Islamabad, November 14 (Dawn): Seven Pakistani soldiers were killed Sunday night during cross-border firing across the Line of Control in Kashmir, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan said on Monday.
The Pakistan Foreign Office summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale to protest against the unprovoked firing and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that Indian is indulging in creating tension with Pakistan on the border to divert the world’s attention from the “unspeakable atrocities” it is perpetrating in Kashmir. Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that trouble with Pakistan is being created by “extremist” forces which have taken control of the levers of power in New Delhi.
“Seven soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom) at the LoC in the Bhimber sector in a ceasefire violation by Indian troops late last night,” ISPR said.
Pakistani troops responded to ‘unprovoked’ Indian firing, and targeted Indian posts effectively, ISPR added.
Later on Monday, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif attended funeral prayers of the deceased soldiers at Jhelum who had died following unprovoked firing by the Indian troops along the LoC.
The military chief was later briefed on the situation at LoC. He reiterated the determination by saying “we will continue to respond effectively and leave no stone unturned to defend the motherland.
The Foreign Office (FO) summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Monday to lodge a protest against the killing of soldiers across the LoC.
The FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said India must stop all ceasefire violations and avoid targeting residents along the LoC.
The FO also delivered a letter of protest to India.
There was no immediate response to the allegations from Indian officials.
Pakistani authorities last week lodged protests with India as well as with the UN military observers over targeting of civilian populations as the civilian death toll from Indian shelling has risen to at least 26 in the past few weeks. Another 107 have been injured.
The Pakistani FO protested at least five times during the past five weeks over targeting of civilian populations.
“We are fully capable of defending our soil against any aggression. The Indian forces have resorted to escalating tension on LoC only to detract the world’s attention from the grave human rights situation in the Indian-held Kashmir,” said Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif .
The Premier said that Indian forces have inflicted ‘unspeakable atrocities’ against the unarmed and innocent people of held Kashmir.
“There is an indigenous uprising against Indian occupation, and the Indian government is failing to read the writing on the wall. By creating tension at LoC, the Indian forces are uselessly trying to divert the attention from the Kashmir issue,” he added.
The Pakistan Defense Minister Khwaja Asif urged the global community to take notice of “Indian provocations against Pakistan” as any escalation of tension between the two nuclear armed neighbors could prove catastrophic for the whole region.