ISLAMABAD: Facing aggression on both Pak-Afghan border and the Line of Control (LoC), four Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in two separate attacks in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s areas bordering Afghanistan and one in unprovoked firing along the LoC with India, the military said on Saturday.
The first attack took place in Upper Dir district near the border with Afghanistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
Terrorists from across the border fired at soldiers fencing the porous frontier which resulted in the martyrdom of three troops. One soldier was also injured in the attack.
In a separate incident in North Waziristan tribal district, terrorists opened fire on a patrol of security forces near Abba Khel in Spin Wam area. One soldier was martyred in the attack that took place on Friday night. The military said two of the attackers were killed in retaliatory firing.
The martyred soldiers have been identified as Lance Naik Said Amin Afridi, 28, a resident of Khyber district; Lance Naik Muhammad Shoaib Swati, 31, a resident of Mansehra district and Sepoy Kashif Ali from Nowshera district.
The soldier who embraced martyrdom in North Waziristan has been identified as 22-year-old Sepoy Akhtar Hussain, a resident of Baltistan.
On Saturday morning, one soldier embraced martyrdom when Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing along the LoC in Hajipir Sector.
The ISPR identified the soldier as Havaldar Nasir Hussain, 33, a resident of Narowal who had been serving in the army for 16 years.
A 40-year-old woman, Fatima Bibi, a resident of Balakot, embraced martyrdom and seven others suffered injuries when Indian troops resorted to unprovoked firing in Nikial and Jandrot Sectors along the LoC. The injured were shifted to a nearby medical facility for immediate medical treatment, according to the ISPR.
The Foreign Office summoned both the Afghan and Indian charges d’ affaires on Saturday to lodge its protest against the acts of aggression.
A strong demarche was conveyed to the Afghan charge d’ affaires over firing on the soldiers engaged in the completion of fencing of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Condemning the attack, it was underscored that the Afghan side was responsible for securing the areas on its side of the border, as mutually agreed on several occasions.
Pakistan called upon the Afghan government to do the needful to secure the border areas, especially along the sensitive points, to maintain the level of cooperation needed to effectively counter terrorist elements in their areas.
The Foreign Office also lodged its protest with Indian Charge d’ Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia against the latest case of unprovoked ceasefire violation.
FO spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal, who is also the South Asia and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SA & SAARC) director general, condemned the ceasefire violations that have surged since August 5 when the Modi government revoked the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed states.
He urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit and maintain peace along the LoC and the Working Boundary.
Dr Faisal also urged New Delhi to permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
“The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and Working boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars, and automatic weapons,” read a statement issued by the FO.
“This unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1,970 ceasefire violations,” it added.
“The deliberate targeting of civilian-populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.”