ISLAMABAD : Nine Indian soldiers were killed and several others injured on Sunday as Pakistan Army “effectively responded” to the unprovoked ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) in which five innocent civilians were martyred.
“Pakistan destroyed two Indian bunkers after Indian forces deliberately targeted civilians in Jura, Shahkot and Nousheri sectors,” said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor on his official Twitter account.
The ISPR DG said one Pakistani soldier and three civilians were martyred in the exchange of fire, while two soldiers and five civilians suffered injuries.
Two of the five injured succumbed to their injuries later, raising the number of civilian deaths to five.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said the Indian Army was targeting innocent civilians in “an attempt to justify their false claims of targeting alleged camps”.
The ISPR DG asserted that India’s ceasefire violations would always garner a befitting response from Pakistan. “Pakistan Army shall protect innocent civilians along LoC and inflict [an] unbearable cost on Indian Army,” he said.
Ghafoor said India’s attempts to lay the ground for a false flag operation would “continue to be exposed with [the] truth”, adding that the Indian military was now “raising a white flag” as it faced difficulties in retrieving the dead and evacuating the injured.
The ISPR chief warned the Indians to “think before initiating unprovoked CFVs” and urged them to “respect military norms” that call for protecting innocent civilians.
He denounced the Indian media for “falsely claiming targeting of alleged camps” in Pakistan, challenging them to “get access to IOJ&K and have [the] moral courage to cover damages caused by Pakistan Army”.
The DG said, “The statement of Indian COAS claiming destruction of three alleged camps in AJK is disappointing as he holds a very responsible position. There are no camps let alone targeting them. The Indian embassy is welcome to take any foreign diplomat/media to prove it on the ground.
“The propensity of false claims by senior Indian military leadership, especially since the Pulwama incident, is detrimental to peace in the region. Such false claims by Indian Army are being made to suit vested interests. This is against professional military ethics.”
Maj Gen Ghafoor advised Indian journalists to learn from their Pakistani counterparts as he urged them to follow journalistic ethics and report with responsibility. “Follow journalistic ethos of Pak media for reporting with responsibility,” he tweeted.
PM condemns India’s unprovoked aggression
Prime Minister Imran Khan strongly condemned the unprovoked firing by Indian security forces on civilian population along the LoC. According to a statement issued by the PM Office, the prime minister prayed for the departed souls and early recovery of the injured.
The premier saluted Pakistan Army for its bravery, valiance, and giving a befitting response to Indian security forces for breaching the ceasefire agreement.
FO summons Indian HC
The Foreign Office has categorically rejected Indian media reports regarding “so-called launchpads” being targeted by Indian forces along the LoC.
According to a statement issued by the FO, SA & Saarc Director General Dr Mohammad Faisal has summoned Indian Charge d’Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia to register a protest over the unprovoked ceasefire violations.
“The Indian occupation forces, along the LoC and Working Boundary, have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy calibre mortars, and automatic weapons,” read the statement.
“Heinous Indian targeting of civilians is a typical attempt by India to divert international attention from the humanitarian nightmare in IOJ&K [Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir],” it added.
As for the targeting of “so-called launchpads”, Pakistan called upon the five permanent United Nations members, or P5, to press New Delhi for proof and concrete information.
Islamabad also conveyed its willingness to arrange a visit of P5 diplomats to the alleged locations “to expose Indian falsehood”.
“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,” the FO statement read.
Dr Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement, investigate the numerous incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the agreement and maintain peace on the LoC and Working Boundary.
He also urged the Indian side to permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to perform its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
Dr Faisal also took to social media to condemn India’s aggression, vowing that “we shall defend ourselves”.
“Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by Indian occupation forces, including use of heavy artillery, five innocent civilians, Muhammad Rafaqat s/o Haji Azam aged 28 years, Haji Azam aged 60 years, Haji Sarfaraz s/o Ghulam Rabbani aged 47 years, residents of Village Nausadda, and two non-resident civilian labourers Liaqat and Faisal, embraced shahadat, while six others, including women and children, sustained serious injuries,” read the FO statement.