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MUZAFFARABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Friday condemned Indian forces’ “unprofessional approach” of targeting innocent civilians across the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s unwavering support to the just cause of Kashmiris.

“Pakistan shall continue its political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris for their just struggle [for right to self-determination],” he said during a visit to Chirikot sector in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According to an Inter-Services Public Relations statement, the prime minister, accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, interacted with troops and families of the victims of Indian shelling during the visit.

AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider was present on the occasion.

PM along with army chief visits AJK’s Chirikot sector

While speaking to the family members of the martyrs and injured, he appreciated their determination and resolve.

Fateha Khwani for the martyrs was offered on the occasion.

For some time, the LoC has been witnessing exchange of heavy shelling in breach of the November 2003 truce agreement.

According to sources, India has committed 1,140 ceasefire violations in 2017 — the highest since November 2003 when Pakistan and India had signed the truce agreement.

As a result, 41 civilians have lost their lives and another 247 sustained injuries in the ongoing year, according to the figures released by the State Disaster Management Authority on Friday.

Casualties along the Working Boundary are in addition to that.

The prime minister announced an increase in financial assistance to the families of shelling victims, besides approving funds for construction and improvement of community protection bunkers.

Earlier, the 12-Division general officer commanding briefed the premier on the situation along the LoC.

While interacting with the troops, Mr Abbasi appreciated contributions and sacrifices of the Pakistan Army in defending the motherland and protecting the AJK people.

“No other army of the world is parallel to Pakistan Army,” he said.

“Restoration of peace against terrorism despite our commitments against perpetual threat from eastern border is a milestone achievement and together we shall take it towards enduring peace and stability,” he said.

Earlier on arrival, the prime minister and the army chief were received by the 10 corps commander.

Published in Dawn, November 11th, 2017