ISLAMABAD: Military commanders of Pakistan and India made a special hotline contact on Friday to discuss the issue of the deliberate targeting of Pakistani civilians, residing in the vicinity of working boundary by the Indian forces, the military said.
The contact between the directors general of the military operations (DGMOs) came as two women were martyred in unprovoked shelling by India’s Border Security Forces (BSF) in border village in Sialkot, raising the death toll to six in Punjab.
The Foreign Ministry also summoned the Indian high commissioner to record a strong protest over India forces’ recent ceasefire violations along the working boundary that left at least six civilians dead and dozens others wounded.
Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, the DGMO of Pakistan Army, raised the issue of deliberate targeting of Pakistani civilians in the vicinity of working boundary with his Indian counterpart, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Friday.
“Indian DGMO was conveyed unflinching resolve of Pakistan Army to ensure security of its population and it shall continue to take all necessary measures to deter any such aggression in future,” said the statement.
The ISPR said the latest incident of Indian firing resulted in the martyrdom of six innocent civilians besides injuries to 26 others. “The violation clearly undermines all existing understandings on the issue,” it said.
The firing incident took place across the boundary separating Pakistan’s Punjab province from held Kashmir’s Jammu region. “Pakistan Rangers Punjab befittingly responded on posts targeting civil population,” the ISPR said in a separate statement.
Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of the ISPR said on Twitter: “Indian brutality on World Peace Day martyred 6 innocent Pakistanis, injured 26 along working boundary in Chappar/Harpal/Charwa Sector.”
Earlier, the Foreign Office said in a statement that acting foreign secretary Aitzaz Ahmed summoned the Indian high commissioner and strongly condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces in Charwa Sector on September 21.
The statement said that the acting foreign secretary urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement; investigate the incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC and working boundary.
Ahmed also urged that the Indian side should permit United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (Unmogip) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
The Foreign Office said that the deliberate targeting of civilians was deplorable and contrary to human dignity and international human rights and humanitarian laws. “Despite calls for restraint, India continues to indulge in ceasefire violations,” it added.
“In 2017 to date, Indian forces have carried out more than 870 ceasefire violations along the Line of Control and the Working Boundary, resulting in the Shahadats of 38 innocent civilians and injuries to 142, as compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016,” according to the Foreign Ministry figures.