India takes up 'major' ceasefire violation with Pakistan

Islamabad: India today took up with Pakistan twice the issue of firing by its forces in a "major ceasefire violation" of the LoC in the Akhnoor sector in Jammu in which one woman was killed, saying it was "disappointed" at the fresh breach.

"We are disappointed at the developments which have taken place this morning¿ There was major ceasefire violation committed by Pakistani forces in Akhnoor sector which led to casualties in India. I spoke to the (Pak) foreign secretary this morning and again in the afternoon¿ The ceasefire violation has led to the death of a civilian woman in Akhnoor," Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan said.

Raghavan was talking to reporters after Ifftar-dinner he hosted at a local hotel in Islamabad. A large number of politicians, members of business community, diplomats, religious personalities and media professionals were invited.

He indicated that a formal protest would be lodged with Pakistan over today's incident after getting all the facts. Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu on Friday, Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire twice today by resorting to firing and mortar shelling in the Akhnoor sector in which a woman was killed and six others, including two BSF jawans, were injured. It was the seventh ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops this month.

However, Raghavan refused to comment on reports that the Pakistan army had shot down an Indian "spy" drone near the LoC.

"I have no information about this drone," he said. To a question about the Kashmir "dispute" he said, India was never shy of talks over Kashmir as a part of the region is "under illegal occupation of Pakistan".

"I am not sure what you mean by dispute, but I can tell you that we are deeply concerned about the part of Kashmir which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We will pursue this matter with all the force at our command," the envoy said.

He said that since Pakistan has illegally occupied part of Jammu and Kashmir, India has concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passing through it.

About voice samples of Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Raghavan said that the important thing is that agreement on it has been reached but the stage for it has not come as yet.

"I am sure that stage will come when the high commission will be told how to proceed forward with the voice samples of Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi or others," he said.

Responding to a query on fate of the composite dialogue, he said that it was important to look at the issues on which agreement has been reached between the two prime ministers rather than speculate on other matters.

He said that the two leaders had agreed that it was collective responsibility to take steps for regional development. Raghavan said that the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif has helped to reduce tensions.

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