AJK leaders condemn Indian shelling on civilians along LoC

Updated 24 Feb 2020

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Indian troops resorted to shelling at civilian population in the lower and upper belts of Neelum Valley on Saturday.  AFP/File
Indian troops resorted to shelling at civilian population in the lower and upper belts of Neelum Valley on Saturday. AFP/File

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan and Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider have condemned unprovoked and indiscriminate shelling by Indian occupation forces targeting unarmed and innocent civilians along the Line of Control (LoC) and called upon the UN to play its role in addressing the core issue for durable peace in the region.

On Saturday, Indian troops resorted to shelling of civilian population both in the lower and upper belts of Neelum Valley.

The shelling left several houses destroyed and damaged, but fortunately, there were no casualties as most of the residents had taken shelter in bunkers or in other safer places.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, President Khan termed the Indian shelling a cowardly act, as well as an abortive attempt to divert attention of the international community from the grave situation in held Kashmir.

“Indian troops are using cluster ammunition to target people living on our side of the divide and destroying their residential houses, business establishments and vehicles,” he said.

Mr Khan called upon the United Nations and the international community to take notice of the Indian provocative actions and unrelenting ceasefire violations.

Prime Minister Haider warned that the alarming situation along the LoC could escalate into a limited war, as India desperately wanted to sidetrack international community’s attention from inside the locked down valley of Kashmir.

He maintained that the UN was under an obligation to rein in oppressive regimes unleashing terror in the territories under their unlawful occupation.

“What India is purposely doing along the LoC must not go unheeded … Ceasefire violations warrant im­­mediate intervention on the part of the UN,” he said.

Mr Haider said skirmishes and artillery duels across the LoC would continue to occur, unless the core issue was resolved.

“If the UN fails to play its role which the oppressed Kashmiris expect of it, the situation in this region will remain volcanic and no country will ever usher in an era of peace and development,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2020