Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz today wrote to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, protesting the killing of soldiers in BSF firing and seeking an immediate probe into the incident.
Aziz, who was instructed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take up the matter with the Indian authorities, condemned the incident and lodged strong protest over the killing of two Pakistan Rangers in BSF’s firing on 31 December.
The BSF has said the firing was in retaliation to the killing of one of its jawan after Rangers targeted a BSF patrol party along the International Border in Samba district in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the letter handed over to Indian High Commissioner TCA Raghavan by foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Aziz demanded an immediate probe into the incident and bringing the perpetrators to account.
“The letter underlines that the regrettable ambush of the soldiers would undermine mechanisms established by the two countries to ensure peace and tranquility along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB),” the Foreign Office said in a statement in Islamabad.
“Expressing concern at the way the incident had taken place, the foreign secretary underlined that the incident was not only in contravention to the rules of engagement, but also amounted to breach of trust of Pakistani soldiers in these mechanisms,” it said.
During the meeting with Chaudhry, Raghavan rejected Pakistan’s assertions, terming it as baseless, sources said. Chaudhry said that “it was not in Pakistan’s interest to ratchet up tension on the LoC and WB, since our law enforcement agencies and armed forces were fully engaged in combating terrorism and militancy across the country,” according to the statement.
He dismissed India’s “insinuations” that Pakistan supported infiltration attempts as “far removed from reality”. The statement claimed that BSF had invited the personnel of the Punjab Rangers for a flag meeting, but “greeted the unsuspecting soldiers with a volley of unprovoked fire, causing severe injuries to two soldiers.”
The two Rangers later succumbed to their injuries. The statement said Chaudhry also briefed the Heads of the Missions of P-5 countries and the EU and emphasised the importance of maintaining ceasefire on the LoC and IB.
“He stressed the urgency of the international community playing its role in counselling India to refrain from actions that threaten peace and stability in the region,” it said.
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