ISLAMABAD/MIRPUR     -    Pakistan Army killed at least nine Indian soldiers besides inflicting injuries to several others after the Indian side resorted to unprovoked firing at several villages along the Line of Control (LoC) on the night between Saturday and Sunday.

India in its unprovoked ceasefire violations (CFVs) deliberately targeted civilians in Jura, Shahkot and Nousehri sectors, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Pakistani forces effectively responded to the enemy fire, killing nine of their soldiers and injuring several others, Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor revealed in a series of tweets. Two Indian bunkers were also destroyed in retaliatory action, he added.

One Pakistani soldier was martyred and two others injured in the fight with the enemy, who rushed to raise white flags when it failed to stomach the response from the Pakistan Army.

At least six civilians were also martyred and several others injured in the deliberate targeting of populated areas by the Indian troops, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan revealed in a statement, vehemently condemning “cowardly act” of the enemy.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider also strongly condemned the unprovoked firing by the Indian occupation forces on the civilian population in Neelum and Muzaffarabad districts of AJK.

Premier Khan prayed for eternal peace of the martyred soldier and civilians and saluted the valour of the Pakistan Army for giving a befitting reply to the enemy, according to a statement issued by the PM Office.

Director General (South Asia & SAARC) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohammad Faisal Sunday summoned Indian Chargé d’affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by India and use of heavy artillery in Jura, Shahkot and Nausehri sectors to target civilians.

According to a statement issued by the Foreign Office, the martyrs included three residents of Nausadda village 28 years old Muhammad Rafaqat s/o Haji Azam, 60 years old Haji Azam and 47 years old Haji Sarfaraz s/o Ghulam Rabbani, and two non-resident civilian labourers Liaqat and Faisal.

The above said five citizens were martyred in Muzaffarabad district while one civilian lost his life in the Neelum district, according to our AJK Correspondent Altaf Hamid Rao. At least eight civilians were also wounded in the Indian firing.

The martyred Pakistan Army soldier was identified as Lance Naik Zahid by the ISPR. The injured civilians had been evacuated to district hospitals, it said.

The Indian provocation comes as tension remains high between India and Pakistan over the former’s revocation of occupied Kashmir’s special autonomy on August 5 and a lockdown of the valley since then.

Indian designs and Pak Army resolve

Indian army shall always get a befitting response to ceasefire violations, said DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor in one of his tweets. “Pakistan army shall protect innocent civilians along LOC & [always] inflict unbearable cost to Indian Army,” he vowed.

The officer said that the Indian army struggled to pick dead bodies and evacuate their injured soldiers.

“Indian Army [is now] raising white flag [for ceasefire]. This they should think before initiating unprovoked ceasefire violations and [they must] respect military norms by avoiding to target innocent civilians,” he said.

“Targeting innocent civilians by the Indian Army is an attempt to justify their false claims of targeting alleged [militant] camps,” said DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor. He pointed out that UNMOGIP, as well as domestic and foreign media, have open access to Azad Kashmir, a liberty not available in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

“Indian lies to justify their false claims & preparations for a false flag operation will continue to be exposed with truth,” he said.

DG ISPR also blasted false claims made by the Indian media about the Saturday night fight.

“Typical of Indian media falsely claiming to target alleged camps.” The Indian media should get access to the Occupied Kashmir if it has the moral courage to cover damages caused by Pakistan Army, he said. He pointed out that “all previous claims of the Indian media met their fate so shall this one”.

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that the Indian media should take a leaf from the book of Pakistani media in following journalistic ethos for reporting with responsibility.

AJK PM and President

Strongly condemning the fresh ceasefire violation by India, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan termed it an open evidence of brutalities and increased aggressive posture of New Delhi. In a statement, he condemned the frequent blatant violation of international laws and commitments by India.

Inviting the attention of the UNSC towards the fast deteriorating situation at the LOC, the PM said India was dragging the whole region into war through its aggressive acts.

He directed the local administration to remain on high alert in view of the situation and provide the best possible medical facilities to the injured.

AJK President Sardar Masood Khan vehemently condemning shelling on the civilian population by the Indian Army from across the Line of Control termed it a “cowardly act”.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the egregious act of aggression that has killed at least six civilians, injured several others and caused huge loss to the properties in Azad Kashmir,” he said in a statement issued from London.

He said India had imposed an undeclared war on the liberated territory by pounding over a dozen villages from Noseeri to Nagdar in Neelum valley, Leepa and Khuairatta sectors of Kotli district.

“We have been stressing since long that after declaring occupied Kashmir as its colony, India was set to attack Azad Kashmir as its next target,” he said, adding the international community including United Nations should take strict notice of this brazen Indian aggression in which long-range artillery guns had been used.

FO Statement

The Pakistan Foreign Office in its statement said the Indian occupation forces, along the LoC and Working Boundary, have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy calibre mortars, and automatic weapons.

This escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from 2017, when the Indian forces committed more than 1970 ceasefire violation. Pakistan categorically rejects Indian media reports about so–called “launch pads” being targeted by India along the LoC, it said.

Earlier, highlighting the Indian threat to regional peace and security, Pakistan has called upon the P5 to ask India to provide information about the so called alleged “launch pads” and stated its willingness to arrange a visit of the P5 diplomats to those locations to expose Indian falsehood.

Heinous targeting of civilians by India is a typical attempt to divert international attention from the humanitarian nightmare in the India-occupied Kashmir, the Foreign Office spokesman said.

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, he added.

The Director General (SA & SAARC) urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement; investigate these 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.