Pak summons Indian envoy; India protests over unprovoked firing
India on Tuesday protested to Pakistan over the unprovoked firing from across the border to give cover to infiltrators when its Deputy High Commissioner was summoned for the fourth time in just over a week over alleged “unprovoked ceasefire violations”.
“Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh today and strongly condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations on October 31 by the Indian Forces on the LoC in Nikial and Jandrot sectors,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. The statement said the firing killed six Pakistani civilians, including a woman, and wounded eight others.
Singh protested against the unprovoked firing from Pakistani Rangers, saying it was primarily to give cover to infiltrators, Indian officials said in New Delhi. He also mentioned the killing of civilians on Indian side in the ceasefire violations by the Pakistan, they said.
“The Director General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding; investigate the continued incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, stop targeting the villages and civilians and maintain peace on the Working Boundary and the LoC,” the FO statement added.
This was the fifth time in just over a week that Indian diplomats were summoned to the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office had summoned Deputy High Commissioner Singh on October 25, 26 and 28.
On October 27, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to foreign ministry and conveyed the decision of the Government of Pakistan to declare an Indian High Commission official as “persona non-grata”.
Meanwhile, a media report said that Pakistan was considering pulling out four officers posted at its High Commission in New Delhi, days after India declared one Pakistani official persona non-grata for espionage activities. “This is under consideration. A final decision would be taken shortly,” a source at the Foreign Office was quoted as saying by Dawn News.