Soldier martyred, woman dead in unprovoked firing by Indian troops across LoC

Updated September 14, 2019

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A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred after Indian troops resorted to "unprovoked firing" in the Hajipir sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Saturday. — Reuters/File
A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred after Indian troops resorted to "unprovoked firing" in the Hajipir sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Saturday. — Reuters/File

A Pakistan Army soldier was martyred after Indian troops resorted to "unprovoked firing" in the Hajipir sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Saturday.

The official was identified by the military's media wing as 33-year-old Havaldar Nasir Hussain, a resident of Narowal, who had been in service for 16 years.

A second ISPR statement issued later in the day said Indian troops had also resorted to unprovoked firing in Nakyal and Jandrot sectors, targeting the civilian population.

As a result of the firing, a woman identified as Fatima Bibi, a 40-year-old resident of village Balakot, died, while six others including four women sustained injuries. The injured were evacuated to a nearby medical facility for medical treatment, the press release added.

Pictures shared by the villagers on social media showed smoke rising from the mountains where mortar shells from across the LoC had landed. Several houses were also damaged.

Shariq Talat, a disaster management officer in Kotli, told Dawn that besides Fatima Bibi, seven others were injured in “indiscriminate” Indian shelling. They were identified as Nazia Bibi, 36; Shah Begum, 70; Gul Yasmin, 50, and her 21-year-old daughter Shumaila; Muhammad Lal in Daryari Paalani village; Muhammad Ilyas, 28, a resident of Androth Palani village; and Muhammad Sabir, 48, in Dharoti Mohra.

He said that two buffalos and a goat owned by Muhammad Lal were also killed in the shelling.

According to civilian and military sources, at least 38 civilians have been killed and 187 wounded in ceasefire violations by the Indian army in different areas of AJK along the LoC in 2019. Apart from them, as many as 18 soldiers have also lost their lives.

On Thursday, Sepoy Ghulam Rasool had also been martyred in unprovoked firing by Indian troops in Hajipir sector.

Incidents of firing along the LoC come as tensions remain high between India and Pakistan over the former's move to revoke occupied Kashmir's special autonomy.

Indian envoy summoned

The Foreign Office (FO) on Saturday summoned Indian Charge d`Affairs Gaurav Ahluwalia to lodge a protest against today's "unprovoked ceasefire violations" by the Indian army.

According to a statement issued by the FO, Director General (SA & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement. He also urged that the Indian side permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per UN Security Council resolutions.

"The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-calibre mortars, and automatic weapons," the FO press release said.

It added: "The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation."