One civilian was killed while six others were injured due to heavy shelling across the Line of Control (LoC) by Indian troops on Wednesday, said officials.
The casualties occurred in different villages of Nakyal sector in the southern Kotli district as people were getting ready for their daily work, said Waleed Anwar, assistant commissioner of the area.
“The shelling began at 7:15am and is still going on,” he told DawnNews. “[The shelling] is heavy; it has restricted people indoors."
A shell landed in the courtyard of a house in Balakot village, leaving 25-year-old Malick Mohammad Razaq dead on the spot, Anwar said.
The deceased’s 35-year old married sister, Irum Bibi, was injured after a shrapnel hit her in the face, he added.
Anwar said that a 45-year-old woman from the same village, Ghulam Fatima, was also injured.
Kulsoom Bibi, 45, a resident of Oli Panjini village and 13-year-old Ahsan Karim from the Datot Patochi village, suffered wounds as well. A 40-year-old woman from the Pir Klanjar village, Kalsoom and a resident of Mithrani village Nasreen Akhtar, 35 were also injured in the cross-border shelling.
All the injured were being treated at Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Nakyal, Anwar said.
The Inter Services Public Relations in a statement confirmed the shelling, adding that Indian forces have also suffered losses from Pakistan Army's responding attack.
The attack comes days after Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Maleeha Lodhi raised the issue of Indian violence in held Kashmir on the international platform. PM Abbasi and the Pakistani mission to the UN had accused India of using terrorism as a state policy and using "diversionary tactics" to sidetrack the world's attention from the Kashmir issue.
The heavily militarised LoC that splits the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir between Pakistan and India has been extremely tense for quite some time, and as a result civilian casualties occur frequently.
On September 23, a 22-year-old girl was killed, her younger sister and two other people, including a teenage boy, were wounded in the same sector due to Indian shelling.
Prior to that, six civilians were killed and around 26 others injured in Harpal and Charwa sectors along the Working Boundary on September 21.
Indian DHC summoned
The Foreign Office (FO) summoned the acting Indian deputy high commissioner (DHC) to protest ceasefire violations by India.
Indian forces have carried out more than 873 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary, resulting in the deaths of 40 innocent civilians and injuries to 148, as compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016, the FO statement said.
The acting director general (South Asia and Saarc) urged India to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Agreement, and to investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations, to instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, and maintain peace along the LoC and Working Boundary.
He reiterated that the Indian side should permit the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions, according to the FO handout.
AJK PM meets CJCSC
Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Masood Khan met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat at the Joint Staff Headquarters in Rawalpindi today, according to the army's media wing.
The AJK president and Gen Hayat dicussed matters relating to regional security, particularly those regarding human rights violations committed by Indian security forces in held Kashmir, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a press release.
Masood Khan praised the resolve of the armed forces to deter and defeat any aggression by India against AJK, the ISPR handout read.