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August 4, 2019

India drops cluster bombs in AJK

Top Story

August 4, 2019

RAWALPINDI: The Indian army is using cluster ammunition to target the civilian population in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) across the Line of Control (LoC) in violation of the Geneva Convention and international law, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Saturday.

“Indian Army uses cluster ammunition along the LoC deliberately targeting civilian population which is violation of Geneva Convention and the international humanitarian laws,” the military’s media wing. The Indian army on night between July 30 and 31, targeted innocent citizens, including women and children, in Neelum Valley through artillery using cluster ammunition. Resultantly, two civilians, including a four-year old boy, were martyred, while 11 got critically injured.

The ISPR said that because of severe impact on non-combatants, use of cluster ammunition is prohibited under “Convention on Cluster Ammunition”. “This blatant Indian aggression against all international norms exposes true character of Indian army and their moral standing,” the ISPR said, adding that it is time for international community to take notice of this Indian blatant violation of international laws on use of cluster ammunition targeting innocent citizens.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, DG ISPR, said on Twitter that the use of cluster bombs by Indian army violating international conventions is condemnable. “No weapon can suppress determination of Kashmiris to get their right of self-determination,” he said. The DG ISPR maintained that Kashmir runs in blood of every Pakistani, adding that indigenous freedom struggle of Kashmirs shall succeed. InshAllah.

International humanitarian laws ban the lethal ban. The Article 1 of “Convention on Cluster Ammunition” says that each state party undertakes never under any circumstances to use cluster munitions; develop, produce, otherwise acquire, stockpile, retain or transfer to anyone, directly or indirectly, cluster munitions, assist, encourage or induce anyone to engage in any activity prohibited to a state party under this Convention.

Ever since cluster munitions were first used in the 1940s, civilians have paid dearly for their unreliability and inaccuracy. These weapons, delivered in massive numbers over vast areas, have killed and injured thousands of civilians in war-torn countries, particularly in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For many years, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had expressed its deep concern about cluster munitions. In 2000, it called on states to stop using them and to urgently negotiate a legally binding instrument to address the widespread human suffering caused by these weapons.

In view of the suffering endured by civilians for decades each time cluster munitions were used, and the lack of an adequate response to this in other fora, Norway launched the “Oslo Process” in February 2007. The process aimed at creating an international treaty to prohibit cluster munitions that cause “unacceptable suffering” to civilians. The process was open to all states committed to urgently adopting such a treaty. After global follow-up conferences in Lima, Vienna and Wellington, and regional meetings in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted on May 30, 2008 by a Diplomatic Conference in Dublin in which more than 100 states participated. The ICRC warmly welcomed the adoption of this historic agreement prohibiting the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions.

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