Basit accuses Indian troops of 70 ceasefire violations in two months, calls for a mechanism to determine who ‘indulges in unprovoked firing’
Srinagar: India summoned Pakistan high commissioner Abdul Basit on Sunday and conveyed to him “strong protest over the unprovoked firing by its troops” along the LoC.
Eight civilians have died in two Kashmirs since Friday in the exchange of mortar bombs between the armies of the two countries.
India’s secretary (east) in external affairs ministry Anil Wadhwa conveyed India’s protest to Basit at the South Block, PTI reported.
However, after emerging from the meeting, Basit accused India of 70 ceasefire violations along the LoC and International Border in July and August this year and called for a more effective mechanism to determine who indulges in the unprovoked firing.
Six people were killed Balakote area of Poonch district on Saturday in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts, while two civilians were killed due to Indian firing in Pakistan administered Kashmir since Friday.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar meanwhile said India is giving a “befitting” reply to Pakistan.
“Our response is double-triple (in intensity),” PTI quoted him as saying.
“Owing to security reasons, I cannot furnish details on the issue but would surely like to tell that we are taking all the measures to foil infiltration bids,” he said.
There has been escalation of tension between the two countries following militant attacks in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and incidents of ceasefire violations ahead of talks between their National Security Advisers scheduled August 23.
Ties further soured recently with Pakistan refusing to invite Jammu and Kashmir Assembly speaker to a conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, in protest against which India decided to boycott the meet to be held in Islamabad from September 30 to October 8.
Ahead of NSA-level talks, Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit on Friday had said his country will not abandon the Kashmiris’ legitimate struggle for freedom, stressing that to have normal and cooperative relationship with India it was necessary to settle the decades-old dispute.
Reacting sharply to the comments, India said, “The only struggle in J&K is against Pakistani-sponsored terrorism. This will be the subject of the upcoming NSA-level talks.”