India, Pakistan summon each other’s envoys over ceasefire violations


NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – India and Pakistan summoned each other’s envoys on Friday, with the nuclear-armed neighbours accusing one another of violating a military ceasefire in the disputed Kashmir region and killing civilians in cross-border firing.

India called in Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner saying its soldiers had breached the truce over a 100 times in January alone, the Indian foreign ministry said.

According to the foreign ministry, Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah had India’s concerns relayed to him and a “strong protest” over three civilian deaths on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19 in some districts of Jammu and Kashmir due to ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces.

“It was conveyed to the concerned authorities in Pakistan that deliberate targeting of innocent civilians was against all established humanitarian norms and practices,” the statement said, adding that Pakistan was asked to adhere to the 2003 truce.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said India had committed more than 125 violations, causing four civilian deaths, and accused its South Asian neighbour of “indiscriminate and unprovoked” firing over the last two days.

Earlier this week Pakistan summoned India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad after four Pakistani soldiers were killed in shelling by Indian forces in the disputed Kashmir region, the Pakistani foreign office had said.

India and Pakistan have faced off for decades across the Line of Control separating parts of Kashmir held by both countries. The old ceasefire line runs through a region that both countries claim in full but rule in part.

Sporadic cross-border attacks in past months have frayed the 2003 truce.

Reporting by Neha Dasgupta, Kay Johnson and Fayaz Bukhari; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Hugh Lawson