Islamabad: Pakistan today summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh here to condemn the “unprovoked firing” by Indian troops across the Line of Control which resulted in the death of a driver of a van carrying school children.
Director General (South Asia and SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned Singh and “condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
It alleged that the Indian forces “deliberately targeted a school van carrying school children on Battal-Madharpur road, resulting in the death of the driver of the van, Sarfaraz Ahmed, leaving the school children severely traumatised.”
Faisal said despite calls for restraint, India “continues to indulge in LoC firing”.
In 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 335 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the deaths of 14 civilians, he said.
He said this unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed more than 1970 ceasefire violations.
“The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and against the human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” he asserted.
Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement and investigate the repeated incidents of ceasefire violations, the statement said.
He also urged the Indian side to allow the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
India maintains that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control.
When asked about frequent summoning of Indian deputy high commissioner over LoC violations, Faisal said it was part of “responsibility of Pakistan to effectively and emphatically defend its borders, be they physical, diplomatic, political or intellectual.”
On February 5, Singh was summoned to the Foreign Office.
In January, the Foreign Office summoned India’s deputy high commissioner on January 15, 18, 19, 20 and 21.