MUZAFFARABAD: An Indian army soldier was killed and three others, including a major, were injured across the Line of Control (LoC) in occupied Kashmir in retaliatory fire by Pakistani troops, army’s media affairs wing said on Monday.

“Pakistan Army troops responded effectively to Indian unprovoked ceasefire violations [along the LoC]. One Indian soldier killed, three, including a major, got injured while substantial damage inflicted on Indian posts which [had] initiated fire,” said the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.

On Sunday, Indian troops had targeted Jandrot (Nakyal), Goi (Tatta Pani) sectors in Kotli district and Battal and Abbaspur sectors in Poonch district with mortars and artillery without any provocation.

As a result of firing, seven civilians were injured in Jandrot and Goi sectors and two each in Battal and Abbaspur sectors, officials said.

Among the victims were two women and two young boys below the age of 12 years and two residents of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province who were working in Abbaspur as labourers.

Diplomat summoned to lodge protest over ceasefire violations

The injured persons were evacuated to nearby health facilities.

The officials said that at least nine houses in Abbaspur and one in Battal were partially damaged in Sunday’s shelling.

The LoC was by and large calm on Monday.

Pakistan condemns truce violations

Pakistan condemned ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces along the LoC in Jabbar, Sandhara, Sumbal Gali and Dabsi villages of Kotli district on Feb 9,resulting in serious injuries to 10 civilians, adds APP.

Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia was summoned by Director General (South Asia & Saarc) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri to register Pakis­tan’s strong protest at ceasefire violations.

Due to unprovoked firing by Indian occupation forces in Jabbar village, civilians Mohammad Shabbir, Jamila Bibi, Mohammad Amin, Mohammad Yasin and Mohammad Safin suffered serious injuries.

Condemning the targeting of civilians by Indian occupation forces, the DG (South Asia & Saarc) underscored that such senseless Indian acts were in clear violation of the 2003 ceasefire understanding and complete disregard for international human rights and international norms. These further vitiated the tense atmosphere along the LoC and were a threat to regional peace and security, he added.

Mr Chaudhri said that by raising tensions along the LoC and the Working Boundary, India could not divert the world attention from the worsening human rights situation in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The DG (SA & SAARC) called upon the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire understanding, investigate this and other such incidents of deliberate ceasefire violations and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary.

He also stated that India should permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020