“Attempts to open a dialogue come against a background of almost weekly exchanges of fire along the LoC in Kashmir.”
SIALKOT: Two people — a soldier of the Punjab Rangers and an elderly man — were martyred on Tuesday as the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) stepped up mortar shelling on villages along the 193km-long Sialkot Working Boundary.
The BSF targeted areas in the Charwah, Harpal, Sucheetgarh, Chaprar, Bajra Garhi and Zafarwal-Shakagarh sectors, firing mortar shells throughout Monday night and on Tuesday.
Residents of villages hit in the latest spate of attacks from across the border spent a sleepless Monday night, choosing to hide in the fields out of fear that shells might hit their homes.
Rescue-1122 officials said Lance Naik Muhammad Shahid of the Punjab Rangers was martyred in an attack by the Indian BSF on the Phagwal Post in Zafarwal-Shakargarh Sector. Malik Muhammad Aslam, 70, was at home when mortar shells hit his house, killing him on the spot.
They said that four people were injured in the attack and were taken to Shakargarh THQ Hospital and Sialkot Combined Military Hospital.
Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Farrukh Naveed and Narowal Deputy Commissioner Ali Anaan Qamar reviewed the emergency relief facilities available to those impacted by the shelling.
According to our correspondent from Narowal, Mr Qamar said they had set up three relief camps in Nidala Phatak, Dogar Adda and Chamal villages. “Those affected are being provided medical treatment, temporary residence and food, and we have set up a veterinary station for cattle as well,” he said.
Residents of most affected areas had been provided transport facilities, while those injured would be given Rs75,000 as compensation by the Punjab government. The families of those killed in the shelling will be given Rs500,000, he added.
Separately, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Director General Major General Azhar Naveed Hayat Khan visited certain areas along the Sialkot Working Boundary, and attended the funeral of martyred Lance Naik Muhammad Shahid.
Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2018