India resorts to unprovoked fire at LoC, one civilian martyred

India resorts to unprovoked fire at LoC, one civilian martyred

[image: Major-General-Asif-Ghafoor-DG-ISPR-e1531992511309.jpg]

RAWALPINDI/ BHIMBER - A civilian was martyred as Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing along the Line of Control (LoC) on Monday, the military’s media wing, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said.

“In continuation of violation of ceasefire understanding, Indian army resorted to unprovoked firing and targeted civilian population in Khanjar sector of LoC today,” ISPR said.

A civilian identified as Guftar Hussain, 51, resident of village Jhamra, embraced martyrdom due to unprovoked mortar shelling of Indian troops, ISPR added.

Pakistan Army posts retaliated effectively and engaged enemy posts involved in unprovoked fire on innocent civilian population, ISPR further said.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Bhimber Chaudhry Zulqarnain Sarfraz told a private TV channel that a man in Bhimber district of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) died after being hit by a mortar shell fired by the Indian army from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Monday.

“The shell landed in the courtyard of the house, leaving an elderly man Guftar Hussain dead on the spot,” SSP said “But other members of the house remained unhurt miraculously.” He added

According to the SSP, the firing was a “completely unprovoked ceasefire violation” of the 2003 agreement.

The latest ceasefire violation comes months after both sides agreed to “undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the borders”. A special hotline between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India was established for the purpose.

However, SSP Sarfraz said there has not been any let up in ceasefire violations along the LoC and Working Boundary.

“In fact, Indian troops have become habitual of intentionally hitting innocent and unarmed civilians along the dividing line in a bid to create panic among them. However, they have failed to break the morale of the valiant civilian population,” he added.

In the last such incident, Indian troops had fired a rocket in Nadheri village of Kotli district’s Goi sector on September 3, leaving a man critically wounded. The victim succumbed to his wounds in a hospital in Rawalpindi on Sept 9.

According to Saeed Qureshi, a director at State Disaster Management Authority, as many as 25 people, seven of them women, have lost their lives in the current year to Indian shelling in different areas of AJK, while another 139, including 67 women, have sustained injuries.

The shelling has also left at least 28 houses partially damaged and two houses and a shop completely damaged in 2018, he added. Last week, Pakistan summoned Indian deputy high commissioner after a civilian was martyred in unprovoked Indian firing along the LoC . Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces, a Foreign Office statement read.

The statement added that a civilian, Abdur Rauf, was martyred in Indian forces firing in Kotkotera Sector along the LoC on September 4.

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