Pak remains in denial, says Islamabad respects ceasefire along LoC

New Delhi, Jan. 9 (ANI): Asserting that Islamabad remains firmly committed to respecting the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir on Wednesday denied a Pakistan Army attack on Indian soldiers in the Mendhar sector in Poonch district on Tuesday.

"I would like to address some of the concerns, which are expressed here in the Indian media since yesterday regarding what is called the Mendhar incident. First of all, I would like to say that Pakistan remains firmly committed to respecting the ceasefire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. It is important, I believe both governments agree, that the ceasefire, which is an important confidence building measure, must be respected by both sides," Bashir told ANI.

"In this context, we are mindful of the aberrations that have happened in the past. We are especially concerned about the incursion by the Indian forces on 6th of January when our post in the Haji Pir Pass sector was attacked which led to the martyrdom of one of the soldiers and injuries to several. This matter was raised by the Foreign Ministry with the Indian High Commission and also by the Director General Military Operations Pakistan with his Indian counterpart," he added.

The Pakistani envoy further said that the Director Generals of Military Operations have been in contact with each other over the Mendhar incident.

"As far as this Mendhar incident is concerned, the two Director Generals of Military Operations have been in contact with each other. They have spoken to each other this morning. And, it is quite clear from our side that at no point in time did any of the Pakistani forces violate or cross the LoC. As such, the concerns that are being expressed here in the media are denied emphatically," said Bashir.

"I think it's important for both governments and I believe it is important for both nations to work together to promote mutual confidence and in particular on issues such as these," he added.

India today summoned Salman Bashir to register a protest over the killing of two Indian soldiers.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid earlier in the day said that Pakistan's High Commissioner has been told in very strong terms that the killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistani troops is 'unacceptable', and added that it will have an adverse impact if it is not immediately contained.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony has 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'.

In a major escalation to the ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts, a group of Pakistan Army soldiers raided across the Line of Control in Mendhar sector and killed two Indian soldiers and injured one more. The Pakistani troops attacked an area domination patrol party of the Indian Army.

The two Indian soldiers have been identified as Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. (ANI)


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