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Swaraj rejects Pakistan charge

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that despite Indian messages “consistently” calling for firing to stop, Pakistani commanders continued to fire on Indian border posts till the evening of December 31, 2014. File photo

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that despite Indian messages “consistently” calling for firing to stop, Pakistani commanders continued to fire on Indian border posts till the evening of December 31, 2014. File photo  

A day after India rejected Pakistani allegations that BSF soldiers had opened fire on Pakistani rangers who had come for a flag meeting in the Jammu sector, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj sent a detailed letter to her Pakistani counterpart Sartaj Aziz on the events of December 31st.

In her written response to a letter sent by Mr. Aziz on Friday, Ms. Swaraj said “We cannot accept any of the contentions made in your letter.” Ms. Swaraj went on to say that a BSF patrol had come under fire from a Pakistani border post in the area, which had resulted in the death of one Indian jawan, and serious injuries to another, and that had led to Indian troops opening “defensive fire”.

Pakistan had alleged that two Punjab Rangers had been shot in the Zafarwal sector on the Pakistani side, when they had been invited for a flag meeting to discuss ceasefire violations and Indian firing had prevented medical attention from reaching them, calling it a violation of international norms and a “cold blooded killing”. In her response, Ms. Swaraj said “that at no stage did the Indian side seek any platoon level contact under a white flag as was suggested in the communication.” Ms. Swaraj also said that despite Indian messages “consistently” calling for firing to stop, Pakistani commanders continued to fire on Indian border posts till the evening of December 31, 2014.

The incident and the Pakistan government’s allegations had sparked outrage across Pakistan, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and all major political parties criticizing “Indian aggression” over the incident that their foreign ministry conveyed to India and to diplomats and UN officials in Islamabad. Pakistan had also demanded an immediate inquiry into the incident and threatened that the incident would jeopardise the ceasefire at the LoC and International Border. In her response, Ms. Swaraj said India had “always adhered by the mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquillity on the International Border and Line of Control and would continue to do so.”

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 8:33:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/external-affairs-minister-sushma-swaraj-writes-to-aziz-dismisses-pak-allegations/article6751795.ece

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