Pakistan on Monday lodged strong protest with India over its forces crossing over Charwa Sector of Sialkot and resorting to unprovoked firing

ISLAMABAD: Amid signals of resumption of dialogue, Pakistan on Monday lodged strong protest with India over its forces crossing over Charwa Sector of Sialkot and resorting to unprovoked firing.

The foreign affairs ministry in a note verbale addressed to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad said: “The Indian BSF troops displayed aggressive behaviour by crossing the Working Boundary and blatantly using mortars with an intent to sabotage the peace along Line of Control and Working Boundary.”

The ministry termed it “first serious and grave violation of Directors General Military Operation (DGMOs) understanding in 2021” by the Indian side.

The diplomatic communication stated: “Troops from Indian BSF post in Square-9530 located in IIOJK Jammu Sector opposite Pakistani Charwa Sector fired approximately 30 rounds of the small arms and four bombs of 60-millimetre mortar at Pakistani post in Square-9630 without any provocation. The incident happened when 15 BSF troops with three tractors crossed Working Boundary and started ploughing on Pakistani side.

“When Pakistani Rangers Punjab troops tried to persuade BSF troops to return through loud hailers and whistles, Indian BSF troops responded by firing small arms and mortars at Pakistani post without any provocation. The same BSF post took sniper shot at Pakistani post with the aim to score casualty.”

The foreign ministry expressed surprise over the coverage of the incident in Indian media that accused Pakistan of violating the ceasefire understanding.

According to the note verbale, the Pakistan government has expressed serious concern over the “deliberate crossing of Working Boundary on May 3 at 0556 hours”. It requested the Indian High Commission to “approach relevant authorities in India to take note of Indian BSF’s casual attitude towards implementation of DGMOs understanding of 2021”.

Moreover, to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further, Pakistan reiterated its proposal for holding a sector commander-level border flag meeting between Pakistan Rangers and Indian BSF along the Working Boundary at the earliest to resolve minor irritants and ensure durability of DGMOs understanding.

A senior security official on condition of anonymity told Dawn that in order to divert criticism from the cordon and search operation in held Kashmir and apparent failure to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian security forces breached the ceasefire truce on the Working Boundary. He expressed apprehensions that Indian security forces may continue with ceasefire violations and even go beyond in the coming days.

The note verbale, however, stated: “Pakistan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to High Commission, the assurances of its highest consideration.”