Pakistan briefs P5 envoys over border firing

Islamabad, Nov 11 (IANS) Pakistan on Friday said it has briefed the envoys of P5 countries over “unprovoked firing” by India on the Line of Control and asked the countries to play their role in ensuring maintenance of peace and security in the region.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry deplored the use of artillery by India in Shahkot and Jura sectors on the LoC, on November 9, a Foreign Office statement said.

He stated that the use of such heavy weaponry was resorted to by the Indian side after a gap of 13 years.

He said Pakistan has been “compelled to respond but with maximum restraint”, and the armed forces of Pakistan gave a “befitting response”.

He expressed apprehension that Indian actions, which he said “constituted a threat for the maintenance of peace and security”, may lead to a “strategic miscalculation”.

He expressed grave concern over the increased frequency and duration of “indiscriminate firing from Indian side, deliberately targeting of villages and civilian populated areas”, which has led to the deaths of 26 civilians and injuries to 107, including women and children, in complete disregard of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and of International Law.

Emphasizing the important role of the United Nations Military Observers Group which has the mandate for maintaining peace and tranquility at the border, the Foreign Secretary noted that Pakistan was fully cooperating and providing unfettered access to UNMOGIP.

However, he said “India was not cooperative and limits their access”.

In response, the envoys from Permanent Members of UN Security Council — the US, China, Russia, Britain and France — assured that they would convey Pakistan’s concern to their respective capitals. They underscored the need for restraint, observance of ceasefire and dialogue to resolve issues, the statement said.