Pakistan today summoned India’s High Commissioner here even as it condemned the alleged firing by Indian forces across the Line of Control, in which six Pakistani civilians were killed. Pakistan’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza also established contact on the hotline with Indian counterpart Lt Gen A K Bhatt and discussed the issue of the killing of civilians, the Army said.
A Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesman said that Acting Foreign Secretary Aitzaz Ahmed summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale over “unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces” in Charwa Sector yesterday. Ahmed “strongly condemned” the firing which killed six civilians, including four women, and injured 26 others, including 15 women and five children in Bini Sulariyan village.
Many of the affected are seriously injured and the casualties are likely to rise, the FO said. “The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” he said. He urged India to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement, investigate the latest incident and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and working boundary.
Ahmed also urged the Indian side to permit the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions. India maintains that the UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.
He alleged that despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations. “In 2017 to date, Indian forces have carried out more than 870 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the working boundary, resulting in the ‘shahadat’ (martyrdom) of 38 innocent civilians and injuries to 142, as compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016,” he said.
Earlier, Pakistan army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Indian forces started “unprovoked firing” along the working boundary in Chappar, Charwah and Harpal sector. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also strongly condemned the incident.
Pakistan DGMO “expressed its unflinching resolve to ensure security of its population” and taking “all necessary measures to deter any such aggression” in future on the LoC. He also discussed the issue of deliberate targeting of Pakistani civilians, residing in vicinity of Working Boundary. He said that the violation that killed six civilians clearly undermines all existing understandings on the issue.