14:09 GMT19 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistan has summoned an Indian diplomat in Islamabad three times in one week over ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC). The armies of the two nuclear-armed nations have been shelling each other along the border for the past few weeks and casualties are reported on both sides.

    The Pakistan Foreign Ministry summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia on Monday, accusing New Delhi of targeting civilians across the Line of Control (LoC), the de-facto border between the two countries in the Kashmir region.

    This is the second summoning of an Indian diplomat in three days.

    The Pakistan ministry, in a statement, claimed that civilians are being injured in border villages located along the LoC, adding that Islamabad has lodged a “strong protest at ceasefire violations by India along LoC in Jabbar, Sandhara, Sumbal Gali and Dabsi villages of Kotli district”. 

    Due to the “indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by the Indian forces” at least 10 civilians have been injured, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry's statement noted.

    On Saturday, Pakistan accused Indian security forces of killing one civilian in the Chirikot sector, along the LoC.

    The media arm of the Pakistan Armed Forces claimed that Indian troops over the last 24 hours have resorted to unprovoked fire with mortars and heavy weapons in the Jandrot and Nikial sectors along the LoC, deliberately targeting the civilian population.
    "Pakistan army troops responded effectively to Indian unprovoked cease fire violations. One Indian soldier killed, three injured, including a Major, while substantial damage inflicted on Indian posts which initiated fire," the Pakistan armed forces Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) media wing said.

    A Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that by raising tensions along the LoC and the Working Boundary, India cannot divert attention from the worsening human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

    Pakistan has called upon India to respect the 2003 Ceasefire agreement and maintain peace along the border.

    The Indian defence ministry on Monday accused Pakistan of firing at Indian villagers during 2019. As per details released by the defence ministry, there were 3,479 incidences of Pakistani security personnel firing at India in 2019. The Pakistan army accused India for violating ceasefire agreements in over 3000 incidences in 2019.

    “Very often terrorists attempting to carry out reconnaissance to facilitate infiltration also become casualties and these are then depicted as civilian casualties to portray India’s action as being aggressive, thus attempting to draw attention of international media and divert attention from terrorist support provided to Pak proxies and terrorists trained by Pakistan,”  Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh suggested at parliament on Monday.

    Relations between India and Pakistan have traditionally been tense over competing claims to parts of the Kashmir region, since the countries gained independence from the British Empire in 1947.

    The two sides have been engaged in continuous firing on the border since February 2019, after the Indian Air Force allegedly destroyed the Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot inside Pakistan. Pakistan, in a retaliatory action, reportedly brought down an Indian MiG jet and captured its pilot, who was later released. The Indian Air Force claimed it downed an F-16 in the process.

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    Tags:
    Pakistani Army, Indian Defence Ministry, Rajnath Singh, Line of Control, ceasefire breach, Pakistan, India
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