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Children killed by Indian shelling laid to rest

Updated November 21, 2016

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LEADER of Opposition in AJK Legislative Assembly Chaudhry Mohammad Yasin (second left), army officials and local people have a last glimpse of the children killed in Indian shelling before their burial in Singhaal village on Sunday.—Dawn
LEADER of Opposition in AJK Legislative Assembly Chaudhry Mohammad Yasin (second left), army officials and local people have a last glimpse of the children killed in Indian shelling before their burial in Singhaal village on Sunday.—Dawn

MUZAFFARABAD: Four young members of a family, who were killed on Saturday in Indian shelling, were buried in their native graveyard in Kotli district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Tarkundi and Kalar Gala villages of Nakyal tehsil from across the Line of Control (LoC).

According to officials, the firing started at about 8pm. It continued till filing of this report and there was no report of any casualty by that time.

Shehzad, 18, his sisters Shanza, 12, and Faiza, 10, and cousin Areeba, 5, were killed and Mahmood, 24, and Iqra, 12, injured after a shell had landed in the courtyard of their house in Barjial, a hamlet located one-and-a-half kilometres from the LoC in Charhoi tehsil of Kotli district.

The funeral prayers of the deceased were offered at about 1pm in an open but secure place in Singhaal village, hardly 300 yards away from Barjial.

The funeral prayers were atended by a large number of people, including Leader of the Opposition in the AJK Legislative Assembly Chaudhry Mohammad Yasin, Kotli bridge commander Brig Rashid, DIG Mirpur Range Sardar Gulfraz Khan and other civilian and military officials.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, who was also scheduled to attend the funerals, could not fly to the area due to inclement weather.

Mr Yasin and several others briefly spoke on the occasion to express condolences to the bereaved family and pay homage to residents along the LoC for braving Indian aggression with utmost resilience and fearlessness.

Mr Yasin, who represents Charhoi in the AJK legislature, said that India was a cowardice enemy, killing innocent children on both sides of the divide.

He said the so-called champions of the human rights should take notice of the killing of innocent people in held Kashmir and pressurise India to implement the UN resolutions for settlement of this longest pending issue on the UN agenda.

Brig Rashid said the people living along the LoC had always supported the armed forces, and their sacrifices would not go in vain.

“We will give befitting answer to the enemy for shedding the blood of innocent people,” he said.

Meanwhile, the residents of Charhoi staged a protest on Sunday, demanding appointment of a surgeon in the local health facility for immediate treatment of the victims of incessant ceasefire violations by Indian troops.

The spokesperson for the Foreign Office, Nafees Zakaria, said on Sunday that the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan had been requested to investigate the killing of four children in the Khoi Ratta sector by unprovoked Indian firing across the LoC.

On his official Twitter account, the spokesman said a dossier containing all details about the ceasefire violations by Indian forces had been handed over to the observer group’s representative in the General Headquarters.

APP adds: In a PTV programme, Mr Zakaria said Pakistan was taking up at the international level the issue of repeated aggression by Indian forces.

He said the whole situation was directly linked with India-held Kashmir issue and the regional peace.

Published in Dawn November 21st, 2016