MUZAFFARABAD: A man was killed in a border village of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday after Indian troops sniped at him from across the Line of Control (LoC) in a fresh unprovoked ceasefire violation, residents and officials said.

Muhammad Shakil Qureshi, a resident of Taroti Dharamsal village in Abbaspur tehsil of Poonch district, became the victim of “targeted killing” notwithstanding a two-week old understanding between top military officials of Pakistani and India to “fully implement a 15-year old truce agreement in letter and in spirit,” they said.

“The 45-year old victim was grazing cattle near his home when he was hit by a single gunshot from across the divide without any provocation, leaving him dead on the spot,” police official Hassan Wazir Afridi said.

On May 29, the directors general, military operations, of India and Pakistan had established a special hotline contact and agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation, ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the LoC and the Working Boundary.

The officers also agreed to fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and in spirit forthwith and to ensure that henceforth ceasefire would not be violated by both sides.

However, within 72 hours of the hotline contact, Indian snipers had shot at and injured a man in AJK’s Poonch district on June 1.

Two days later, an elderly woman and a minor girl were killed and 24 others were injured in heavy mortar shelling along the Working Boundary in Sialkot district.

Two other civilians were injured along the LoC in AJK’s Kotli district after Indian troops fired a mortar shell near their homes.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2018

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