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Pakistan summons Indian diplomat over shelling in Kashmir

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Security personnel stand guard on a street in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, August 12, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Pakistan has summoned India’s deputy high commissioner in the wake of a recent ceasefire violation by Indian forces in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

“The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Gaurav Ahluwalia, the deputy high commissioner, was summoned to hear Islamabad’s protest.

Pakistan says a 60-year-old woman and a teenage boy were killed in a deadly shelling along the volatile Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday and Sunday.

A spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry said it had no immediate comment on the matter.

Kashmir has long been a flash point between India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks. Pakistan strongly denies the allegation.

On August 5, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a surprise executive decree to strip the Indian-controlled portion of the Muslim-majority region of its special status. Modi claimed the decision was necessary for Kashmir’s economic development and it was meant to stop “terrorism.”

Fearing an angry and potentially violent response, India dispatched thousands of additional troops to the region, declared a strict curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet services, and arrested political leaders and pro-independence campaigners.

In the wake of the move, Pakistan expelled the Indian ambassador, halted bilateral trade, and suspended cross-border transport services. 

Addressing the annual United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said a “bloodbath” will take place in Indian-controlled Kashmir when India lifts its “inhuman” curfew.

The Pakistani premier also reiterated his warning that any all-out conflict between the two nuclear-armed neighbors would have consequences for the world, urging the UN to take action.

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