SIALKOT/ISLAMABAD: Three people were killed and five others injured in Sialkot's Chaprar sector, whereas another person was killed in firing across the Line of Control (LoC) in Rawalakot's Neza Pir sector in separate instances of unprovoked firing by Indian Border Security Forces on Thursday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.
Those killed in Sialkot have been identified as Ghulam Mustafa, Rahat and Muhammad Boota. Zarina Bibi, an 18-year-old, was killed in Rawalakot.
Episodic attacks of firing and shelling which commenced in Sialkot on Wednesday morning at 8:30am are said to be ongoing and Pakistani troops are responding with retaliatory firing, Punjab Rangers said.
Rangers sources said the attacks along the Sialkot Working Boundary have mostly harmed civilians, adding that livestock belonging to residents of the area has been killed, while houses have been partially damaged.
Yesterday's attacks targeted Sialkot's Bajwat sector. No loss of life or casualties were reported at the time.
AP on Wednesday quoted D. Parekh of India's BSF as saying that Pakistani troops fired heavy mortar shells, adding that one woman was killed and three civilians injured when one of the shells exploded near a border village.
Parekh had alleged that Pakistani soldiers first fired at a paramilitary soldier guarding a border post in the Pargwal area. As troops tried to evacuate the seriously injured soldier, they came under heavy fire and retaliated, he had said.
Instances of unprovoked firing across the Indo-Pak border have occurred intermittently over the years.
In March 2015, Indian border forces opened unprovoked fire on some villages in the Charwah sector along the Working Boundary. At the time, Pakistani officials had alleged that the Indian BSF personnel had violated the ceasefire accord and targeted civilian population.
A similar incident was also reported in January this year, when Indian BSF resorted to unprovoked intensified heavy mortar shelling on several Pakistani villages along the Working Boundary in Sialkot, killing four Pakistani civilians.
In December 2013, the two countries had pledged to uphold the 2003 ceasefire accord which was left in tatters by repeated violations that year. The truce breaches had put the nascent bilateral peace dialogue on hold.
Indian High Commissioner summoned
Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan was summoned to the Foreign Office yesterday by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry to lodge a strong protest over airspace violation at Banchirian Sector near Bhimber.
An Indian spy drone had entered Pakistan’s air space in violation of the international law, Pakistan’s territorial integrity and the two agreements of 1991 on Air Space Violation and SOPs of advance notice for military exercises, military maneuvers and troops movement. The UAV was brought down by Pakistani troops.
FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said Chaudhry also registered the government’s concern over Heli maneuvers near Line of Control (LoC) on July 11 which was an offensive and threatening posture.
The spokesman said the protest was also lodged over the unprovoked ceasefire violation by Indian BSF at Phuklian-Akhnor sector on July 15 which continued until sunset.
Khaliullah said the FO secretary also protested the ceasefire violations which took place this morning at LoC and Working Boundary.
Chaudhry emphasised that in the spirit of maintaining peace and tranquility at the LoC and WB, and the region at large, it was important that the 2003 understanding on maintaining ceasefire is observed.
Raghavan assured to convey the message to his authorities accordingly.