9 Indian soldiers killed as Pakistan Army responds to India's cross-LoC firing: ISPR

Dunya News

Two bunkers of the Indian army were also destroyed in firing by Pakistani troops.

RAWALPINDI (Dunya News) – Nine soldiers of the Indian army were killed and many others injured when Pakistan Army troops "effectively responded" to the latest Indian ceasefire violations, deliberately targeting civilians, in Jura, Shahkot and Nousehri sectors along the Line of Control, the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Sunday.

Earlier, ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor stated that a soldier of Pakistan Army and three civilians embraced martyrdom, while two soldiers and five civilians sustained injuries in an exchange of fire. Later, in another tweet, he mentioned that the civilian casualties rose to five.

Two bunkers of the Indian army were also destroyed in firing by Pakistani troops.

In a series of tweets, the ISPR stated: “Targeting innocent civilians by Indian Army is an attempt to justify their false claims of targeting alleged camps. Injured civilians evacuated to District hospitals. UNMOGIP as well as domestic & foreign media have open access to AJK, a liberty not available in IOJ&K.”

“Indian Army shall always get befitting response to CFVs [ceasefire violations]. Pakistan Army shall protect innocent civilians along LOC & inflict unbearable cost to Indian Army. Indian lies to justify their false claims & preparations for a false flag operation will continue to be exposed with truth,” it added.

"Indian Army struggling to pick dead bodies and evacuate injured soldiers. Indian Army raising white flag. This they should think before initiating unprovoked CFVs and respect military norms by avoiding targeting innocent civilians."

Later, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor mentioned that the civilian death toll rose to five after two more civilians succumbed to their injuries.

He further stated that Indian guns went “silent”, as of now, to evacuate the dead bodies and injured soldiers.

“Two more civilian casualties succumbed to injuries. Total 5 civilians Shaheed. Indian guns silent as of now to undertake evacuation of their dead and injured after effective and befitting response from Pakistan Army.”

The ISPR also criticised Indian media for spreading misinformation and claiming to targeted “alleged camps.” He asked it to acquire access to Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and “have moral courage to cover damages caused by Pakistan Army”.

“All your previous claims met their fate so shall this one […] follow journalistic ethos of Pak Media for reporting with responsibility,” he added.

The Indian provocation comes as tensions remain high between India and Pakistan over the former’s move to revoke occupied Kashmir’s special autonomy on August 5.

Indian envoy summoned

On Wednesday, the Foreign Office (FO) summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to protest "unprovoked ceasefire violations" by Indian border forces along the LoC in Nezapir Sector on October 15, 2019.

Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by Indian Army in Nezapir Sector of LoC, three innocent civilians, Ghulam Qaider s/o Lal Din 55 years, Mariam Bibi 12 years and Haider Ali 10 years, residents of village Kirni, embraced shahadat, while eight others, including women and children, sustained serious injuries.

"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, which still continues," an FO statement said, adding that this unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by Indian forces has been going on since the year 2017, when they committed 1,970 such violations.

"The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws," the statement said.

It added that India’s ceasefire violations were a threat to regional peace and security and "may lead to a strategic miscalculation".

According to the press release, FO Director General (South Asia and Saarc) Dr Muhammad Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement. He asked New Delhi to investigate these as well as other incidents of ceasefire violations and to instruct Indian forces to respect the ceasefire "in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary".

The FO spokesperson also urged the Indian side to allow the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per United Nations Security Council resolutions.