Pakistan protests cross-border firing by India

Indian Border Security Force soldiers injured in cross-border firing undergo treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu on August 11, 2014. India police on August 11, 2014 accused Pakistan of injuring four people during firing alon
Indian Border Security Force soldiers injured in cross-border firing undergo treatment at the Government Medical College Hospital in Jammu on August 11, 2014. India police on August 11, 2014 accused Pakistan of injuring four people during firing along their border in Kashmir. Pakistan later accused India over a cross-border firing incident near the eastern city of Sialkot that left at least one civilian dead, officials said. -- PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD (AFP) - Pakistan on Monday summoned a senior Indian diplomat over a cross-border firing incident near the eastern city of Sialkot, which left at least one civilian dead, the foreign ministry said.

The Pakistani authorities accused India of a "ceasefire violation" and registered a formal protest over the incident, which took place on the eve of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the disputed region.

"The Deputy High Commissioner of India was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today (Monday) to lodge Pakistan's protest over unprovoked Indian firing across the working boundary in Sialkot sector on 10-11 August 2014," a press statement issued by the foreign ministry, said.

"The firing resulted in one civilian casualty and injuries to three others," the statement added.

Earlier, the Indian police also accused Pakistan of injuring four people during firing along their border in Kashmir.

India and Pakistan often accuse each other of violating a border ceasefire which has largely held since 2003.

Despite the truce, firing along the disputed de facto border called the Line of Control, that separates Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani sectors, has occurred sporadically.

Both India and Pakistan claim the region in full and have fought two of their three wars over its control.

Since 1989 fighting between Indian forces and rebels seeking independence or merger of the territory with Pakistan has killed tens of thousands, mostly civilians.

"This was the 54th incident of ceasefire violation by Indian troops since July this year," the foreign ministry said.

"It was emphasised that such unfortunate incidents were taking place at a time when the leadership on both sides had expressed willingness to improve bilateral relations, which had paved the way for the Foreign Secretary-level talks to resume dialogue."

The Indian Police had said overnight firing lasting several hours in the RS Pura sector on the recognised border injured two Indian border guards and two civilians.

Pakistani officials on Friday released an Indian border guard arrested for allegedly violating their de-facto border in the disputed Himalayan territory of Kashmir, officials said.

The guard, whom officials named as Satyasheel Yadav, was swept onto the Pakistani side of the River Chenab after a patrol boat he was in capsized on Wednesday.