Deliberate escalation of tension at LoC by Indian forces a threat to regional peace: PM

ISLAMABAD:  Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif chaired a meeting regarding the deteriorating situation at the Line of Control (LoC) at PM House this morning.Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sartaj Aziz briefed the Prime Minister on the situation at LoC and the response of the government after the latest unprovoked Indian firing that led to the Shahadat of seven Pakistani soldiers, in the Bhimber area.During the meeting, Sartaj Aziz briefed briefed the Prime Minister on the increased frequency of indiscriminate firing and shelling from the Indian side targeting civilian populated areas. The Advisor said that the recent incidents of firing by the Indian forces have resulted in the martyrdom of 26 civilians and injuries to 107, including women and children, in complete violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and International law.While expressing profound grief and extending heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyrs, the Prime Minister stressed that Pakistan was exercising maximum restraint in the face of Indian violence, which should not be misunderstood as our weakness.“Pakistan cannot be bullied by such tactics as we are fully capable of defending our soil against any belligerence”, underlined the Prime Minister.He said that deliberate escalation of tension at LoC by the Indian Forces is a threat to regional peace and security.”It is also a futile attempt of the Indian authorities to divert the world’s attention from the worst kind of atrocities they are committing against defenseless and innocent people of the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK)”, said the Prime Minister.The Prime Minister urged that UN must take notice of the ceasefire violations on LoC and the unwarranted escalation of tension between the two countries. “Our Armed Forces do not initiate fire but will always respond in a befitting manner to any aggression”, he added.Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was also briefed on Pak-US relations in the backdrop of recently held Presidential elections in the United States.Reaffirming to further strengthen bilateral relations, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan and US enjoy strong and strategic partnership spanning over a period of seven decades.Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan looks forward to closely work with the newly elected government for realization of peace, security and prosperity in the region and beyond.

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