India Abroad

Pakistan Foreign Minister Reaches Out To EAM Sushma Swaraj Over Ceasefire Violations

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| December 5 , 2017 , 10:50 IST

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is famous for helping those in need, even if the needy are in Pakistan, despite relations being strained between the neighbouring countries.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has reached out EAM Swaraj, instead of India's Defence or Home Ministries, regarding the ceasefire violations taking place along the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC), TOI quoted sources as saying.

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According to reports, Asif wrote to Swaraj seeking to bring down the number of ceasefire violations, saying that it was high time the two countries worked to end the violations which have also led to a large number of civilian causalities. Asif reiterated Pakistan's stand, that Indian forces were the aggressors while Pakistani forces only retaliated.

In contrast, Home Ministry data has shown that Pakistan violated ceasefire 724 times along the IB and LoC until October this year, resulting in the death of 12 Indian civilians and 17 security personnel. Last year, the total number of ceasefire violations from Pakistan were 449.

Asif quoted Pakistan figures alleging that India has been responsible for over 1,300 ceasefire violations this year, resulting in the death of 52 Pakistani civilians.

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So far, Asif has been uncooperative in facilitating visas for Pakistanis seeking medical visas to India since India announced a crackdown on Pakistani visas after worsening of relations between the two. Swaraj asked that medical visa requests from Pakistanis be accompanied with a letter of recommendation from Asif, however, due to his non-cooperation, patients reach out to Swaraj directly regarding medical visas.