Srinagar: At least six people, including four women, were killed and 20 others injured near the Working Boundary in Sialkot Thursday night as Indian forces “resorted to unprovoked firing of mortars targeting civilians”, the Dawn newspaper reported Friday.
The newspaper quoted the Pakistan Foreign Office as reporting that, following the incident, Acting Foreign Secretary Aitzaz Ahmed summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale on Friday to “condemn the unprovoked ceasefire violations by Indian troops in Charwah sector near the Working Boundary on September 21,”
Quoting the army’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement, the newspaper report said that four people were killed by firing and mortar shelling in the village of Bini Sulariyan in the Charwah sector.
“The number of dead had risen to six people,” the report said, quoting officials.
The dead have been identified as Mariam Mahmood, Mariam Ishaq, Nafees Bibi, Khursheed Bibi, Ashraf Mansoor and Imran Ghani.
As per the report, at least 20 people were also injured in the cross-border firing and shelling in the Harpal, Sajeetgarh and Charwah sectors.
According to a press release from the Foreign Office, in 2017 alone, Indian troops carried out more than 870 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary, resulting in the death of 38 civilians and injuries to 142.
“The deliberate targeting of civilians is contrary to human dignity and against international human rights law,” the press release said.
Quoting the Pakistan Foreign Office, the newspaper said that the acting foreign secretary urged the Indian envoy to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement and investigate the rising number of violations.
“[The Indian side should] instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire d – in letter and spirit,” the newspaper quoted Aitzaz Ahmed as saying.
Ahmad also urged the Indian side to permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan to play its mandated role, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions, reported the newspaper.
The Dawn reported that the ISPR had said in a separate release that Core Commander Gujranwala Lt Gen Iqramul Haq had on Friday also visited the area affected by the Indian troops’ firing.
According to the ISPR, the Dawn reported, Lt Gen Haq was briefed about ceasefire violations during his visit. He also visited the injured at Combined Military Hospital, Sialkot.
The newspaper further reported that special hotline contact was also established between the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India to discuss the “deliberate targeting of Pakistani civilians residing in vicinity of working boundary”, the ISPR said on Friday.
“The violation clearly undermines all existing understandings on the issue,” the report quoted the ISPR as stating.
According to the ISPR, the army conveyed its “unflinching resolve to ensure security of its population” to the Indian DGMO, it reported.
“[The army] shall continue to take all necessary measures to deter any such aggression in future,” the ISPR was quoted as saying.