SIALKOT - At least four more citizens were martyred and 19 others injured seriously in unprovoked heavy mortar shelling by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Phookaliyaan-Bajwat, Chaprar, Sucheetgarh, Harpal, Bajra Garhi, Charwah and Zafarwal-Shakargarh sectors of Sialkot Working Boundary here Saturday.

There was no letup in three-day-long Indian shelling on Sialkot border villages along the Working Boundary.

The Punjab Rangers retaliated in a befitting manner and silensed the Indian guns, said the senior officials of the Punjab Rangers.

According to the local senior Rangers officials, several heavy mortar shells fired by the Indian BSF hit houses, killing four persons – Najaf Batool, 27, her minor son Ali Haider, Muhammad Bashir, 70, and Muhammad Shabir, 55. The Indian mortar shells also injured 19 people seriously.

The Rescue-1122 of Sialkot shifted the injured to Combined Military Hospital, Sialkot Cantt, where the condition of six injured was stated to be critical.

Sialkot Deputy Commissioner Dr Farrukh Naveed said the Indian Border Security Force continued unprovoked heavy mortar shelling on the border villages almost the whole night (the night between Friday and Saturday) and the throughout the day on Saturday.

The DC said the Indian BSF continued targeting the civilian population in the border villages. The shelling also killed several buffaloes, cows, donkeys and goats, besides badly damaging dozens of houses.

According to the Sialkot DC, people from most of the villages have already been shifted to safer places in the Sialkot city and its surroundings.

The Indian shelling victims, Najaf Batool, her minor son Ali Haider, Muhammad Bashir and Muhammad Shabir, were laid to rest in their native graveyards.

Local MNA Ch Armughan Subhani and Sialkot District Council Chairperson Hina Arshad Warraich visited the Sialkot CMH to inquire after the injured. They strongly condemned the Indian brutality.

In Sialkot, two Pakistani women were killed and seven injured by Indian BSF shelling on Sialkot border villages Thursday (Jan18) while three civilians were killed and 22 injured on Friday (Jan 19).

At least nine persons, including three women, were killed and46 injured in Indian shelling on Sialkot border villages during the last three days.

AFP adds: Indian Army spokesman Colonel NN Joshi claimed one of their soldiers was killed Saturday by Pakistani fire in Poonch sector along the Line of Control.

Two civilians, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed in a separate cross-border assault along a stretch of uncontested frontier between Kashmir and Pakistani Punjab, director general of police Shesh Paul Vaid told AFP.

INDIAN ENVOY SUMMONED OVER CEASEFIRE VIOLATIONS

Staff Reporter from Islamabad adds: Director General (SA & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal on Saturday summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh to register protest over unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian forces along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary on January 20 in Khuiratta, Bangsar and Khanjar sectors, said a statement issued by the foreign ministry here on Saturday.

The firing resulted in the killing of a 60 years old civilian, Ghulam Ali while injuring two girls (6 years old Chaman Bibi and 27 years old Maria). The number of casualties at the working boundary has also risen due to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing by the Indian forces. Four more innocent civilians embraced martyred while 20 were injured on January 18 and 19.

The Indian forces along the LoC and the Working boundary are continuously targeting civilian populated areas with heavy mortars and automatic weapons. In 2018, the Indian forces have carried out more than 150 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary in just 20 days, resulting in the martyrdom of nine innocent civilians, while injuring 40 others.

The unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed more than 1900 ceasefire violations, it was notified to the Indian envoy.

The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.

The Director-General urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary. He urged that the Indian side should permit UNMOGIP to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

Pakistan shocked over bus accident in Turkey

“The government and the people of Pakistan would like to convey their deepest grief and sorrow over the loss of several precious lives as well as injuries to many more as a result of the bus accident in Eskisehir province on Saturday,” said a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim of this tragedy, as well as with their families. We also pray for the swiftest recovery of all those injured,” it said.