Pakistan has violated ceasefire in Balakote sector in Jammu and Kashmir, killing at least five civilians and injuring at least two others. Heavy shelling from the Pakistan side killed villagers in Devta. Helicopters have been rushed to retrieve the injured for specialised treatment in Jammu. Jammu IGP SD Singh Jamwal said "firing is still on".
Confirming the incident, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police SP Vaid said that the injured were rushed to a nearby hospital.
A video of the unprovoked firing by Pakistani troops was released by news agency ANI wherein loud explosions/gunshots could be heard.
— ANI (@ANI) March 18, 2018
This comes just three days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif ruled out talks with India, saying he did not expect improvement in relations due to alleged frequent ceasefire violations by India.
"India is violating ceasefire agreement time and again on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. In such circumstances we are not expecting improvement in relations between the two countries," Asif was quoted as saying by state-run Radio Pakistan.
In 2018, Pakistan has summonned Indian diplomats in Islamabad several times, alleging ceasefire violations by Indian forces.
Last month, the Pakistan Foreign Office had claimed that Indian forces had committed more than 190 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018, killing 13 civilians and injuring 65 others through the use of heavy mortars and automatic weapons.
But India has made it clear to Islamabad that the onus is on Pakistan to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue between the two countries.
"Any meaningful dialogue can be held only in an atmosphere free of terror, hostility and violence. Onus is on Pakistan to create such a conducive atmosphere. India will continue to take firm and decisive steps to respond to cross-border terrorism," Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had said in Parliament earlier this month.
Ahir said Pakistan has been asked to abide by its commitment not to allow any territory under its control to be used against India in any manner, to respect the sanctity of the International Boundary and Line of Control and to adhere to the 2003 understanding on ceasefire along the International Boundary and the LoC to maintain peace and tranquillity.
(With PTI Inputs)