FO summons Indian envoy to lodge protest over LoC ceasefire violations

Published December 23, 2020
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday summoned the Indian Charge d’affaires to register Pakistan's strong protest over ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control a day earlier. — AFP/File
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday summoned the Indian Charge d’affaires to register Pakistan's strong protest over ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control a day earlier. — AFP/File

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday summoned the Indian Charge d’affaires to register Pakistan's strong protest over ceasefire violations by Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control (LoC) a day earlier.

Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by Indian occupation forces in Hotspring and Jandrot sectors of the LoC on Dec 22, 50-year-old Khadeeja embraced shahadat, and 16-year-old Samar, 18-year-old Aneela Kausar and four-year-old Muhammad Seemab sustained serious injuries, a statement by the Foreign Office (FO) said.

"Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have been continuously targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars, and automatic weapons.

"In 2020, Indian occupation forces have carried out 3,012 ceasefire violations to date, resulting in 28 shahadats and serious injuries to 253 innocent civilians," the FO said.

Condemning the deplorable targeting of innocent civilians by Indian occupation forces, it was underscored that such senseless acts are in clear violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, and are also against all established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct, the statement said.

"These egregious violations of international law reflect consistent Indian attempts to escalate the situation along the LoC and are a threat to regional peace and security," the statement read.

It added that by raising tensions along the LoC and the WB, "India cannot divert attention from the grave human rights situation in occupied Kashmir."

The Indian side was called upon to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, investigate this and other such incidents of deliberate ceasefire violations and maintain peace along the LoC and the WB, the statement said.

The Indian side was also urged to allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council Resolutions, it concluded.

Last week, Indian troops had deliberately fired upon a UN vehicle, carrying two military observers on a routine monitoring mission in AJK’s Poonch district, in what was described by the Foreign Office spokesperson as a “reprehensible act, indicative of a new low in the conduct of Indian army”.

Days after the incident, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa warned the Indian army that it would always get a befitting response to any “misadventure or aggression” from across the divide.

The note of caution by Gen Bajwa came on Tuesday during his visit to the army positions in unspecified snowbound forward areas along the LoC in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the COAS was briefed about the latest situation, particularly ceasefire violations by the Indian army deliberately targeting innocent civilians along the LoC, and the recent targeting of a United Nations vehicle by Indian troops against international norms and conventions.

“Indian provocations, particularly recent targeting of the UNMOGIP vehicles, are [a] threat to regional peace and stability,” observed the army chief on the occasion.

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