ISLAMABAD - Escalating tension between nuclear armed Pakistan and India has worsened over the weeks as India violated the ceasefire many times, killing civilians.

Amid the growing tension, India expelled two Pakistani diplomats which aggravated the situation further.

Pakistan condemned India’s decision to declare two officials of the High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi personae non gratae.

The foreign ministry said the Indian action had been accompanied by a negative pre-planned and orchestrated media campaign, which was a part of persistent anti-Pakistan propaganda.

The staff members of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi were earlier lifted by the Indian authorities on “false and unsubstantiated charges.”

The foreign ministry said Indian attempts to escalate the tensions would succeed in diverting attention neither from the ongoing internal and external issues faced by the Indian government nor from the worsening situation and gross human rights violations being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan also summoned Indian Charge d’ Affaires to the Foreign Office for a demarche over declaring two officials of Pakistan High Commission personae non gratae.

The Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said that in 2020, the Indian occupation forces had committed 1,101 indiscriminate and unprovoked ceasefire violations.

She said that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians was particularly deplorable and had resulted in seven deaths and 86 injuries.

“These violations by Indian Occupation forces are against all established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct,” she added.

Pakistan, she said, strongly condemned these egregious violations of international law and continued to call on India to respect Ceasefire Understanding (2003), investigate this and other such incidents of deliberate ceasefire violations and maintain peace along the LoC and the WB.

 “Pakistan also urges the Indian side to allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions. By raising tensions along the LoC and the WB, India cannot divert attention from the grave human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” she maintained.

Last week, Pakistan urged the UN to play a role in preventing mounting tensions in South Asia and facilitate a peaceful resolution to the lingering Kashmir dispute.

In a letter to UN Security Council President Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi briefed them “in detail on the worsening situation in the Occupied Kashmir as well as regional peace and security.”

He drew the international community’s attention to the recent Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Order 2020 and Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate Rules 2020, which, he said, was aimed at changing the demographic structure of the disputed valley.

Already heightened tensions between the two nations had plummeted to a new low after New Delhi scrapped the longstanding special status of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region last August following an air combat between the two air forces in February 2019.

Since then, border forces have been engaged in almost daily clashes along the LoC, a de facto border that splits the scenic Kashmir valley between the two countries.

Expressing serious concerns about India’s ‘state-terrorism’ in the Himalayan valley, FM Qureshi rejected New Delhi’s efforts to “undermine Kashmiris’ indigenous struggle against illegal Indian occupation and their brutalization by terming it as terrorism.”

He conveyed his country’s concern about continued cease-fire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary-eastern border- and deliberate targeting of innocent civilians by the Indian forces.

Accusing India of creating a pretext for a false flag operation, Qureshi called for urging New Delhi to “refrain from committing serious crimes against Kashmiri people.”

Apart from Kashmir, the two countries have been locked in a string of sea-and-land disputes. The two neighbors have fought three full-fledged wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – and a three-week long Kargil skirmish in 1999.