LoC ceasefire violation: MEA summons Pak envoy at noon

New Delhi, Jan.9 (ANI): The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir for a meeting here at noon today in the wake of the Pakistan Army's inhuman and provocative killing of two Indian Army soldiers in the Mendhar Sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.

The MEA is likely to issue a de-marche questioning Pakistan's shocking, counter-productive, distressing and aggressive action on Indian Army soldiers.

External Affairs Minister Salamn Khurshid has said that the Indian Government will take up the incident in a firm manner with the Pakistan Government.

The brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani Army has evoked outrage across the board, with India warning that its response "may have to go beyond the procedures".

On Tuesday, the Defence Ministry issued a strong statement criticising the ceasefire violation. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that India would make a "proportionate response".

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that the gruesome killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistan Army was a warning to the Government of India, and added that the government now had to be very careful in the manner in which it dealt with Pakistan, going forward.

"The Government of India must be firm in dealing with Pakistan. It must clearly define the dos and don'ts, particularly the redlines, this is a warning as far as India is concerned", he said.

Jaitley added that the Indian Government needed to meticulously collect all facts pertaining to the event including the names of the soldiers who carried out the attack, the officers who authorised out and so on, and name and shame Pakistan before the international community.

Defence Minister AK Antony condemned the killing of two soldiers by the Indian army as "highly provocative" and said that the way one of the Indian soldier's bodies had been treated was "inhuman".

The Director General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of India and Pakistan are due to meet to discuss the issue.

In Washinton, Pentagon spokesman George Little said that the U.S. Government condemns the provocative violation of the ceasefire by Pakistan, and specifically by personnel of the 29 Baloch Regiment of the Pakistan Army.

In a statement, Little said: "We all hope - our Pakistani and Indian partners - that we can maintain peace and stability in the region. The secretary (of defence) has affirmed that on visits throughout that region, including to India."

The issue of tensions, historical tensions between India and Pakistan, is one that (U.S) Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, knows very well, he said in response to a question.

His remarks came hours after Pakistani regular soldiers crossed into Indian territory in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and ambushed an Indian patrol killing two soldiers, one of whom was decapitated in a "provocative" attack.

"On the issue of terrorism, let me say that we stand with everyone in the world to include those in India and in Pakistan who take a very hard line against terrorists who want to kill civilians, whether it's Pakistani, Indian or American civilians," Little said.

"We have all been affected by terrorism, and we believe that there needs to be a united front against terrorist groups operating in that region of the world and in others," he said.

The department (of defence) officials have had regular dialogue with Indian counterparts, he said.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department asked India and Pakistan to take steps to end the exchange of fire and resume normal trade and travel across the Line of Control.

"We urge both sides to take steps to end exchanges of fire and to resume normal trade and travel across the line of control," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said. (ANI)

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