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Border escalations to not affect Ufa summit’s decisions: Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan said that the tensions along the border with India will not affect the understanding reached between prime ministers of the two countries in Russia this month.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, who had met on the sidelines of the SCO summit, agreed that top security officials will meet to explore ways to reduce tensions along the Line of Control in the disputed Kashmir region.

Pakistan Army says that Indian “unprovoked firing killed four civilians” on Thursday along the LoC and Working Boundary, the international border which divides the two nuclear neighbours in Punjab province.  Indian authorities have alleged Pakistan forces have violated a 2003 ceasefire along the LoC.

The growing tensions have raised concerns about the possible challenges to the decisions taken by the two prime ministers. However, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry said the country will honour its commitments and that it would not derail the bilateral negotiations.

“The unprovoked ceasefire violations by India at the LoC and Working Boundary are against the spirit of the understandings reached in Ufa. However, despite that both sides have been meeting from time to time to discuss all disputes and issues including Kashmir,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Qazi Khalilullah said.

Qazi told his weekly briefing that peace and tranquility on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary is in the interest of both sides.

Guns had been relatively silent since the 2003 ceasefire; however, both sides occasionally exchange firing.

“Ceasefire violations by India at the LoC and Working Boundary have taken place in the past as well. However, Pakistan did not turn away from discussing outstanding issues with India,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Pakistan army says it shot down an Indian spy drone in its part of Kashmir on Thursday that was taking photographs.

In a tit-for-tat action, Pakistan and India on Thursday summoned top diplomats and lodged formal protest over the recent border violations.

In a joint statement issued after the Sharif-Modi summit, the Indian Prime Minister had accepted invitation to visit Pakistan in 2016 for the summit of the South Asian regional forum, SAARC

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