ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday summoned Indian High Commissioner to the Foreign Office and lodged a protest over the violation of airspace and unabated ceasefire violations.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said the foreign secretary lodged a ‘strong protest’ over air space violation near Bhimber yesterday as an Indian ‘spy drone’ intruded into Pakistani territory.
“An Indian UAV (spy drone) entered Pakistan’s air space in violation of the international law, Pakistan’s territorial integrity and the two agreements of 1991 on air space violation, and SOPs of advance notice for military exercises, military maneuvers and troops movement,” the statement said.
Read: Clear message: Indian ‘spy drone’ shot down in AJK
On Wednesday, Pakistan Army shot down an Indian ‘spy drone’ in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), in a new sign of the decades-old tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours in the disputed region.
Soon after the incident, Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah said Indian High Commissioner Dr TCA Raghavan has been summoned, adding that Pakistan would raise the issue with the Indian envoy.
Further, the statement added, “The foreign secretary also registered the government’s concern over heli maneuvers near LoC on July 11, which was an offensive and threatening posture.”
Pakistan also took up the matter of ceasefire violations by Indian Border Security Force. “Protest was also lodged for the unprovoked ceasefire violation by the Indian BSF at Phuklian-Akhnor sector early morning on July 15 which continued until sunset,” the statement said.
Read: Three killed, five injured in Indian BSF firing in Sialkot: ISPR
A protest was also lodged over ceasefire violations this morning which left three dead and five others injured.
“Ghulam Mustafa, 45, Rahat and Boota, residents of village Malana and Salehpur villages were killed due to Indian BSF’s unprovoked firing on Working Boundary in Chaprar sector near Sialkot,” the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Thursday.
The foreign secretary emphasised that to maintain peace at the Line of Control, the Working Boundary and the region at large, it was important that the 2003 understanding on maintaining ceasefire is observed.
“The Indian high commissioner assured to convey the message to his authorities, accordingly,” the statement concluded.
This development came days after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held a meeting in the Russian city of Ufa. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the two leaders had agreed to meetings of senior military officials from the two sides to lower tensions along the Line of Control (LoC) that divides the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Read: Nawaz-Modi huddle draws mixed response
This is not the first Indian spy drone that Pakistan has shot down. In 2002, an Israel-operated drone flying out of India was taken down by the Pakistan Air Force near Kasur.
Police in India had captured a pigeon this May on the suspicion of being used by Pakistan to spy. The bird was seized after being spotted carrying a ‘stamped message’ on its body. The message was written partly in Urdu, the official language of Pakistan. It also contained a Pakistani phone number, according to reports.
Pakistan and India have frequently accused each other of violating the 2003 ceasefire accord along the LoC and the Working Boundary. There has been a sudden increase in such violations ever since Premier Modi came to power in India last May.