Ambassadors, defence attachés and representatives of various international organisations visited Jura sector along the Line of Control on Thursday. A foreign official talking to a shopkeeper on the occasion.—INP
Ambassadors, defence attachés and representatives of various international organisations visited Jura sector along the Line of Control on Thursday. A foreign official talking to a shopkeeper on the occasion.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Foreign diplomats and officials of international organisations on Thursday visited the Line of Control in Azad Jammu and Kashmir for witnessing the situation in the wake of repeated ceasefire violations by Indian troops.

They were taken to Jura sector on LoC, where Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar briefed them about the ceasefire breaches by Indian military. The visit had been arranged by the Foreign Office and the ISPR.

The visitors met and interacted with the victims of Indian shelling, including women and children, witnessed the damaged civilian properties as well as protection bunkers for the civilian population after attending a briefing by Maj Gen Iftikhar.

Gen Babar told the visiting diplomats that Indian troops had been deliberately targeting the civilian population resulting in civilian casualties.

Visitors are told Indian troops deliberately target civilian population

This year so far 2,333 violations by India have been recorded in which 18 civilians have been martyred and several others injured. Ceasefire violations have regularly increased over the past years.

The military has also reported casualties due to Indian shelling. Two soldiers, Sepoy Noorul Hassan, 29, and Sepoy Waseem Ali, 25, were martyred on Wednesday.

“Indian army has also purposely fired cluster ammunition on civilian population in sharp contrast to the conduct of Pakistan army which only targeted military posts [on the other side],” Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar told the visitors.

Turkish ambassador Mustafa Yurdakul, sharing his view about the trip in a clip release by the ISPR, said Kashmir dispute needed to be resolved in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions and will of the Kashmiri people and through dialogue between Pakistan and India.

European Union envoy Androulla Kaminara said she was accompanying a group of envoys to “see and listen to the explanations” on the situation at LoC.

High Commissioner of South Africa Mthuthuzeli Madikiza said he spoke to the victims and witnessed the effects of the violations on the infrastructure. “I hope there could be a solution in the near future,” he said.

Iranian Deputy Head of Mission Mr Sorkhabi said his government fully supported the people of Kashmir.

FO spokesman Zahid Chaudhri, speaking at the weekly media briefing, said Islamabad-based ambassadors, diplomats and defence attaches were once again taken to the LoC to provide them first-hand knowledge of the ground situation there.

Mr Chaudhri called on India to revoke over 1.85 million domiciles given to non-Kashmiris since June.

Tariq Naqash in Muzaffar­abad also contributed to this report

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2020