September 2019 News

21 Indians Killed In Over 2,000 Ceasefire Violations In Jammu And Kashmir: Govt Tells Pakistan

15 September 2019
The Hindustan Times

New Delhi: India said on Sunday it has conveyed to Pakistan its concerns over 'unprovoked ceasefire violations' along the Line of Control (LoC) to support the infiltration of terrorists, even as tensions remain high between the two countries over New Delhi's August move to revoke Jammu & Kashmir's special status. There have been more than 2,050 unprovoked ceasefire violations this year in which 21 Indians have been killed, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. Pakistan has sought to use the changes in Jammu & Kashmir, described by India as an internal matter, to internationalise the issue. Indian officials have rejected the Pakistani leadership's contention that the matter could lead to war and accused Pakistan of using the issue to promote jihad and cross-border terrorism. 'We have highlighted our concerns at unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistan forces, including in support of cross-border terrorist infiltration, and targeting of Indian civilians and border posts by them,' Kumar said. 'We have repeatedly called upon Pakistan to ask its forces to adhere to the 2003 ceasefire understanding and maintain peace and tranquility along the LoC and IB (international border),' he said. Speaking at the HT-MintAsia Leadership Summit in Singapore earlier this month, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said India was willing to talk to Pakistan only if it was without 'having the gun of terrorism pointed at our heads', adding that most of the world had accepted that India's move was an internal issue. Last month, Parliament cleared the move to effectively revoke Article 370 of the Constitution, which conferred special status on Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 35A, which made government jobs and property ownership the preserve of people deemed to be its permanent residents. It also decided to split the state into two UTs - Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. On Sunday, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said Indian forces were showing 'maximum restraint and respond to unprovoked violations and attempts at cross-border terrorist infiltration'. The remarks came on a day Pakistan summoned an Indian diplomat over skirmishes at the LoC on Saturday. It said Indian security forces at the LoC killed two of its soldiers in firing. Indian Army officials, who asked not to be named, said the Pakistan Army retrieved the bodies of its soldiers after raising a white flag. India has in the recent past condemned what it says are provocative and irresponsible statements by the Pakistani leadership following the effective revocation of Kashmir's special status. The Indian government has largely refrained from responding to these comments.