ISLAMABAD: While the international media is focused on India’s draconian steps in Occupied Kashmir, the Narendra Modi government is desperate to take the global spotlight off the “precarious situation” in the disputed region.
On Thursday, Indian troops provoked a skirmish with Pakistani forces on the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Three Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in unprovoked Indian fire along the LoC, which was retaliated effectively resulting in the killing of five Indian troops, the military said in a statement.
“In efforts to divert attention from the precarious situation in IOJ&K [Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir], Indian army increases firing along the LoC. Three Pakistani soldiers embraced shahadat [martyrdom],” the military’s media wing, the ISPR, said in the statement.
Pakistani troops responded effectively to the attack and killed five Indian soldiers and injured many others. “Five Indian soldiers killed, many injured, bunkers damaged. Intermittent exchange of fire continues,” it added.
Separately, two civilians were martyred and one was injured by Indian troops along the LoC in Rawalakot district, a senior local official there told AFP. Mirza Arshad Jarral said intermittent exchanges of fire between the two militaries had been ongoing since morning.
The Indian provocation comes as IOK is seething with anger over New Delhi’s attempt to strip the disputed region of its semi-autonomous status, paving the way for outsiders to buy land and settle in the occupied valley.
On Monday, army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said India is trying to shift global attention from its illegal Kashmir move to the LoC and Pakistan.
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the unprovoked firing by Indian security forces along the LoC while praying for eternal peace for the martyred Pakistani soldiers.
The Foreign Office summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia to lodge a formal protest over the unprovoked firing.
Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal urged the Indian side to instruct its forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace along the LoC and working boundary.
The unabated ceasefire violations by Indian troops are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation, he added.