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India continues LoC violations:Three Pakistani soldiers martyred in Indian firing

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August 16, 2019

RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD: Three Pakistani soldiers and two civilians were martyred as the Indian Army increased firing along the Line of Control (LOC), Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Thursday.

“In efforts to divert attention from precarious situation in IOJ&K, the Indian Army increases firing along LOC. 3 Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat. Pakistan Army responded effectively. 5 Indian soldiers killed, many injured, bunkers damaged. Intermittent exchange of fire continues,” General Asif said in a tweet.

The two civilians were martyred by the Indian firing along the LoC in Rawalakot district.

Meanwhile, Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor blackened DPs on his official and private twitter account to mark India’s Independence Day as black day.

"Pakistan observes August 15, 2019 to awaken world conscience about India’s atrocities in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir since 1947," Major General Asif Ghafoor on his private twitter account said.

He said on August 5, 2019, India disregarding legal and moral ethics had turned IOK and Jammu into a jail.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and civil and military leaders also blackened their twitter accounts to observe the Black Day. Prime Minister Imran Khan also strongly condemned the unprovoked firing by the Indian security forces and prayed for eternal peace of the martyred soldiers.

Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Senator Sirajul Haq also strongly condemned the Indian firing and said the Indian forces were doing so to divert world’s attention from their atrocities in the occupied territory.

They paid rich tribute to the martyred soldiers terming them as national heroes whose sacrifices would be remembered forever.

In a related development, DG (South Asia and Saarc) Dr Mohammad Faisal summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia at the Foreign Office for the second time and condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control (LoC).

The Indian army violated the ceasefire at LoC on August 15 (Thursday) in Lipa and Battal sectors resulting in the martyrdom of Naik Tanveer Ahmad, Lance Naik Taimoor Aslam and Sepoy Ramzan, the Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

Dr Faisal told the envoy that the Indian occupation forces along the LoC and Working Boundary had continuously been violating the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, which needed to be respected.

“The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” he added.

He urged the Indian side to instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary.

He further urged the Indian side to permit the United Nations Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.

A day prior, the Foreign Office had summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to record protest over the violation of ceasefire agreement and firing on innocent civilians across the LoC.

Meanwhile, despite relentless efforts by India to ensure that an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is not held to discuss the ongoing situation in the Indian Held Kashmir, Pakistan’s intense lobbying with UNSC members has ensured that a closed door meeting will be held today (Friday).

The last time occupied Kashmir found a reference in the UNSC was the UN Security Council Resolution 1172 in 1998 after Pakistan had conducted nuclear tests.

Both Pakistan and China have requested this emergency meeting at the UNSC.

“I want to congratulate Pakistan that we have been successful in our efforts and an issue that for long had been put on the bilateral track by India has now become internationalized. It was heartening that in my telephone conversation with my Russian counterpart yesterday, he did not oppose the meeting of the UNSC nor has any member vetoed it,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while speaking in Islamabad.

However, the minister cautioned that this was a long drawn process and not an event where one would see quick results.

Earlier on Monday, disappointment was writ large on the face of the foreign minister when he said, “Though we happen to talk about the Ummah and Islam, the guardians of Ummah have made investments and have interests in India which is a market of one billion people,” he said without naming any state.

India on August 5 revoked the special status that Kashmiris enjoyed and since then there has been a complete lock down with all communication systems closed.

UNSC president Joanna Wronecka stated, "The UNSC will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16."

While thousands of people, many waving Pakistani and Kashmiri flags, protested outside the Indian High Commission in London on Thursday in support of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, the BBC said Thursday it will expand shortwave radio news coverage in Indian-occupied Kashmir to ease the impact of a communications blackout imposed by the Indian government.

The British broadcaster's announcement came after New Delhi scrapped an article of the Indian constitution granting special status to parts of Indian-occupied region.

"Given the shutdown of digital services and phone lines in the region, it is right for us to try and increase the provision of news on our short wave radio services," BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus said in a statement.

China too, the minister added has supported Pakistan for holding a meeting of the UNSC, not an easy task in itself as the schedule of meetings of the UNSC are prepared weeks in advance.

He added that in this regard after the offer by President Donald Trump to mediate on Kashmir, now even the Russian Foreign Minister has informed Pakistan that it is willing to mediate between the two sides.

“It is India that refused mediation by the United States so let us see how they react to the Russian offer. It is as yet too early to predict whether any member will use their right of veto at the UNSC,” the minister said.

Pakistan drew the attention of the UNSC presidency to the grave threat to peace and security in South Asia after India annexed occupied Kashmir and called for summoning an emergency meeting of the council to discuss the rapidly aggravating situation. The Kashmir issue would be discussed under the agenda item, “Pakistan-India question”.

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