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November 24, 2016

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India attacks Pakistani bus, ambulance on LoC

India attacks Pakistani bus, ambulance on LoC

11 civilians, three Jawans martyred; seven Indian troops killed in retaliation; Gen Raheel says future LoC violations to get befitting response; DGMO tells Indian counterpart Pakistan will hit back at time and place of its choice; Nawaz says India cannot divert attention from atrocities in IHK

ISLAMABAD: Eleven civilians were martyred when Indian forces targeted an ambulance and a passenger bus near the Dhudnial town in Neelum Valley along the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday. At least seven people have been injured in the attack.

“The death toll in the bus firing is nine now,” Neelum Valley police chief Jamil Mir told AFP. He said four bodies were taken to a nearby hospital while five were still trapped in the bus.Local administration official Sardar Waheed said firing was continuing, preventing ambulances from reaching the scene.

According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), three Pakistani soldiers also valiantly embraced martyrdom responding to unprovoked Indian firing. They are Capt Taimoor Ali Khan, Havildar Mushtaq Hussain and Lance Naik Ghulam Hussain.

It said General Raheel Sharif, the COAS, held a special meeting at the Corps Rawalpindi this evening, to review the LoC situation focusing on the bus massacre. Deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is unprofessional and unacceptable, he observed. The COAS appreciated morale of troops and the most befitting response given by them. He directed that any future violations must also get instant and effective response.

It added that seven Indian soldiers are confirmed dead in retaliatory fire. It said hotline contact was established between Pakistan and Indian Army DGMOs. Discussing single point agenda, Pakistan Army DGMO demarched his Indian counterpart for targeting civilians bus with innocent civilians aboard. He said, "We reserve the right to respond at the place and time of our choosing."

Exchange of fire continued till filing of this report. In order to distract attention from real issue of atrocities in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) by Indian troops, they are now targeting civilians across LoC.

Indian troops also resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling on LoC in Shahkot, Jura, Battal, Karela, Bagh, Bagsar and Hot Spring sectors.

The incident came a day after India said three of its soldiers had been killed by Pakistani troops and threatened "retribution", a claim that was angrily rejected by Pakistan. Lawat, where the bus was hit, is 100 km (60 miles) northeast of Muzaffarabad.

The speaker of Azad Jammu and Kashmir´s legislative assembly, Shah Ghulam Qadir, accused India of "deliberately targeting" civilians. Tensions in the long-disputed Himalayan region reached dangerous levels in September.

Indian officials did not comment on the deaths, but a military spokesman said the Pakistani Army initiated "indiscriminate" firing on Wednesday morning on Indian Army posts in Bhimber Gali, Krishna Ghati and Nawshera sectors.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has strongly condemned the unprovoked firing by Indian forces on the civil passengers bus and vowed that Pakistan will never abandon their Kashmiri brethren and will continue to support them in their just and legitimate freedom struggle for their right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

In a statement, the prime minister has condemned the unprovoked firing in the strongest words. He prayed for eternal peace of the departed souls and grant of courage to the loved ones of the martyrs to bear this irreparable loss with fortitude.

He said valiant Jawans of Armed Forces who embraced martyrdom are held in highest esteem. The whole nation will remember this sacrifice of Jawans who left no stone unturned while defending their beloved motherland.

“Despite our exercise of maximum restraint in the wake of continuing naked Indian aggression along LoC resulting in the martyrdom of innocent civilians including children and women, India has failed to comprehend the gravity of the situation. No responsible state can permit targeting innocent civilians in general and ambulances carrying the injured in particular,” Nawaz added.

He said in fact, India is trying to divert the attention of the international community from the grave human rights violations and atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces in the IHK.

In the meanwhile, federal cabinet in its meeting at the Prime Minister Office (PMO) on Wednesday strongly condemned unprovoked Indian firing and condoled with the families of the martyrs.

Later, briefing newsmen, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that federal cabinet reviewed the situation on the LoC and expressed grave concern about the Indian attitude. The members of the federal cabinet were of the view that the whole nation stands united under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to thwart any aggressive posture of India.

 

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