Another soldier martyred in Indian firing

August 17, 2019

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Muzaffarabad: Army officials and soldiers pray on Friday beside coffins carrying the bodies of three colleagues martyred in Indian shelling along the Line of Control on Thursday.—AFP
Muzaffarabad: Army officials and soldiers pray on Friday beside coffins carrying the bodies of three colleagues martyred in Indian shelling along the Line of Control on Thursday.—AFP

MUZAFFARABAD: Another soldier of the Pakistan Army was martyred in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in firing by Indian troops from across the Line of Control (LoC), the military’s media affairs wing said on Friday, bringing the death toll to six in less than 24 hours.

In a post shared on Twitter, Inter-Services Public Rela­tions Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that Sepoy Mohammad Sheraz was martyred in Battal sector (of Poonch district).

The martyred soldier belonged to Nain Sukh village of Jhelum Valley district in the constituency of AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider. He was laid to rest in his native village.

Only on Thursday, three army soldiers — Naik Tanveer, Lance Naik Taimoor and Sepoy Ramzan — were martyred in Indian firing in Leepa sector of Jhelum Valley district. Lance Naik Taimoor belonged to Lahore and the other two hailed from Khanewal.

On Friday, a large number of military officials and civilians offered funeral prayers for the three soldiers at Neelum Stadium, where the coffins, draped in the national flag, were brought in ambulances from a mortuary.

“They appear to be sleeping,” remarked one civilian while seeing the faces through the glass window.

As the coffins were being put back in the ambulances to be transported to the native areas of the martyrs by road because inclement weather had prevented chopper flights, soldiers who had lined up on both sides presented the martyrs salutes.

On Thursday, two civilians were also martyred in Battal sector. Their funerals were held in their native area on Friday.

Indian envoy summoned

In Islamabad, the Foreign Office summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to receive protest against unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces along the LoC in Leepa and Battal sectors, resulting in martyrdom of Sepoy Ramzan and civilians Mohammad Aziz and Muneebur Rehman.

Director General South Asia and Saarc Dr Moham­mad Faisal urged the Indian side to instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace along the LoC and the Working Boundary. He also urged the Indian side to permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to play its mandated role as per the Security Council resolutions.

“The Indian occupation forces, along the LoC and Working Boundary, have continuously been violating the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, which needs to be respected,” a Foreign Office statement said.

“The intended targeting of civilians is indeed condemnable. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the statement added.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2019