Pakistan on Thursday summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to the Foreign Office to protest over alleged ceasefire violations and use of artillery by the Indian forces, saying that such weaponry had been used after 13 years. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry summoned Bambawale and condemned the “unprovoked ceasefire violations on the LOC and the Working Boundary,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office in the evening.
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“He deplored the use of artillery by the Indian Forces in Shahkot and Jura sectors on the LoC on November 9, 2016 and highlighted that such weaponry had been used after 13 years, reflecting India’s intention to further escalate tensions and undermine regional peace and security,” the statement said.
The Foreign Secretary observed that the “indiscriminate firing and shelling from the Indian side deliberately targeting villages and civilian populated areas” has resulted in the death of 26 civilians in the last two months, it said. It said 107 people were also injured.
The statement said the UN Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) has the UN mandated responsibility for maintaining peace and tranquility at the LoC and the Working Boundary. “While Pakistan is fully cooperating and providing full access to UNMOGIP, we urge India to permit the UNMOGIP to visit and observe the LoC and the Working Boundary,” it said.
The Foreign Secretary urged India to investigate the continued incidents of “unprovoked ceasefire violations” on the LoC and the Working Boundary and ensure respect for the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, in letter and spirit, it added. Foreign Office had summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh on Wednesday for the sixth time in over two weeks for alleged ceasefire violations.
On October 27, the Foreign Secretary had summoned Bambawale to foreign ministry and conveyed the decision of the Government of Pakistan to declare an Indian High Commission official as “persona non-grata”.