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Pakistan

Web Desk
April 29, 2020

Blatant atrocities by Indian occupation forces in Kashmir are unacceptable: COAS Bajwa

Pakistan

Web Desk
Wed, Apr 29, 2020
Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa pictured speaking to troops stationed at the Line of Control, on Wednesday. — Screengrab from video courtesy ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Blatant atrocities by Indian occupation forces on innocent Kashmiris and unethical targeting of civil population in Azad Jammu and Kashmir is unacceptable,  Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said Wednesday.

According to a statement by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Army chief's remarks came during a visit to the LoC where he was received by Corps Commander Rawalpindi Corps Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas.

Gen Bajwa was briefed about the latest violations by Indian forces "deliberately targeting innocent civilians along LOC" and the Army’s response, said the statement.

The Indian Army will always get a "befitting response" to cease fire violations along the Line of Control (LoC)," it quoted Gen Bajwa as saying.

He said that such provocations by Indian forces are "a threat to regional peace and stability" and that the Indian Army "shall always get a befitting response" to ceasefire violations.

"Pakistan Army shall protect innocent civilians along LoC and defend honour, dignity and territorial integrity of motherland at all costs," said the Army chief.

Gen Bajwa noted with appreciation the "operational preparedness and high morale of troops", said the statement, adding that the officers were lauded for their "continued vigilance and professionalism".

The Army chief also acknowledged the strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols and the "proactive assistance" provided by troops to the AJK government in its fight against the disease.

"Army will continue to support the national effort against the pandemic," said Gen Bajwa.

Woman martyred, girl injured

On Monday, a woman was martyred and a minor girl sustained injuries when Indian troops opened unprovoked fire along the LoC.

According to an ISPR statement, the ceasefire violation occurred at Jandrot & Khuiratta sectors in the morning hours.

The wounded child was later evacuated and provided medical care, the statement added.

FO summons Indian Charge d’Affaires

Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia, to register Pakistan's "strong protest" over the ceasefire violations, said a statement by the Foreign Office the same day.

"The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons. This year, India has committed 882 ceasefire violations," the statement read.

Tensions on the rise

Tensions have been high between the two nuclear-armed states over the past couple of years. India and Pakistan came close to war in February last year after the Pulwama suicide attack that left more than 40 Indian soldiers dead.

India blamed Pakistan for aiding militants who carried out the attack. Islamabad denied the accusations. However, on February 26, 2019, Indian jets bombed Balakot. The next day, PAF jets shot down two Indian planes and captured an Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.

On August 5, 2019, India illegally annexed occupied Kashmir by revoking Article 370 of its constitution, which guaranteed special autonomy for the disputed region.

Islamabad responded sharply to the development, cutting off diplomatic ties with New Delhi and suspending trade with India. PM Imran Khan has referred to his Indian counterpart's policies as 'fascist' and likened India under his rule to Nazi Germany.

With the civil and military leaders of both countries trading barbs over the past couple of years, unprovoked shelling across the LoC has increased.