Pakistan summons Indian envoy to protest killing of civilian in LoC ceasefire violation

Published August 14, 2019
The Foreign Office urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement. — AFP/File
The Foreign Office urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement. — AFP/File

The Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to protest the latest "unprovoked ceasefire violations" by Indian border forces along the Line of Control (LoC) which resulted in the death of a civilian a day earlier.

A 38-year-old man named Sarfaraz Ahmad, a resident of village Laychayal, was killed in the firing by Indian troops in the Hot Spring sector on August 13, according to a press release issued by FO Director General (South Asia and Saarc) Dr Muhammad Faisal, who also serves as the foreign ministry spokesperson.

The development comes as the nation observes Pakistan's 72nd Independence Day today in solidarity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Tensions between the two countries remain high after the Hindu nationalist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi revoked the special status for the occupied region earlier this month.

"The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-calibre mortars, and automatic weapons," the statement said, adding that this "unprecedented escalation" in ceasefire violations by Indian forces has been going on since 2017, when they committed 1,970 such violations.

The statement termed the deliberate targeting of areas populated by civilians as "deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws".

It added that India's ceasefire violations were a threat to both regional peace and security, and "may lead to a strategic miscalculation".

Dr Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement. He asked New Delhi to investigate these as well as other incidents of ceasefire violations and to instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire "in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary".

The FO spokesperson also urged the Indian side to allow the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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