16/07/2015 12:31 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Pakistan Summons Indian Envoy Over 'Spy' Drone


ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan on Thursday summoned the Indian envoy to Foreign Office here claiming violation of its territory by an alleged Indian "spy" drone which was being used for aerial photography near the Line of Control (LoC), according to reports.

High Commissioner T C A Raghavan was called to the Foreign Office today, an official of Indian mission said.

Pakistan Army yesterday claimed that the Indian drone was being used for aerial photography near the LoC in Bhimber area of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and was "brought down for violation of Pakistan's territorial integrity".

The Indian Army as well as the Indian Air Force, however, denied that any of their drone has been shot down or crashed, PTI reported.

Days after India and Pakistan agreed to re-engage, fresh strains surfaced in the ties yesterday after Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire twice by resorting to firing and mortar shelling in the Akhnoor sector in which a woman was killed and six others, including two BSF jawans, were injured.

Reuters reported quoting industry experts that the small, unarmed model was sold commercially for aerial filming and would contain no secret military technology.

"An Indian spy drone was shot down by Pakistani troops which intruded into Pakistan along (the Line of Control) near Bhimber today. The spy drone is used for aerial photography," a statement from the Pakistani military said.

Bhimber is in Kashmir, the Himalayan region claimed by both Pakistan and India. The two sides regularly exchange fire along Kashmir's heavily-militarised Line of Control.

A photo supplied by the Pakistani military appeared to show a Chinese-made DJI Phantom 3, said Huw Williams, the Unmanned Systems Editor at IHS Jane's International Defence Review.

"Due to its limited operating range - about two km - if the Indian military is using the system it would most likely be for close reconnaissance or security work," Williams said.

"Our Middle East editor believes that Islamic State are using similar systems."

Pakistan is plagued by a Taliban insurgency that has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. It has fought three wars against India since the two nations became separate in 1947.

Since 2004, the United States has conducted 419 drone strikes in Pakistan, targeting suspected members of the Taliban and al Qaeda. The missiles have killed thousands of suspected militants and hundreds of civilians, according to media reports collated by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Pakistan often protests that the U.S. strikes are an infringement of its national sovereignty and has been pushing for its own lethal drones.

In March, the Pakistani military announced it had test-fired its own drone equipped with a laser-guided missile. Analysts said the video showed a drone similar to models produced by Pakistan's close ally China.

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