Man shot dead in AJK as Indian ceasefire violations continue

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ISLAMABAD: Indian troops committed yet another ceasefire violation on Tuesday by shooting dead a person in a border village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials said.

According to officials, Muhammad Shakil Qureshi belonging to Taroti Dharamsal village in Abbaspur tehsil of Poonch district was shot dead by Indian snipers. This incident has violated a two-week-old ceasefire understanding reached between the military officials of Pakistan and India to ensure that the 15-year-old truce agreement was fully implemented in letter and spirit, officials added.

“The 45-year-old victim was tending to his cattle near the border when a single bullet was shot at him around 3:30 pm, which resulted in his death,” a police official Hassan Wazir Afridi said.

It merits mention here that on May 29, the director generals of military operations of India and Pakistan had opened a dedicated hotline to ensure effective communication on both sides in order to avoid ceasefire violations on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and safeguard the lives of civilians.

The important ceasefire agreement of 2003 also came under discussion during the meeting and its implementation was stressed to ensure peace and stability in the border areas of AJK and Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Unfortunately, Indian forces had shot and injured a man in Poonch district on June 1, just 72 hours after the hotline was established. Two days later, an old woman and a minor girl were killed and 24 injured in Sialkot district after Indian forces directed heavy mortar fire on civilians in Pakistan.

According to top officials in AJK, Indian forces have not only continued the exchange of heavy mortar shelling in the bordering areas of Pakistan but had also adopted a cowardly act of targeting innocent civilians with high-calibre weapons.

Meanwhile, AJK senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq said, “Indian ceasefire violations and intentional targeting of civilians, even after the May 29 agreement between the two neighbouring countries, is very unfortunate.”

According to State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), ceasefire violations committed by India has killed at least 22 persons and injured another 122 in different areas of AJK in the ongoing year. According to 2017’s data, around 46 people were killed and 262 injured.