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Not expecting improvement in ties with India

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif on Thursday said that Pakistan does not expect any improvement in relations with India amid constant ceasefire violations by the latter at the Line of Control and the Working Boundary.

“India has been violating ceasefire agreement time and again on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. In such circumstances, we are not expecting improvement in relations between the two countries,” Asif was quoted as saying by the Radio Pakistan.

The foreign minister’s statement comes a day after cross-border firing injured two locals in Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district. Three members of the United Nations Military Observers Mission for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), who had arrived to inspect the situation along the LoC, also narrowly escaped the Indian army’s attack. The UN officials were in the Polas village, hardly a kilometre away from the dividing line when the firing began. The officials, who had been speaking to residents about the situation along the border at the time of the attack, were ‘in a state of shock’ after the unexpected incident, according to police.

In May last year, two UN observers had a narrow escape in AJK’s Bhimber district when their vehicle was allegedly targeted by Indian troops from across the LoC.
After news of the incident broke, protesters gathered in the Abbaspur Market and staged a rally against India to condemn the continued aggression.

Islamabad has been urging New Delhi to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate the incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC. Last month, the Foreign Office claimed that Indian forces had committed more than 190 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018, killing 13 civilians and injuring 65 others through the use of heavy mortars and automatic weapons.

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