India has issued a demarche to Pakistan to protest against 12 ceasefire violations by the Pakistani forces targeting 14 Indian villages along the Line of Control (LoC) from November 9 to 15 that resulted in four civilian deaths during that period. India accused the “Pakistan Army (of) deliberately resorting to calibre escalation by employing Artillery and 120 Millimetre Heavy Mortars against Indian posts”. This was the third such demarche issued by India to Pakistan. New Delhi also once again raised with Islamabad the “concerns of the government about the safety and well-being of (Army jawan) Sepoy Chandu Babulal Chavan who inadvertently crossed the Line of Control over six weeks ago, and urged the early repatriation and safe return of the sepoy”. This comes even as New Delhi said it had received no official confirmation as yet about Pakistan’s participation in the Heart of Asia conference on Afghanistan that is scheduled to be held in early December.
Ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “The MEA called in a senior official of the Pakistan high commission yesterday and made a demarche on the continued violation of ceasefire along the Line of Control. This is the third such demarche this month following the ones issued on 2nd and 9th November. We conveyed that despite calls for restraint, Pakistan forces have committed twelve ceasefire violations between 9 and 15 November 2016 during which Pakistan Army deliberately resorted to calibre escalation by employing Artillery and 120 millimetre heavy mortars against Indian posts. These violent acts constitute a clear violation of the Ceasefire Agreement of 2003. The government has also protested the deliberate targeting by the Pakistan Army of fourteen villages along the Line of Control during the period 9 to 15 November 2016 which has resulted in four fatal and twenty five non-fatal casualties besides causing extensive damage to public and private property and the displacement of civilian population.”
Meanwhile, the MEA also said it is yet to receive confirmation from Pakistan about its participation in the Heart of Asia (HoA) Conference to be held in Amritsar on December 3 and 4 which Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had maintained he would attend.
“We have not yet received any confirmation of Pakistan’s participation in the HoA conference,” Mr. Swarup said. He was asked about reported comments of Mr. Sartaj Aziz that he would travel to India to attend the conference on Afghanistan, asserting that the trip could be a “good opportunity” to “defuse” Indo-Pak tension.