Pak summons Indian envoy, serves demarche

Relations between India and Pakistan have descended into tit-for-tat diplomacy with Islamabad establishment calling in Indian high commissioner Sharat Sabharwal to serve a demarche over the alleged death of a Pakistani soldier in an incident of firing along the line of control.
Agency reports from Islamabad quoting Pakistan Foreign Office officials said Sabharwal was served a demarche by foreign secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani over an incident in Battal sector of the LoC, which the Pakistan Army claimed had resulted in the death of a soldier. The external affairs ministry here had summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir earlier this week to protest the brutal killing and mutilation of the bodies of two Indian soldiers.

The political leadership here had termed the attack against army personnel “inhuman”. But Pakistan is itching to escalate tension was evident when it suspended the Poonch-Rawalakot bus service. No official reason has been given by Pakistan for suspending the bus service, but the decision comes in the wake of increasing hostility between the troops of two nations along the Line of Control. Launched in June 2006, the Poonch-Rawalakot bus service was the second such service between the two countries which was much welcomed by Kashmiris on either side of the LoC. Bus services had been the most visible achievements of a hesitant peace process between India and Pakistan.


Defence minister AK Antony said Pakistan’s continued aggression, infiltration and ceasefire violations were a matter of serious concern for India. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Antony said security issues along the border has been discussed in the Cabinet Committee on Security on Thursday and India will give a befitting reply to the Pakistani aggression. When asked if more troops were required along the border, Antony said there were enough troops in J&K. In his interaction with the media, the defence ministry said the attack on soldiers was not an isolated incident.

“These violations are on the rise for the past one year. Ceasefire violations are also increasing. It is a matter of concern to us and the tragic, provocative actions two days ago was a turning point,” the defence minister said.


Lashkar-e-Taiba boss Hafiz Saeed, who orchestrated the Mumabi attacks, on Friday warned New Delhi of an escalation in violence in Jammu and Kashmir. In an interview to a news agency, Saeed said India was trying to “destabilise Pakistan” and predicted that violence in Kashmir could get “ugly”. He accused India of trying to disrupt the peace process with Pakistan and dragging its feet on the Kashmir.

India has repeatedly called on Pakistan to bring Hafiz Saeed to justice, an issue that has stood in the way of rebuilding relations between the neighbours since the carnage in Mumbai.



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