Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control 27 times between November 12 and November 21, the External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday. The government had summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah on Wednesday to issue its fourth demarche this month on the violations taking place despite calls for restraint, spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
The incidents of cross-border firing were a clear violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Agreement between the two sides, he added. The government also lodged a formal protest against the Pakistani Army targetting 18 villages along the LoC between November 16 and November 21.
Regarding Pakistan forming an India-centric committee, Swarup said the country had gained nothing by taking the Kashmir dispute to global platforms. “It is incumbent on Pakistan to create the necessary environment for a conducive bilateral dialogue to happen,” he added. Pakistan has set up a committee to frame a “doable and sustainable India-Kashmir policy” and also to reach out to sections of the Indian public opposed to the Narendra Modi government’s “extremist” policies on the Kashmir dispute.
Moreover, the spokesperson announced that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will not attend the Heart of Asia conference in Amritsar, scheduled to begin on December 4. However, he did not rule out the possibility of bilateral talks with the foreign affairs advisor to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sartaj Aziz, who will attend the conference. On November 16, Aziz had hinted that the visit could be used to “defuse the tension” between the neighbouring countries.
On Wednesday, the director generals of military operations of India and Pakistan held unscheduled talks at Islamabad’s request. Pakistani DGMO Major General Sahid Shamshad Mirza had raised the matter of civilian deaths caused by retaliatory firing by India along the Line of Control. While Indian DGMO Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh had expressed his grief over the casualties, he emphasised that Indian troops had only targeted locations from where Pakistani forces had carried out ceasefire violations.
On Thursday morning, Islamabad had claimed that three Pakistani soldiers and nine civilians had been killed in cross-border firing the previous day when Indian troops launched a massive attack against Pakistani posts along the LoC.