Indian ceasefire violation against spirit of Ufa understanding: FO


ISLAMABAD: A day after firing was reported at the Line of Control, Pakistan lodged a strong protest with India over what the Foreign Office said is an “offensive posture” of Indian security forces and a provocative act against the spirit of the Ufa understanding.

“We hope that the Indian government observes the understanding reached between the two sides during 2003 to maintain peace and tranquility at the LoC and Working Boundary in letter and spirit,” FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said in a statement.

“The government of Pakistan has expressed its deep concern at the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian Security forces at the LoC and the offensive posture adopted during the past few days,” he remarked.

“On Saturday at 1335 hrs, Indian troops violated the ceasefire, by opening fire on a front of 11 kilometres at Rawalakot [Nezapir] – Poonch sector at LoC, which continued intermittently until 1745hrs,” said Khalilullah.

He added: “They [Indians] used small arms, rockets, mortars and heavy machine gun fire.”

The spokesman said he regretted that the ceasefire violations by the Indian troops are being committed during the Eidul Fitr holidays as was done by them last year, “when many innocent civilians were martyred”.

The spokesman lamented that four civilians lost their lives on July 15 and 16 when people were busy preparing for the sacred occasion of Eidul Fitr.

“The government of Pakistan expresses its profound condolences over the loss of precious lives. Our heart goes out to the bereaved families, who lost their beloved ones”, he said.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a hour-long meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Ufa, Russia.

The two leaders had agreed that both India and Pakistan have a collective responsibility to ensure peace and promote development. The meeting was seen by analysts as thawing of relations, after peace talks between the two estranged neighbours remained suspended since January 2013, when tensions at the LoC started flaring up.

Last year saw some of the worst clashes along the de facto border. The clashes have sporadically continued to occur this year.

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