MUZAFFARABAD: Two Pakistan Army’s soldiers were martyred and two civilians injured along the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in unrelenting ceasefire violations by Indian troops, officials said on Thursday.
A befitting response by Pakistani troops had left at least three Indian soldiers dead and some others injured, added the officials.
“Indian CFVs (ceasefire violations) along [the] LoC [continued] during the last 36 hours. Responding to CFVs, in Haji Pir Sector Pakistan Army troops damaged [an] Indian post, killing 3 Indian soldiers including a Subedar, and injuring few others,” said Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), military’s media affairs wing, in a tweet posted at 9.25am.
“In Dewa Sector, Naib Subedar Kandero and Sepoy Muhammad Ehsan of Pakistan Army [had] embraced shahadat,” he added.
Dewa and Haji Pir sectors are located in AJK’s Bhimber and Haveli districts, respectively.
On Thursday, Indian shelling was reported from many areas in AJK.
In Battal sector of Poonch district, 56-year-old Mohammad Mirza, who was standing outside his house, and nine-year-old Tayyiba Yousuf, who was returning home from a masjid school, were injured after being hit by splinters from the mortar shells fired by Indian troops, said Mohammad Hayat, a police official in the area.
Imran warns of looming risk of Muslims’ genocide in India by RSS
The shelling in Battal sector began at 3pm and continued for at least two hours, he said, adding that it was heavy but fortunately there were only two casualties.
Civilian and military officials were unanimous that the escalations along the LoC were intended to divert attention from India’s internal situation that was going from bad to worse with each passing day in the wake of a highly controversial citizenship law.
In a statement from Saudi Arabia, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider also vehemently condemned unrelenting aggression by the Indian army along the bloody dividing line and paid tribute to the valiant forces for sacrificing their lives in the line of duty.
Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan warned of a looming risk of genocide of Muslims in India by the Nazi-inspired extremist Hindu group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“The international community should wake up before RSS on the move leads to genocide of Muslims that will dwarf other genocides. Whenever militias like Hitler’s Brown Shirts or RSS are formed, based upon hatred of a certain community, it always ends in genocide,” PM Khan said in a tweet.
He was reacting to reports of a massive show of power by baton-wielding RSS activists in Indian Hyderabad, who were wearing the group’s Khaki uniforms. The RSS rally was held against the backdrop of countrywide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The rally, held despite a government ban on gatherings, was seen as an attempt to browbeat the participants of anti-CAA rallies.
The RSS, which advocates Hindu nationalist agenda, is the ideological fountainhead of PM Narendra Modi’s BJP.
Mr Khan had after the annexation of occupied Kashmir by India in August likened the Modi government to that of Nazis and said that world’s silence on Delhi’s action would be equivalent to appeasing Hitler.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, meanwhile, asked the international community to take note of India’s war hysteria.
He said this in a statement on Thursday’s ceasefire violations by Indian forces in which two soldiers of the Pakistan Army were martyred. He said the violations were committed by Indian forces for distracting people from the continuing agitation against the controversial citizenship law which has spread across India.
The foreign minister said that the BJP government in India was bent upon disturbing the peace of the region.
Indians, he maintained, have rejected the extremist ideology of the BJP government. He warned India against undertaking any military misadventure. “India should not be mistaken. Today the entire nation is united for the defence of the country. Our people are standing shoulder to shoulder with our troops,” he maintained.
“The entire nation is proud of the sacrifices of our armed forces,” he added.
Mr Qureshi had written a letter to the president of the United Nations Security Council, drawing the attention of the top international security forum towards the aggravating situation at LoC.
In the letter, the foreign minister had pointed out over 3,000 ceasefire violations by India, partial removal of the fence at the LoC by India in five sectors, deployment of the Brahmos Missile, anti-tank guided missiles and Spike missiles, and conduct of numerous missile tests since August.
He had contended that these Indian actions constituted threat to peace and security.
China had on the basis of Mr Qureshi’s letter sought a briefing by the UN military observers group in India and Pakistan on the situation at LoC. The military observers, however, did not give the requested briefing, saying they were not ready for it.
Baqir Sajjad Syed in Islamabad also contributed to this report
Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2019