New Delhi: India summoned the Charge d'Affaires of the Pakistan High Commission on Saturday and lodged a strong protest over unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani army in Jammu and Kashmir on the festive occasion of Diwali.
The Ministry of External Affairs said it is highly deplorable that Pakistan chose a festive occasion to disrupt peace and perpetrate violence through coordinated firing along the length of the LoC in J&K.
"The Charge d'Affaires of the High Commission of Pakistan was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs today and a strong protest was lodged over unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces, on multiple sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on 13 November 2020, resulting in the death of four innocent civilians and serious injuries to 19 others", said the MEA in a statement.
"India condemns, in the strongest terms, the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians by Pakistani forces," MEA said.
"It is highly deplorable that Pakistan chose a festive occasion in India to disrupt peace and perpetrate violence in J&K through coordinated firing along the length of the LoC using heavy caliber weapons, including artillery and mortar on Indian civilians," the statement by India said.
India also strongly protested Pakistan's continued support to cross border terrorist infiltration into India, including through supporting cover fire provided by Pakistan forces. Pakistan was once again reminded of its bilateral commitment to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner.
The MEA also reminded Pakistan of its bilateral commitment to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against India in any manner.
"India also strongly protested Pakistan's continued support to cross border terrorist infiltration into India, including through supporting cover fire provided by Pakistan forces," the MEA said.
According to official data, Pakistan has resorted to 4,052 incidents of ceasefire violations in the current year as against 3,233 in 2019.
Notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic in the region, Pakistan has been resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC and making concerted efforts to push militants into Kashmir.
Pakistani hostilities increased after India announced its decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and divide the state into two union territories in August last year.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said he lit a lamp to express his gratitude to the soldiers of the country on the occasion of Diwali.
On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the people to light a 'diya' as a "salute to soldiers", saying words cannot do justice to the sense of gratitude for their exemplary courage.
"Prime Minister @NarendraModi requested all countrymen to lit a lamp in honor of our soldiers during the festival of Deepawali. I have also lit a lamp today to express my gratitude to the soldiers of India," Singh tweeted.
प्रधानमंत्री श्री @NarendraModi ने आज दीपावली के पर्व पर सभी देशवासियों से एक दिया देश के सैनिकों के सम्मान में जलाने का आग्रह किया है।
मैंने भी आज दीपोत्सव पर एक दिया भारत के सैनिकों के प्रति आभार व्यक्त करने के लिए जलाया है। #Salute2Soldiers #HappyDiwali pic.twitter.com/R4jlo95JOT
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) November 14, 2020
The defence minister said when the country was celebrating Diwali, Indian soldiers were performing their national duty of protecting the borders.
"I salute such brave and dutiful soldiers," Singh said.
(With Agency Inputs)