ISLAMABAD - Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Major-General Asif Ghafoor on Tuesday threw a challenge to India to take any foreign diplomats and media to Line of Control to prove its army chief’s allegations as Pakistan flew foreign envoys and diplomats to LoC in Azad Kashmir and gave them a tour of the sites of deadly skirmishes this week with India.

Officials said tour to Azad Kashmir was arranged to enable envoys from foreign missions in Islamabad to see for themselves that India had made false claims about the presence of terrorist camps in the region.

Chinese, Iranian, Bosnian, German and South African diplomats were prominent among the group that visited Line of Control in Azad Kashmir.

The group of 15 Islamabad-based foreign diplomats was taken to Jura, Nauseri and Shahkot sectors near the Line of Control as well as Nausada village, which suffered severe damage in attacks by Indian troops.

DG ISPR said the Indian High Commission could not stand with its army chief on his claims, as no Indian High Commission staff accompanied fellow diplomats in Pakistan to LoC to see the truth on the ground.

I witnessed damages, sufferings, injuries to local people here – Yao Jing Ambassador of China

There is no evidence of any terrorist camp in this area – Deddy Feisal Deputy HC of Malaysia

I have special feel when I see that civilians were targeted here – Sakib Foric Ambassador of Bosnia

Indian forces are openly violating all principles of humanity – Chirsto janse Van Acting HC of South Africa

In a tweet, Major General Asif Ghafoor said the Indian High Commission staff did not have the moral courage to accompany fellow diplomats to LoC. “What good Indian High Commission is which can’t stand with its army chief? Indian High Commission staff didn’t have the moral courage to accompany fellow diplomats in Pakistan to LOC. However, a group of foreign diplomats & media is on the way to LOC to see the truth on ground,” he said in the tweet early Tuesday.

Talking to media men, DG ISPR Major-General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan has challenged the Indian government to take diplomats and journalists to Indian-occupied Kashmir. “The whole of Pakistan has challenged the Indian government to take diplomats and journalists to their side of the Line of Control in Indian-occupied Kashmir in a similar manner,” he added.

Asif Ghafoor remarked “I request the international community to travel to occupied Kashmir and tell the world the reality about the situation there. India can take the diplomats and journalists of its choosing from Pakistan,” he said.

“Pakistan is prepared to take these diplomats and journalists wherever India wants to take them. Journalists and diplomats have seen the ground reality with their own eyes here today,” he maintained.

According to the media reports, the diplomatic corps visited the Jura sector along the Line of Control to see the damage caused by the Indian unprovoked firing last Saturday night and Sunday. They were taken to Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir to witness whether the Indian army had smashed four terror launch pads there early Sunday. The foreign diplomats and the media were shown the pieces of the shells fired by the Indian artillery. According to the officials, Indian forces were targeting the civilian population on the LoC with heavy artillery. The diplomats and the media themselves witnessed the Indian violations.

The ambassadors and high commissioners of different countries also visited Jura market and interacted with the locals there. Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the diplomatic corps and the media about the Indian violations. He said the Indian forces are targeting innocent civilians on the LoC. He said the baseless claims of the Indian army chief stand exposed.

The diplomats were taken to the Nauseri and Shahkot sectors near the Line of Control as well as the Nausada village, which has suffered severe damage in attacks by Indian troops. The trip was arranged so they can verify for themselves the claims made by Indian army chief.

DG ISPR said that in 2018 there were 3,038 Indian ceasefire violations and 58 civilians were martyred while 319 were injured. In 2019, so far there have been 2,608 ceasefire violations due to which 44 civilians have been martyred and 230 injured.

READ MORE: A leather jacket

Major Gen Asif Ghafoor had last night challenged Indian officials to take any foreign diplomat/media to prove its allegations on ground. The challenge was issued by Gen Ghafoor in response to Indian army chief Gen Rawat’s claim that Indian forces had “smashed four terror launch pads” in Neelum Valley. Rawat made the claims after six civilians and a soldier of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom in indiscriminate and ruthless shelling by Indian troops from across the LoC on Sunday.

Ambassador of Bosnia in Pakistan Sakib Foric speaking on the occasion said that he had special feel when he saw that civilians were targeted there. “I have special feel when I see that civilians were targeted here and unfortunately with some casualties and I could see that the people are patriots and have special feelings and they have hosted us and are open to tell what has happened really,” he said.

Deputy High Commissioner of Malaysia Deddy Feisal said there was no evidence of any terrorist camp in that area. “They are all ordinary people and ordinary civilian trying to make their living,” he believed.

Ambassador of China Yao Jing said he saw the damages, sufferings, injuries to the local people. He urged international community to pay attention to the dispute and also find a peaceful solution by India and Pakistan according to the UN Security Council resolutions.

South African Acting High Commissioner Chirsto Janse Van said Indian forces were openly violating all norms of humanity even by resorting to unprovoked firing on civilian population.

ENVOYS’ VISIT PRODUCTIVE: FO

APP adds: Foreign Office Spokesman Dr Muhammad Faisal on Tuesday said the “productive” visit of diplomatic corps to Azad Kashmir’s Jura town showed the world that Indian army chief’s statement about targeting a terrorist camp inside Pakistan was mere a claim.

“A productive visit of diplomatic corps witnessed firsthand intentional targeting of civilians, their houses and shops in Jura town. Claims by Indian army chief remain claims,” the Foreign Office spokesman said in a tweet.

The FO spokesman, who accompanied the diplomats to Jura town, mentioned that the Indian side did not join the visit to LoC neither provided coordinates of the alleged “launchpads”.