ISLAMABAD/SIALKOT - Pakistan on Thursday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh over latest ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary, resulting in the death of three civilians and injuries to six others.

Director General South Asia Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned JP Singh and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces in Phuklian Sector on September 13, resulting in the death of two civilians — 35 years old Muhammad Zahoor, a resident of village Dewara and a woman, resident of village Kakran, and injuries to three others, said a foreign ministry statement.

The foreign ministry statement said that despite calls for restraint, India continued to indulge in ceasefire violations. “In 2017 to date, Indian forces have carried out more than 700 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary, resulting in the death of 32 innocent civilians and injuries to 116, as compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016,” it said.

It added: “The deliberate targeting of civilians is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws.”

The Director General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary.

He said that the Indian side should permit the United Nations Military Observer Groups to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

On Thursday, an elderly Pakistani woman was martyred while three others were injured seriously by mortar shelling of Indian Border Security Forces (BSF) on Sialkot border villages in Phuklian-Bajwat Sector along the Working Boundary.

Senior officials said Indian BSF continued shelling the Sialkot border villages for the second consecutive day by firing the mortar shells targeting the civilian population in Phuklian-Bajwat sector.

Officials added that several mortar shells, fired by the Indian BSF, hit the houses of the local villagers in Phuklian and Kakran, killing an elderly woman and injuring three others.

In village Phuklian-Bajwat, a 60-year-old woman was killed on the spot, when a mortar shell fired by Indian BSF hit her house. Indian shells also injured a farmer Ameer Aslam (54) son of Noor Alam and Safreen Bibi (37) in village Kaahliyaan and Ghulam Abbas (38), son of Muhammad Sadiq, in village Kakraan.

Officials of Rescue 1122 Sialkot shifted the injured Ameer to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Sialkot Cantt due to his critical condition.

Dozens of cattle of the local villagers were killed and injured seriously by the mortar shelling in Diyaarwali, Kaliyaal, Kahilaayan, Phuklian and Kakran in Phuklian-Bajwat Sector along Working Boundary.

Dozens of houses of the local people and cattle sheds were also damaged by the Indian shelling in these villages.

Several shells also landed in local fields and could not explode, the locals said.

The victims of Indian shelling were laid to rest on Thursday. A large number of people from all walks of life attended their funerals. District Emergency Officer (DEO) Sialkot Syed Kamal Abid said that Rescue 1122 Sialkot had established an emergency medical camp at a local Rural Health Center (RHC) to provide emergency treatment to the injured. The senior officials added that Punjab Rangers responded effectively silencing the Indian guns.

Local people were of the view that main reason behind this intensified mortar shelling by Indian BSF was the arrival of the World-XI in Pakistan and successful holding of the Azadi Cup Cricket Championship, which has paved the way for resumption of international cricket in Pakistan. The people added that India was unable to digest resumption of international cricket in Pakistan.

The tension between Pakistan and India has been running high since July last year after the killing of freedom fighter Burhan Wani. The Indian forces killed dozens of protesters to quell the following agitation.

The tensions rose further when New Delhi blamed Pakistan for the Uri attack, which inflicted the heaviest toll on the Indian army in a single incident in 14 years. Nineteen soldiers were killed in the attack. Pakistan had denied any link to the attack.

Pakistan and India have been involved in four wars - including one undeclared war - since partition in 1947 and many border skirmishes and military standoffs.

Kashmir has been the main cause of tension with the exception of the 1971 war where the conflict originated due to turmoil in erstwhile East Pakistan - now Bangladesh.