India serves demarche to Pakistan over LoC firefight

In picture: MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. ANI file photo.

India has served a demarche to Pakistan, protesting against the killing of its three soldiers by the terrorists from the neighbouring country during an infiltration attempt across the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir last Sunday.

The demarche was served even as the war of words between the two neighbouring nations escalated, with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan criticizing India on Twitter for “killing of innocent Kashmiris” and New Delhi hitting back, asking him to mind his own business.  

A senior official of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), where he was served the demarche. The diplomats of Pakistan-Afghanistan-India division of the MEA lodged New Delhi's strong protest over the killing of three Indian Army soldiers by Pakistani terrorists, who had made an attempt to cross over the LoC at Sunderbani Sector in Jammu and Kashmir.  

It was conveyed to the official of the High Commission of Pakistan that two armed intruders from the neighbouring country had been killed by the Indian Army soldiers during the firefight in the wake of the infiltration bid and the Government of Pakistan should take custody of their corpses.

India “condemned in the strongest terms” the “provocative action” by Pakistan. New Delhi stated it had revealed the complicity of Pakistan Government in aiding and abetting terrorism and exposes the hollowness of Islamabad’s deceitful claims to promote constructive engagement and desire for peace between the two neighbours, the MEA stated.

The MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India also conveyed to Pakistan its “grave concern” over “the continuing incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations” by the armed forces of the neighbouring country along the LoC as well as the undisputed stretch of the border.

“Despite repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of 2003 for maintaining peace and tranquillity”, the soldiers of Pakistan Army and Pakistan Rangers flouted the ceasefire 1591 times along the LoC and the undisputed stretch of the border in 2018 so far, the MEA said. “Pakistan was called on to abide by its bilateral commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used to support terrorism against India in any manner,” said Kumar.   

New Delhi was filled with “cautious hope” after Tehreek E Insaaf came to power in Pakistan and Khan took over as the Prime Minister of the new Government in Islamabad in August.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did reach out to his new counterpart and a “political window” for engagement between the two nations appeared to have opened up.

The first opportunity for a bilateral engagement between India and Pakistan after the change of regime in the neighbouring country came last month when both Swaraj and Qureshi were in New York to attend the United Nations, General Assembly.

New Delhi first accepted a proposal from Islamabad for a meeting between the two on the sideline of the UNGA, but called off the proposed engagement just a day later, accusing the “entities” based in the neighbouring countries of killing three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and glorifying slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by issuing a postage stamp. This was followed by a war of words which dashed the hope for an early restart of the dialogue that remained stalled since 2013.

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India serves demarche to Pakistan over LoC firefight

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