Indian cross-LoC firing provided 'non-state actors' cover to plant IEDs: Foreign Office

ISLAMABAD (Dawn/ANN) - Foreign Office denies reports of cross-LoC incursion by Indian forces, summons Indian envoy to condemn ceasefire violations.

Denying Indian media reports of an alleged incursion by Indian troops across the Line of Control (LoC), the Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday summoned the acting Indian deputy high commissioner to condemn the "unprovoked ceasefire violation" that led to three Pakistani soldiers being martyred a day earlier.

Firing by Indian forces in Rakhchikri sector of Poonch district had "provided a cover for the planting of IEDs [improvised explosive devices] by non-state actors", which resulted in the martyrdom of three soldiers, a press release issued by the FO said.

The FO "categorically rejected" claims in Indian media that Indian forces had crossed the LoC to attack Pakistani troops.

"The false claims by India about the alleged cross-LoC adventures are a figment of their imagination and counter-productive for peace and tranquility on the LoC," the FO statement said.

The Indian side had received a "befitting response" from Pakistani forces and their guns were silenced, it added.

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, released a similar statement, saying: "No Indian soldier crossed over LoC."

"Indian media['s] claim is continuation of their self-defeating projections to satisfy domestic audience," he wrote on Twitter.

The FO's Director General (South Asia and Saarc), Dr Mohammad Faisal, also summoned the Indian envoy and urged his side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

He asked India to investigate the latest and other incidents of ceasefire violations and allow the United Nations Military Observers group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per UN Security Council resolutions.

The latest casualties came two days after India alleged that four of its soldiers had been killed in Rajouri sector by Pakistani firing across the LoC. The ISPR had not responded to the allegation.

The heavily militarised LoC, which splits the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir between Pakistan and India, has been witnessing skirmishes and artillery duels for quite some time, in a serious breach of a ceasefire agreement signed by the armies of the two countries in November 2003.

According to civilian and military sources, India has breached the truce more than 1,300 times since January this year, leaving 52 people dead on this side and another 257 injured.

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