ISLAMABAD - To express solidarity with the soldiers and civilians, members of the Senate Defence Committee yesterday visited the forward locations in Nakial sector of district Kotli in Azad Kashmir along the Line of Control.

The delegation was led by its Chairman Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.

The delegation landed at Nakial where they were briefed by Brigade Commander Brig Tufail. The senators were informed that many children and women had been adversely affected by the unprovoked firing from across the LoC.

The aggressive Indian military approach began after BJP took over last year. The Kotli district has been shelled extensively by the Indian army, the lawmakers were told.

During the September 2015 clashes, the Pakistan Army hit back and inflicted a number of casualties on Indian forces. At least 18 Indian soldiers were killed and 41 wounded.

Speaking to the media, Mushahid strongly condemned the Indian aggression saying New Delhi had become more aggressive since Prime Minister Modi took office in 2014. He said India was also violating the Geneva Conventions by attacking civilians.

Mushahid said the parliament and people of Pakistan were proud of the bravery and valour exhibited by the Pakistan Army and added that civilian population too, living along the LoC, showed tremendous courage and tenacity.

He also lauded the morale of the people living along the LoC. Mushahid criticised the Indian government and military for undermining the UN resolutions by their non-cooperation with the UN Military Observers stationed on either side of the LoC.

The senator said the Defence Committee always spoke above party lines, viewing defence and security in a national perspective. He said the committee also endeavoured to be a bridge between the khaki and mufti, urging both the civilians and soldiers to work in an atmosphere of harmony and mutual co-existence to protect national security and promote national development.

The lawmakers also met a delegation of notables and affected people of the area, including former Azad Kashmir President Sardar Sikander Hayat Khan. The senators affirmed to the local people to take up their issues of compensation and provision of amenities like hospitals and ambulances in the Parliament.

The delegation included Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Maulana Ataur Rahman, Senator Javed Abbasi and Senator Brig (r) John Kenneth Williams the staff director Riaz Khan and Senate Secretariat deputy secretary Hammad Marri.