FO summons Indian diplomat over woman’s killing in cross-LoC firing


ISLAMABAD:The Foreign Office (FO) said that Indian troops on Thursday opened unprovoked fire across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, killing an elderly woman.

The incident, which the FO said was latest in a series of ceasefire violations by India, took place in the Kot Kotera sector.

FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Friday said that Pakistan had summoned the acting Indian deputy high commissioner to lodge a protest over the killing of 65-year-old Hussain Bibi. He stated that so far in 2018, Indian forces have committed more than 70 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary, resulting in Hussain Bibi’s death and wounding five others.

“The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the FO spokesperson said in a press statement.

“The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the FO warned.

The FO spokesperson urged India to “respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary”.

“The Indian side should permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions,” he added.

New Delhi has yet to respond to the protest registered by the FO.

Ceasefire violations are a frequent feature along the LoC and Working Boundary despite the leadership of Pakistan Rangers and India’s Border Security Forces agreeing in November 2017 that the “spirit” of a 2003 ceasefire agreement must be revived to protect innocent lives.

By June 2017, unprovoked firing by Indian forces across the LoC had taken 832 lives, left 3,000 injured and had damaged 3,300 houses, according to the National Disaster Management Authority.