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Pakistan summons Indian envoy over LoC firing

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Pakistan summons Indian envoy over LoC firing
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Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan Monday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gopal Baglay to express its "serious concern" over alleged ceasefire violations on the Line of Control over the past few days.

Pakistan also requested the Indian government to ensure security and safety of offices of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in India following threats, purportedly by the Shiv Sena, to shut down its Delhi and Mumbai offices, the Pakistan High Commission said in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement in Islamabad said Pakistan has "expressed its serious concern over the continuous ceasefire violations by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) across the LoC over the past couple of days".

The Foreign Office summoned Baglay in the afternoon "to raise this concern which has resulted in the loss of an innocent civilian life in Rawalakot".

Pakistan also called upon India to "uphold the ceasefire over the LoC" and reiterated its commitment to the November 2003 ceasefire "which should be respected in letter and spirit".

"Pakistan also urges the need for abiding by and strengthening existing military mechanisms to ensure that such violations do not recur.

"Pakistan is committed to a constructive, sustained and result-oriented process of engagement with India and believes that serious efforts need to be made in maintaining a positive atmosphere and avoid negative propaganda," said the Foreign Office statement.

According to an Indian defence spokesperson in Jammu, Pakistani troops violated the bilateral ceasefire thrice since Sunday, firing at Indian positions from across the border.

India responded to the Pakistani fire, and the exchange of fire continued till 3.30 a.m. Monday. Indian forces said Pakistan used heavy weapons to fire at the Indian positions.

On Sunday, Pakistan Rangers fired at a Border Security Force (BSF) post at Kanachak in Jammu district, injuring a BSF trooper.

Pakistan also violated the bilateral ceasefire when it fired at Indian positions at Balakot area in Poonch district.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that violations of ceasefire along the LoC by Pakistan are triggered to force India to respond.

He said these violations are intended to either facilitate infiltration or distract attention from internal failures of Pakistan.


IANS

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