Pakistan Deputy HC summoned over ceasefire violations

New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) India on Wednesday summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Hyder Shah to express its strong concern over the continued violations of ceasefire along the International Border and the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Despite calls for restraint, Pakistan forces have committed 16 ceasefire violations since November 3, 2016 alone,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a strongly worded statement.

“As a result, there have been three fatal casualties during this period among Indian security forces.

“The government conveyed that such loss of life is unacceptable and is strongly protested. In addition, the injuries to civilians during the shelling by Pakistan forces are deplorable and strongly condemned,” it said.

Earlier on Wednesday in Islamabad, Pakistan summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh for the second time in less than 24 hours to lodge a “strong” protest over “unprovoked” ceasefire violations across the Line of Control.

Foreign Officer Director General (South Asia & Saarc) Mohammad Faisal summoned Singh and “strongly” condemned Indian ceasefire violations on Tuesday in the Khuirata and Battal sectors, resulting in the deaths of four civilians, including a 10-year-old girl, a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.

Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement, investigate the continued incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, and stop targeting villages and civilians along the LoC, the statement added.

While summoning the Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi, the Indian External Affairs Ministry also protested the manner in which the photographs of eight officials of the High Commission of India in Islamabad were prominently displayed in newspapers in the wake of factually incorrect allegations by the Pakistan government, and conveyed that this was against basic norms of diplomatic practice and courtesy, besides having the potential to endanger their security and safety.

“It is expected that the Pakistan side will desist from such actions in the future and will ensure the safety and security of all members of the High Commission of India in Islamabad and their families,” the statement added.