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Ceasefire violations: Sushma warns Pakistan, dismisses allegations in letter to Sartaz Aziz

In a stern reply to Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz over the killing of two Pak soldiers in BSF firing, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday dismissed the contentions made by him and asked to adhere to the mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquility on the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LOC).  


Ceasefire violations: Sushma warns Pakistan, dismisses allegations in letter to Sartaz Aziz

New Delhi: In a stern reply to Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz over the killing of two Pak soldiers in BSF firing, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday dismissed the contentions made by him and asked Pakistan to adhere to the mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquility on the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LOC).  

“Pak commanders responded to our defensive fire by using higher calibre weapons, expanding conflict zone, targeting civilian habitations,” Swaraj wrote in the letter.

The External Affairs Minister further wrote, "The incidents on 31st December in the Jammu sector commenced when a routine BSF patrol flying an identifying flag came under sniper fire from a Pakistan Border Post, which resulted in the death of one Indian security personnel and serious injuries to another." 

She emphasised that Pakistan commanders responded to Indian defensive fire by escalating matters by using higher calibre weapons, expanding the zone of conflict to other sub sectors and targeting civilian habitations. 

"At no stage did the Indian side seek any platoon level contact under a white flag as was being suggested. The consistent Indian message conveyed to Pakistan was that if they were to stop firing on Indian Border Posts, India would immediately end defensive firing. 

"Unfortunately, Pakistan commanders had chosen to ignore this advice until the evening. While emphasising that India always adhered to the mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquility on the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LOC) and would continue to do so," the letter said. 

Swaraj asked Aziz "to ensure that Pakistan's forces do the same". 

Meanwhile, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin wrote on Twitter - "Minister @SushmaSwaraj writes to Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs & National Security Advisor-"cannot accept any contentions made in your letter."

 

Aziz, who was instructed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take up the matter with India, had written a letter which underlined "that the regrettable ambush of the soldiers would undermine mechanisms established by the two countries to ensure peace and tranquility along the LoC and the WB," the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement yesterday. 

The letter was handed over to Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. 

On Tuesday, a BSF jawan was killed when Pakistani Rangers fired on a group of Indian soldiers on patrol. India had returned fire and four Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliation. India stopped firing when Pakistan Rangers raised a white flag, requesting time to remove the bodies.

(With Agency inputs)

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