A 60-year-old man was martyred on Monday when the Indian army opened “unprovoked firing” at the Line of Control (LoC) in Kotli’s Nikial sector, according to a statement from the military’s media relations wing.

The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement issued today said the elderly man was a resident of Kotli district’s Oli village, adding that three women cutting grass in the fields were “traumatised” as well.

“This blatant Indian aggression is a clear violation of existing ceasefire understandings,” the ISPR said, adding that Pakistan desired peace and tranquillity at its borders, but, would take all “necessary measures” to protect the life and property of its citizens.

The ISPR warned that “any misadventure against people of Pakistan will be befittingly responded at the time and place of our choosing.”

In June, two civilians embraced martyrdom while one other was injured as the Indian Army opened “indiscriminate fire” at a group of shepherds at the LoC.

In its statement, the ISPR had said: “Driven by a newfound geo-political patronage, Indian forces have embarked on a plan to take innocent lives to satiate their false narratives and concocted allegations.”

The Foreign Office had also summoned the Indian charge d’ affairs to register Pakistan’s protest and condemn the incident.

In May, Indian troops had shot dead a 25-year-old inadvertent crosser from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

Earlier on May 15, a 65-year-old wi­­dow from the Pandu sector of AJK’s Jhelum valley dis­trict was also mercilessly killed by the Indian army after she had strayed across the LoC while picking some medicinal plants.

The Line of Control

In February 2021, both countries had recommitted themselves to the 2003 ceasefire arrangement at the LoC and agreed to address the “core issues” that could undermine peace and stability.

The surprise announcement had been made in a joint statement by the militaries of the two countries on a “hotline contact” between their director generals military operations.

Hotline contact is one of the oldest military confidence-building measures between Pakistan and India. The hotline contact was originally established in 1971, but its use followed ups and downs in the relations.

Pakistan and India had in November 2003 agreed to cease fire along the LoC and the Working Boundary. The agreement held for a few years, but regular violations have occurred since 2008.

A sharp spike in truce breaches was witnessed since 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in India. In 2020, the Indian troops committed over 3,000 ceasefire violations in which 28 people were martyred.

In February 2019, both countries came close to a significant confrontation when Pakistan Air Force had shot down two Indian planes that had violated Pakistani airspace.

One of the Indian pilots was captured by Pakistan but was later handed over as a gesture of peace.

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