ISLAMABAD: India was asked on Tuesday to stop targeting civilian populations in villages along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary as another woman was killed and two other people were injured during the day in intensified mortar shelling by the Indian Border Security Force on border villages in Charwah, Harpal, Sucheetgarh, Chaprar and Merajkey sectors along the Sialkot Working Boundary.

Civilian populations in the Nakyal sector of Kotli district in Azad Jammu and Kashmir were also hit by shelling from across the LoC which left two women and as many men injured.

The demand was made as Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh was summoned to the Foreign Office (FO) to receive protest over shelling by Indian forces on civilian population in the Nakial and Jandrot sectors on Monday, which left six civilians dead.

The cross-LoC shelling on Monday was one of the deadliest this year as India committed a series of ceasefire violations in the wake of heightened tensions over the ongoing unrest in India-held Kashmir.

A total of 19 civilians — 11 along the LoC and eight along the Working Boundary — have so far been killed in about 178 ceasefire violations, including 45 on the Working Boundary. Another 80 people have been severely injured in the attacks.

The FO’s director general for South Asia and Saarc, Dr Mohammad Faisal, urged India to respect the 2003 ceasefire in letter and spirit, and stop targeting villages and civilians and maintain peace on the Working Boundary as well as the LoC.

Dr Faisal, an FO statement said, condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations.

Mr Singh received a similar protest from the FO last Friday over the civilian casualties reported earlier. He was summoned to the FO at least four times last month.

Meanwhile, observers from the UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) travelled to the LoC to collect information about the ceasefire violations by India.

The group was briefed on the Indian attacks on civilian populations living along the LoC.

The woman killed in Wainse-Daallowali village, in the Harpal Sector, on Tuesday was identified as 60-year-old Sughran Bibi. The injured were identified as Naseem Bibi and Ghulam Abbas.

Our correspondents in Sialkot and Muzaffarabad contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2016

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