Only three days after the top military officials of Pakistan and India agreed to fully implement the ceasefire agreement of November 2003, Indian troops shot at and injured a man in a border village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Friday, police said.

Mudassar Iqbal, 25, was targeted near his house in Polas village of Abbaspur sector by an Indian sniper from across the Line of Control (LoC), police official Muhammad Shakil told Dawn.

A bullet hit him in the left foot and he was shifted to a nearby hospital for treatment, Shakil added.

Editorial: Pakistan and India's decision to restore ceasefire across LoC is significant

Polas village is located in close proximity of the LoC in Poonch district and has seen many casualties at the hands of Indian troops in the past, as for a considerable time the heavily militarised dividing line has been witnessing an exchange of heavy shelling between the rival troops in a serious breach of the 2003 truce agreement.

However, apart from the heavy shelling, Indian troops of late have also started a new ghastly practice — sniping with heavy calibre weapons and targeting civilians.

A number of people busy in their routine life were either killed or injured after they were sniped at by Indian troops in different areas along the LoC.

The last such casualty was reported from Hajira sector of Poonch district on May 15, when a 55-year-old man was shot dead when he was trimming a tree in his courtyard.

See: Valley of death: Being young and restless in Kashmir

On Tuesday, the Director Generals of Military Operations of Pakistani and Indian armies established a special hotline contact and agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation and ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to civilians along the LoC and Working Boundary.

“Both DGs MO agreed to fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and spirit forthwith and to ensure that henceforth the ceasefire will not be violated by both sides,” an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said at the time.

Afzal Kiani, a civil society activist in Abbaspur, said the man who was injured on Friday was a "victim of deception" because only days ago both sides had announced that they would observe the ceasefire.

According to the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), at least 21 people have lost their lives and another 120 have sustained injuries in different areas of AJK due to Indian firing this year.

Last year, the number of deceased and injured were 46 and 262, respectively, while the figures for 2016 were 41 and 142.


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