FO says India deliberately targeting civilians on LoC

  • Indian diplomat summoned to lodge protest over ceasefire violations

Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zikraya has said that India is deliberately targeting the innocent Kashmiri residents in its continued violations on the Line of Control (LoC) that resulted in martyrdom of two innocent civilians on Wednesday.

In a weekly press briefing here on Thursday, he strongly condemned the continuous violations by India on the LoC. He said that as a result of this unprovoked action, one of the brave Pakistan Army soldiers and two civilians embraced martyrdom besides two army men and five critically injured due to cowardly act of Indian forces.

The spokesperson said that Pakistan armed forces responded effectively causing Indian soldiers suffered five casualties and many sustained injuries. To cover its inhuman act, he said that India was continuously heightening tension on the LoC and the working boundary to divert international attention.

During this year, Indian forces have carried out 594 ceasefire violations along the LoC and the working boundary, he said, adding that Indian irresponsible actions pose a direct threat to the security of the region and beyond. During the last six days, Indian forces in their actions to violently suppress the Kashmiri people, martyred nine Kashmiris.

At least 138 unarmed Kashmiris were injured after Indian forces fired bullets, pellets and PAVA shells in Srinagar, Pulwama, Tral, Shopian, Kulgam, Bijbehara, Islamabad, Hajin, Sopore, Budgam and Bandipore areas. He said that the illegal detention of Hurriyet leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Gilani, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and students under the Public Safety Act and constant denial to offer Friday prayers was highly condemnable.

Replying to a query about Afghan situation, he explained that Pakistan believed that there was no military solution of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and their focus should be on a peaceful settlement. He said that Pakistan’s efforts in this regard have been acknowledged by many countries including United States.

While appreciating media’s effective role in highlighting the plight of Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), he said more needs to be done to sensitise the international community and ensure accountability of Indian forces against the impunity with which they perpetrate atrocities in the disputed state.

PAKISTAN LODGES PROTEST: The Foreign Office summoned India’s deputy high commissioner on Thursday and lodged strong protest with him over unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces in Nikial and Nezapir sectors along the Line of Control.

He was told that deliberate targeting of civilians was deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The Foreign Office urged India to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate violations and instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.