ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is not expecting improvement in relations with India due to the frequent ceasefire violations by India, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif said on Thursday, amid a fresh war of words over the alleged harassment of Pakistani diplomatic staff in New Delhi. Asif’s statement comes a day after cross-border firing injured two people in Pakistan administered Kashmir, Dawn newspaper reported. “India is violating ceasefire agreement time and again on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. In such circumstances we are not expecting improvement in relations between the two countries,” Asif was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.
Pakistan has summonned Indian diplomats here several times this year, alleging ceasefire violations by Indian forces.
Last month, the Pakistan Foreign Office had claimed that Indian forces had committed more than 190 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018, killing 13 civilians and injuring 65 others through the use of heavy mortars and automatic weapons.
But India has made it clear to Islamabad that the onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue between the two countries.
“Any meaningful dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. Onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere. India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism,” Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had said in Parliament earlier this month.
Ahir said Pakistan has been asked to abide by its commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used against India in any manner, to respect the sanctity of the International Boundary and Line of Control and to adhere to the 2003 understanding on ceasefire along the International Boundary and the LoC to maintain peace and tranquility.
Foreign Minister Asif’s comments came as the Pakistan Foreign Office claimed that the staff and their families have been facing “harassment, intimidation and outright violence” from Indian state agencies in recent weeks.