India, Pak troops trade fire along LoC, IB in J&K
Pak summons Indian Charge d'Affaires over 'ceasefire violations'
Jammu/Islamabad: Pakistani troops on Sunday opened fire and lobbed mortars at forward posts and villages along the Line of Control and International Border in Poonch and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.
There was no report of any casualty or damage on the Indian side, the officials said.
“At about 6:15 am, Pakistan initiated the unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and shelled mortars along LoC in Balakote sector of Poonch district. Indian Army is retaliating befittingly,” a defence spokesman said.
A police official said the cross-border firing between the two sides triggered panic among border residents.
The Pakistani Rangers also fired on forward posts and villages in Karol Matrai area along the IB in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district, drawing strong retaliation from the Border Security Force (BSF), he said.
The official said the firing and mortar shelling from the Pakistani side started around 1 am and continued for over four-and-a-half hours.
There has been a spurt in Pakistani shelling along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir this year, with over 2027 ceasefire violations reported till June 10, officials say.
Three Army personnel have been killed in the Pakistani firing in the twin sectors of Rajouri and Poonch this month.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Sunday summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia to register its protest over the alleged ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the Line of Control (LoC).
Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri registered a “strong protest over the ceasefire violations” by the Indian forces in Hajipir and Bedori sectors” on June 20, the Foreign Office said in a statement.
It claimed that the “indiscriminate and unprovoked firing” killed one person and injured two others.
Chaudhri said the Indian government “must realize that its irresponsible policies and unilateral actions are increasingly imperiling peace and security in the region. India must act responsibly in the interest of regional peace and security,” according to the Foreign Office.
The Indian forces along “the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons,” he alleged.
He called upon the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding; investigate this and other such incidents of ceasefire violations and maintain peace along the LoC and the WB.