Tragedy struck along the Line of Control in Bhimber sector in Mirpur division of Azad Jammu Kashmir on Saturday, as a woman was martyred as a result of unprovoked firing by the Indian troops on Lawana Khetar village. Twenty-two year old Munazza Bibi, who was a housewife with two young children, was shot by a sniper from an Indian army post across the LoC when she switched on a torch to search for something in the veranda of her house in a village which was barely a kilometre away from the LOC.

Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal conveyed to the Indian Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh Pakistan’s severe condemnation on this senseless and lawless act from India, which caused the tragic loss of a life.

The Ceasefire agreement of 2003 between India and Pakistan forbids ceasefire violations and attacks on citizens. Yet since 2017, when the peace process between India and Pakistan derailed, the number of ceasefire violations by India has skyrocketed. In 2018 alone, the Indian forces have carried out more than 2312 ceasefire violations along the LOC and the Working Boundary, resulting in the shahadats of reportedly 35 innocent civilians, while injuring 135 others.

In this situation, Pakistan has consistently shown to be the more reasonable side, with our leaders insisting upon formalising the ceasefire agreement which might lead to lessening of causalities, while India has been reluctant to even discuss the matter. That the international stage has turned a blind eye to the brutality of the rise of civilian deaths on the LOC is indeed a tragedy. Killings of civlians along border lines constitute one of the biggest violations of international humanitarian law. UNMOGIP (United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan) needs to be allowed to play its mandated role to observe and maintain peace in LOC, as per UN Security Council resolutions.