New Delhi, Aug 16: India on Sunday summoned the Pakistani envoy to lodge a protest and convey anger over unprovoked firing with high calibre weapons by Pakistani troops targeting India’s civilian population.
Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned to the external affairs ministry in the afternoon.
Anil Wadhwa, secretary (East) in the ministry, “lodged a protest, and conveyed our (India’s) anger, at the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8, particularly with regard to the incidents of yesterday (Saturday) and today (Sunday) in Poonch that saw the systematic targeting of our civilian population and the use of high calibre weapons including artillery”, said a ministry statement.
“The issue of continued unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops since August 8 had been raised on several occasions at the DGMO (Director General of Military Operations) level.
“Assurances were also received from the Pakistan military authorities that the firings would stop and their troops would be instructed accordingly. But in fact, the firings have continued up until today,” it said.
Wadhwa conveyed that the Pakistan government needed to take necessary steps to ensure that the Pakistan military does not undermine peace and tranquillity along the international boundary and the Line of Control, said the statement.
Pakistani shelling in civilian areas along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday claimed two lives, taking the civilian toll in two days to seven.
The latest shelling took place in Poonch and Rajouri districts. Eight civilians were also injured.
Basit later speaking to newspersons claimed that India violated the ceasefire 70 times and that Pakistan was very concerned about it.
The continuing border firing comes ahead of the August 23-24 National Security Advisor-level talks to be held in Delhi between India’s Ajit Doval and Pakistan’s Sartaj Aziz to discuss terrorism issues.