Initiate dialogue, resolve differences in civil manner: Mehbooba tells Pakistan

| Updated: Oct 28, 2016 21:48 IST

Udhampur (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Oct 28 (ANI): Reprimanding Pakistan for the continuous ceasefire violations from the other side of the border, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that Islamabad should instead initiate dialogue with India to resolve all differences in a civil manner. Mehbooba said, "Pakistan should initiate dialogue instead of indulging in cross border firing. We (India and Pakistan) need to sit together like civilized nations and talk. I think there is a need for Pakistan to take the initiative." The Chief Minister's reaction comes in the wake of the escalating tension at the border with Pakistan continuing to violate the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC). The Border Security Force (BSF) troops killed 15 Pakistani Rangers earlier while retaliating to a ceasefire violation. Earlier on Thursday, the BSF personnel gunned down one Pakistani Ranger and injured another in retaliatory firing after Pakistani troops heavily shell five sectors along the LoC and the international border. The already strained ties between the two Asian neighbours dipped further yesterday when New Delhi and Islamabad expelled a staffer each at their High Commissions, declaring them 'persona non-grata' in tit-for-tat action. Both staffers were given similar deadlines to leave by October 29. The move took place after the India accused Pakistan High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar of receiving "sensitive" defence documents. Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar called Pakistan's High Commissioner Abdul Basit and declared Akhtar a 'persona non grata' for spying. In a retaliatory action, Pakistan declared Surjeet Singh, an Indian official at the High Commission in Islamabad, as 'persona non grata' but did not spell out any charge. The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs last evening summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to register protest over the expulsion of High Commission staffer for espionage charges and stated the action is a violation of the Vienna Convention signed in 1961. Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry also conveyed the government's decision to declare Surjeet Singh, an official of the Indian High Commission, as 'persona non grata'. (ANI)