New Delhi: Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Salman Bashir, was on Wednesday summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs following the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers along the Line of Control in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. Bashir was told in no uncertain terms that such acts were "unacceptable".
During the 30-minute meeting, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai lodged a "strong protest" over the Pakistani Army action and the way Indian soldiers’ bodies were subjected to "barbaric and inhuman mutilation".
Mathai made it clear that these incidents were "unacceptable" and that Pakistan has to uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control, according to official sources.
Bashir was further told by Mathai that regular Pakistani soldiers had crossed the LoC at Mendhar sector and engaged with Indian troops who were patrolling this sector.
"Two Indian soldiers were killed in the attack and their bodies subjected to barbaric and inhuman mutilation. The government of Pakistan was asked to immediately investigate these actions that are in contravention of international conduct and ensure that these will not recur," Bashir was conveyed.
India has described the attack in its territory by Pakistani troops as "highly provocative", "extremely distressing" and "inhuman".
As the government closely monitored the situation after the attack, Defence Minister AK Antony said the Indian government will convey to Pakistan its protest against the attack yesterday in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district.
"Pakistan Army's action is highly provocative. The way they treated the dead bodies of Indian soldiers is inhuman. We will convey our protest to Pakistan government and our DGMO will talk to his counterpart. We are closely following the situation," Antony told reporters.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said the way the bodies of the two Indian soldiers were treated was "extremely extremely distressing" and "ghastly" and that this will be taken up seriously with Pakistan.
"It is an extremely sensitive matter. It is a matter of great concern. We will do whatever we can do," he said, adding, "we will take up the matter seriously with Pakistan government."
Khurshid warned that the Pakistan action could be "counter-productive" in efforts by the two neighbouring countries to improve bilateral relations.
Pakistani regular soldiers crossed into Indian territory in Poonch and ambushed an Indian patrol killing two soldiers, one of whom was decapitated.
Army's Additional Director General (Public Information) Major General SL Narasimhan yesterday confirmed that one of the two bodies was mutilated.
Other sources said the heads of both the Indian soldiers -- Lance Naiks, Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh -- have been chopped off and one was taken away by Pakistani intruders.
The attack took place along the LoC in Poonch district when Pakistanis came about 100 metres into Indian territory and assaulted the patrol party.
Besides killing two, they also injured two other soldiers and took away their weapons and other belongings.
(With PTI inputs)
First Published: Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 12:14