NEW DELHI: India termed as “baseless” the allegation made by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Policy Adviser Sartaj Aziz to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, that Pakistani Rangers had been killed in cold blood by the BSF troopers, after being called for a Flag Meeting.
Even though Indian Deputy High Commissioner had been summoned to the Pak Foreign Office on Wednesday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted a stronger message to be sent to Delhi. On Friday, a letter of protest from Aziz to Sushma was handed over by Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary to Indian High Commissioner T C A Raghavan.
Pakistan has claimed that on December 31, the BSF soldiers had invited Pakistan Punjab Rangers for a Flag Meeting, and “greeted the unsuspecting soldiers with a volley of unprovoked fire, causing severe injuries to two soldiers”.
“The continued Indian firing denied timely medical attention to the wounded soldiers, who succumbed to injuries and embraced Shahadat,” said the Pakistan Foreign Ministry release.
In New Delhi, Islamabad’s narrative was dismissed, with Raghavan presenting India’s views at the meeting with the top Pakistani envoy. “ At the meeting with Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary, India’s High Commissioner in Islamabad rejected as baseless allegations in the letter given on Friday,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. In his letter, Aziz had called for an immediate probe to bring the “perpetrators to account”.
He added that the “regrettable ambush” would “undermine mechanisms established by the two countries to ensure peace and tranquility along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB)”. The Pakistan Foreign Secretary told Raghavan that it was not “in Pakistan’s interest to ratchet up tensions on the LoC and WB, since our law enforcement agencies and armed forces were fully engaged in combating terrorism and militancy across the country”.“The Indian insinuations that Pakistan supported infiltration attempts were, therefore, far removed from reality,” said the communique from Islamabad.
India said that BSF had retaliated only after “unprovoked firing” by Pak side.