Pak dy envoy summoned over ceasefire violation

ANI | Updated: Mar 19, 2018 19:53 IST

New Delhi [India], Mar 19 (ANI): The Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haider Shah has been summoned and a strong protest was lodged at the loss of lives of five civilians (a family comprising of husband, wife and three children) in an unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan forces on Sunday in Bhimber Gali Sector across the Line of Control (LoC) of Jammu and Kashmir, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday.

The ceasefire violations also caused grievous injuries to two other minor children.

"It was conveyed that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, who are located two kilometres away from the forward line of defences, by Pakistan forces using high calibre weapons, is highly deplorable and is condemned in the strongest terms. Such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct. Pakistan authorities are called upon to investigate such heinous acts and instruct its forces to desist from such acts immediately," the MEA said in a statement.

"Our strong concerns were shared at continued unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations across the LoC and the International Border. More than 560 such violations have been carried out by Pakistan forces at the Line of Control so far during 2018, in which 23 Indian civilians have been killed and 70 others have been injured," it added.

The MEA further said that Pakistan was also asked to end the support being given to cross-border infiltration of terrorists, including through covering fire.

Both Indian and Pakistani troops are exchanging heavy rounds of fire along the LoC since the last few months.

Regarding visas to Pakistani nationals to participate at Urs festival in Ajmer, the visits are facilitated and promoted and the visas are granted after following due processes, according to sources.

However, from time to time, such visits cannot take place in view of the prevailing circumstances and absence of requisite security clearances. There have been instances in the past when such visits did not take place from both India and Pakistan.

The Urs is an annual festival held at Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Rajasthan. It commemorates the death anniversary of the Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, the founder of the Chishtiya Sufi order in India. It is held over six days and features night-long 'dhikr qawwali' singing.

The anniversary is celebrated in the seventh month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Thousands of pilgrims visit the shrine from all over India and abroad. (ANI)

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