley on the LoC on Wednesday.

It stated that Indian forces used artillery for the first time and targeted the civilian population. “Pakistan Army responded to the Indian shelling befittingly, and the exchange of fire continues,” it added.

Similarly, Indian government also summoned Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in New Delhi to convey its concerns over the skirmishes on the border.

-Business Recorder