Pakistan summons Indian diplomat over Kashmir deaths

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has summoned a senior Indian diplomat in protest at ceasefire violations that killed three civilians including a teenage girl in the disputed Kashmir region, the foreign ministry said on Monday.The civilians were killed in shelling last week by Indian troops in the Shakargarh and Zafarwal sectors of the Working Boundary, bordering Indian-administered Kashmir in the disputed Himalayan region.”The Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. J.P. Singh, was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs… to protest over the unprovoked ceasefire violations by India during the nights of 23rd, 24th and 25th October,” foreign office spokesman Qazi M.Khalilullah said in a statement.He said that as a result of the firing, “three civilians including a teenage girl, embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and 23 others (were) injured”.

The latest development comes amid worsening relations between the two nuclear-armed arch rivals, who have fought three wars – two of them over Kashmir.Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in full by both, since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947.Since 1989 several rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces deployed in the region, seeking independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.A border ceasefire agreed in 2003 has largely held, with occasional violations reported from both sides.The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.

The Foreign Office statement said it had also informed the Indian diplomat of a “threatening phone call” made from New Delhi late last Friday to the provincial governor’s house in the southern port city of Karachi.Local media had reported that the anonymous caller threatened to detonate explosives on the property.”Details of the call were also shared with him,” Khalilullah said, adding that India was asked to investigate but without giving further details.

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