ISLAMABAD, July 13 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan said on Thursday that Indian forces have committed 542 cease-fire violations so far this year with 18 killings.
Pakistan and India declared a ceasefire in 2003 along the Line of Control (LoC). However, escalation of tensions along the LoC has been seen since a militant attack on an army center in the Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sept. 18 last year.
The LoC is a de facto border that divides Kashmir into Indian- and Pakistan-controlled parts.
The Indian military blamed the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad group for the attack, but Islamabad rejected the charges and suggested an independent investigation.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria said the Indian forces are continuously engaged in cease-fire violations along the LoC and the Working Boundary.
India has deliberately escalated tension along the LoC and the Working Boundary in order to try to divert the international community's attention from the grave situation in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the spokesman said at his weekly briefing.
He said on July 8, an Indian cease-fire violation resulted in the death of five civilians including four girls, adding that Pakistani armed forces have given a befitting response to such provocations.
"However, Pakistan has no desire to escalate the situation and we have reacted with maximum restraint," Zakaria said.
He said the Indian "belligerent attitude" is a threat to regional peace and security, and the international community has expressed concern.
"We have consistently maintained that the role of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan) in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions is crucial," he said.
To a question about Indian restrictions on visas to Pakistani nationals who seek medical treatment in India, the spokesman said it is highly regrettable that India has placed such restrictions on visas for patients who are suffering from serious and terminal illnesses.