Drone shot down by Pak Army does not belong to India: Foreign Secy S Jaishankar
New Delhi, July 16 (IBNS): Hours after Pakistan summoned India's envoy claiming to have shot down an Indian "spy plane" for intruding into its territory, Indian Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Thursday said the "drone in question shows it is not of Indian design."
He said the drone appeared to be that of Chinese design, which is available commercially.
"Photograph of drone in question shows it is not of Indian design or available in the inventory of the Indian Armed forces. The drone appears to be of Chinese design and is available off the shelf," Jaishankar said.
The statement from the Indian side came amid continuing ceasefire violations by Pakistan, the latest being on Thursday, which is the ninth attack in a month.
Pakistan troops violated ceasefire once again, injuring four people in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan also fired for about an hour and a half on five BSF posts.
"On 15 July, around 8:50 Pakistani rangers resorted to sniper fire along the border. NSA spoke to our High Commissioner in Islamabad, asking him to take up the issue with Pakistan. No response by Pakistan to our demarche, instead intermittent firing continued in Akhnoor sector till 16:50 hrs yesterday," the Indian Foreign Secretary said.
Pakistan's High Commissioner has, however, claimed that firing had been initiated by the Indian side and a drone of the country had been shot down.
"The NSA inquired why conversations weren't initiated by Pakistan, if firing was started by the Indian side. The Pakistani government has now sought to shift responsibility of the firing to the Indian side," said Jaishankar.
He said that India remains committed to steps that contribute to ensuring tranquility and peace along the border.
"But there should be no doubt that any unprovoked firing from the Pakistani side will result in retaliation," the Indian Foreign Secretary warned.
Meanwhile, top union ministers met on Thursday to discuss border skirmishes, hours after Pakistan summoned India's envoy.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar discussed the situation at the border.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan summoned the Indian envoy and lodged a protest after saying it had shot down an Indian "spy" drone, a claim that has been denied by New Delhi.
Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aijaz Ahmed Chaudhary protested against "cross-border firing by India" and also claimed that an Indian spy plane had been shot down for violation of "Pakistan's territorial integrity"
The Guardian quoted the Pakistan government as saying that four civilians have been killed and five wounded in artillery fire that struck villages near the border with India.
The shelling occurred in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and the border villages near the eastern Pakistani city of Sialkot, a Pakistani army statement said.
The Pakistan's claim came a day after India lodged a strong protest against repeated ceasefire violations.
On Wednesday, one woman was killed and six others, including two BSF jawans, were injured in a ceasefire violation in Akhnoor.
The Pakistan army alleges that India was using the drone for aerial photography near the Line of Control and it was shot down in the Bhimber area of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir for "violation of Pakistan's territorial integrity."
Indian government sources called it a "strange coincidence that Pakistan claimed it shot down an Indian drone soon after the violation" on Wednesday.
Last week, PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif held talks on the sidelines of a regional conference in Ufa in Russia. As part of breakthrough announcements after the talks, the two countries decided to arrange meetings of senior military officials to reduce tension along the border.
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