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India, Pak. spar over Aseemanand

A fresh round of diplomatic exchanges began between India and Pakistan over the weekend after the Ministry of External Affairs summoned a Pakistani diplomat and lodged a “strong protest” over ceasefire violation at the Line of Control (LoC).

India’s protest came a day after Pakistan described the acquitted Swami Aseemanand as the ‘mastermind’ of terror attacks that killed Pakistani citizens in India.

‘Unprovoked firing’

“The government registered its strong protest at the fatal casualty of an Indian soldier in unprovoked firing by Pakistan forces on 9 March 2017,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a press statement after Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah was summoned to the MEA on Saturday.

Cross-border firing had killed a soldier in the Krishna Ghati sector of the Line of Control in the Poonch sector on Thursday.

“He was conveyed the government’s grave concern and strong protest at the continuing incidents of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani side at the Line of Control and International Border (IB),” said the MEA’s statement.

The statement added to the exchanges that began on Friday when Pakistan took to diplomatic channels and objected to the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand.

On Wednesday, Aseemanand was acquitted by a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, which gave him the ‘benefit of doubt’.

Pak. statement

“Indian Deputy High Commissioner was called in by the Director General (SA & SAARC) today to express concern over the acquittal of Swami Aseemanand in Ajmer Sharif blast case. Swami Aseemanand had publicly confessed that he was the ‘mastermind’ of the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack and had also identified a serving Indian army officer Col Purohit ... as his accomplice ...,” said a statement from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The exchanges have cast a shadow on India returning two Pakistani juveniles — Faisal Hussain Awan and Ahsan Khursheed — who were arrested after the September 2016 Uri terror strike.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 9:23:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-pak-spar-over-aseemanand/article17450441.ece

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