ISLAMABAD – Pakistan yesterday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the Line of Control.

Director General South Asia Dr Mohammed Faisal summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner and lodged strong protest against the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the LoC on August 13 in Hot Spring Sector in which a civilian, Sarfaraz Ahmad, 38, was killed.

“The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-calibre mortars, and automatic weapons, which still continues. This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations,” Dr Faisal said.

He added: “The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.”

The Director General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement; investigate these and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary.

He said the Indian side should permit UN observers to play their mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

Pakistan says India has committed 1,970 ceasefire violations since 2017 in Kashmir.

KASHMIRI LEADER ARRESTED

Monitoring Desk adds: A well-known bureaucrat-turned-politician from Indian-occupied Kashmir has been arrested in Delhi and sent back to the region.

Shah Faesal was one of the few Kashmiri politicians who was not detained ahead of India’s controversial decision to revoke the region’s special status. He was arrested at the Delhi airport.

Speaking to BBC on Tuesday, Faesal said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “murdered the constitution in broad daylight”.

The PTI news agency quoted officials as saying that he had been arrested at the international airport in Delhi as he was trying to board a flight to Turkey.

There is no clarity on where he has been taken in Indian-occupied Kashmir but some local media have said he has been placed under house arrest. The BBC has not been able to independently verify this.

Faesal made headlines when he topped India’s notoriously difficult civil services examination in 2009, becoming the first Kashmiri to do so. He resigned from his government post in January to launch his own political party – the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement.

Hundreds of people have already been detained in the region after the Indian government revoked Article 370 – as the constitutional provision guaranteeing special status was known – on 5 August. They include politicians, activists, academics and business leaders.

The region has been in lockdown for more than a week now, with mobile, landline and internet networks cut off and curfew-like restrictions that ban people from assembling in crowds. However, officials said on Wednesday that these restrictions had now been eased in the Hindu-majority Jammu region.

Despite the lockdown there have been protests against the revocation of Article 370, including one on Friday in Srinagar in the Muslim-majority valley. It involved thousands of people coming out after midday prayers to demonstrate against the move.

India’s government says the removal of special status will allow Kashmiris to benefit from greater economic opportunities and development.

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