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Pak Army soldier among 5 martyred in indiscriminate fire by Indian troops in AJK

Pakistan Army soldiers alert in case of any suspicious behaviour. — AFP/File

Unprovoked and indiscriminate firing in certain Azad Jammu and Kashmir sectors along the Line of Control led to the loss of five innocent lives, including that of a soldier, a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations said on Friday.

The military’s media wing said that the Pakistan Army gave a befitting reply to Indian troops and vowed that the Army will continue to respond “in the same coin” to all such provocations by the Indian Army.

According to the statement, on the night between November 7 and 8, the Indian Army reportedly had “an encounter with few freedom fighters in District Kupwara”, an area well within the India-occupied Kashmir territory. There, it “suffered few casualties, including four soldiers”.

“To ward off the humiliation faced by Indian Army in front of domestic audience, instead of finding the reasons from within and addressing the same, on 13 November 2020, Indian Army opted for resorting to unprovoked and indiscriminate fire of all calibers, including artillery and heavy mortars, along LoC in various sectors of AJK,” read the statement.

The targeted areas included Neelum Valley (Nekrun, Kel, Sharda, Dudhnial, Shahkot, Jura, Nauseri sectors), Leepa Valley (Danna, Mandal and Kayani secotrs), Jhelum Valley (Chham and Pandu secorts), and Bagh Valley (Pirkanthi, Sankh, Haji Pir, Bedori and Kailer sectors).

The ISPR noted that in this deliberate attempt, Indian troops did not limit themselves to engaging army posts and instead, “in utter disregard to all international obligations and human rights“, targeted civilian population. As a result, four people lost their lives and 12 were injured.

Additionally, one brave Pakistan Army soldier was martyred and five others got injured.

In response, Pakistan Army gave a befitting reply to Indian posts which targeted innocent civilians and dealt substantial losses, both in terms of men and material to them, which several Indian media outlets accepted.

According to NDTV, four soldiers of the Indian Army, and a Border Security Force (BSF) sub-inspector were killed in the response by the Pakistan Army.

“Such cowardly acts [by the Indian Army] of targeting innocent civilians reflect sheer lack of morality, utter un-professionalism and total disregard to human rights and are also a clear violation of the ceasefire understanding of 2003,” said the ISPR in its statement.

It reiterated that Pakistan is a peace-loving country and that the Pakistan Army pursues the same aspirations.

“However, we stand committed to defend the motherland and our Kashmiri brethren even at the cost of our blood and lives. We assure, that all such provocative acts shall continue to be responded in the same coin,” the statement concluded by saying.

Ceasefire violations

The Foreign Office, in a statement last month, said India has “been continuously targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars, and automatic weapons” along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB).

It said India has committed over 2,150 ceasefire violations in 2020, terming them “egregious violations of international law” that were part of New Delhi’s “consistent attempts to escalate the situation along the LoC” and a threat to regional peace and security.

Pakistan has been consistently summoning senior Indian diplomats to register its strong protests over New Delhi’s CFVs along the LoC that often result in serious injuries to and martyrdom of innocent civilians.

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