Pakistani woman martyred, girl injured by unprovoked Indian shelling along LoC: ISPR

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RAWALPINDI: A woman embraced martyrdom and a minor girl sustained injuries when Indian troops opened unprovoked fire at Pakistan’s civilian population along the Line of Control (LoC), the military’s media wing said on Monday.

In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the yet another ceasefire violation occurred at “Jandrot & Khuiratta Sectors along LoC deliberately targeting civilian population this morning”.

The wounded child was later “evacuated and [was] being provided medical care”, the ISPR added.

Almost two weeks ago, Pakistan had summoned an Indian envoy over cross-border shelling, which had killed a child and wounded four civilians.

FO summons Indian Charge d’Affaires

Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia, to register Pakistan’s strong protest over the ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the LoC, a statement from the Foreign Office read. 

“The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons. This year, India has committed 882 ceasefire violations,” the statement read.

“Condemning the targeting of innocent civilians by the Indian occupation forces, the DG (SA & SAARC) underscored that such senseless acts, in clear violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding and complete disregard for international human rights and international norms, further vitiate the tense atmosphere along the LoC and are a threat to regional peace and security,” the statement added. 

Indian quadcopter shot down

A day before that two Pakistani civilians were injured in India’s late-night shelling.

Earlier this month, Pakistan had shot down an Indian quadcopter violating the country’s airspace and spying in Sankh Sector along the LoC.

“In this provocative act, Indian quadcopter intruded 600 meters inside Pakistan’s territory for conducting surveillance,” the military’s media wing had said.

“This blatant act was aggressively responded to by Pakistan Army troops shooting down Indian quadcopter. Such unwarranted acts by Indian Army are clear violation of established norms, existing Air Agreement between two countries and reflect Indian Army’s consistent disregard to Ceasefire Understanding of 2003,” it had added.

Tensions on the rise

Tensions have been high between the two nuclear-armed states over the past couple of years. India and Pakistan came close to war in February last year after the Pulwama suicide attack that left more than 40 Indian soldiers dead.

India blamed Pakistan for aiding militants who carried out the attack. Islamabad denied the accusations. However, on February 26, 2019, Indian jets bombed Balakot. The next day, PAF jets shot down two Indian planes and captured an Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

On August 5, 2019, India illegally annexed occupied Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of its constitution, which guaranteed special autonomy for the disputed region.

Islamabad responded sharply to the development, cutting off diplomatic ties with New Delhi and suspending trade with India. PM Imran Khan has referred to his Indian counterpart’s policies as ‘fascist’ and likened India under his rule to Nazi Germany.

With the civil and military leaders of both countries trading barbs over the past couple of years, unprovoked shelling across the LoC has increased.

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