Pakistan summons Indian envoy over “spy” drone issue

Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire twice on Wednesday. Photo shows BSF jawans in Pargwal village in Akhnoor district.  

India and Pakistan exchanged fire at the Line of Control even as the governments traded diplomatic charges against each other.

Sources told The Hindu that Pakistan had summoned Indian High Commissioner T.C.A. Raghavan to protest an “illegal spy drone” that was shot down by Pakistan in the Bhimber sector of the LoC on Wednesday.

The Indian Army and Air Force officials have denied charges by Pakistan that it had shot down a spy drone in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

“Some reports of a drone crash in PoK are being referred to. No drone or UAV crash of Indian Army has taken place, a senior army officer said. Experts said that from the pictures of the crashed drone released by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of Pakistan, the drone looked very similar to the quad copters recently acquired by the Punjab police for surveillance and policing. According to Reuters, defence experts who viewed the footage also likened it to the Chinese-made DJI Phantom 3, but could not confirm who was using the system.

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar telephoned Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit to lodge a “strong protest” over ceasefire violations and the targeting of civilians in the Akhnoor sector on Wednesday that left one woman dead. The issue of Pakistan’s ceasefire violations was also raised by Mr. Raghavan in Islamabad during his meeting with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials. The firing is of particular concern as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Jammu on Friday.

According to PTI, BSF officials said that Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire twice on Wednesday. A 42-year-old woman, identified as Poli Devi, was killed in the firing.

Meanwhile, the ISPR said one civilian was killed and eight injured in Sialkot's Chaprar sector on Thursday.

The exchange of charges and fire comes less than a week after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia where they spoke about measures to decrease tensions along the LoC. The two sides had agreed to discuss incidents of border firing.

“The Ufa agreement seems to be dead in the water,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 1:15:36 AM |

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