India preparing ground for false-flag operation: ISPR

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–Army says two Kashmiri men accidentally who crossed LoC are farmers contrary to India media reports

–Says Pakistan to take up formal case on evidence to ‘expose Indian lies’

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army has warned that India is “fabricating facts” after two Pakistan men inadvertently crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and entered Kashmir last month in yet another attempt to “prepare grounds for a false-flag operation”.

According to a statement shared by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday, the Indian army and media were projecting two Pakistani civilians, namely Muhammad Nazeem and Khalil Ahmed, as terrorists.

The two individuals had unintentionally crossed the LoC near Hajipir on Aug 21 while they were out for cutting grass, according to the military’s media wing.

The issue was discussed with India in a weekly hotline contact on August 27, said ISPR, adding that Indian authorities had said routine legal formalities were taking place and that they would get back on that account.

However, the story was picked up by some Indian media outlets on Sept 2. The Indian media portrayed the two farmers as members of a proscribed organisation, contrary to the truth, said the ISPR’s statement.

When Pakistani military authorities shared the false report with Indian military on Sept 3 during the weekly hotline contact, they said due legal process was in place and outcome will be shared with Pakistani authorities, according to the ISPR.

But the Indian army, with no regard for formal information-sharing mechanisms, held a press conference wherein the said individuals were portrayed as terrorists, the statement added.

It said the apprehended Pakistani civilians were also forced to give a confessional statement under duress that they were trained in Pakistan and belonged to Rawalpindi.

Contrary to Indian claims, both individuals are local farmers and residents of village Terraban (Hillan) along the LoC and not Rawalpindi.

“The attempt is another Indian effort to prepare grounds for a false-flag operation,” the ISPR said, adding that Pakistan was taking up a formal case regarding the development based on evidence to “expose Indian lies”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in recent days repeatedly alerted the international community that India will possibly stage a “false-flag operation” to “divert attention from massive human rights violations” in occupied Kashmir.

India accuses Pakistan of training and arming insurgent groups that have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with Pakistan, a charge Islamabad denies.

Pakistan says it only provides moral and diplomatic support to these groups.

On Aug 27, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said Pakistan was trying to infiltrate militants into the country to carry out attacks amid rising tensions over New Delhi’s decision to abrogate the autonomy of Indian-occupied Kashmir. Its spokesman Raveesh Kumar had told reporters that Indian security forces were prepared to deal with any eventuality.

However, Pakistan binned the reports, saying it was a responsible state and “we would be insane to allow infiltration” across the Line of Control.