Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday noted that Indian provocations, particularly the recent targeting of the UNMOGIP vehicles, were a threat to regional peace as well as stability and vowed that it shall always get a “befitting response” to any misadventure or aggression.
“Pakistan Army shall take measures to protect innocent civilians along the LoC [Line of Control] and defend honour, dignity and territorial integrity of the motherland at all costs,” the army chief stated while interacting with the forward troops deployed along the LoC.
On December 18, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said the Indian army resorted to unprovoked fire in Chirikot sector of the LoC and deliberately targeted a UN vehicle with two military observers on board.
It stated that the UN military observers were en route to Polas village in Chirikot sector to interact with villagers affected by unabated ceasefire violations by India.
A day later, the UN confirmed that a vehicle belonging to the UNMOGIP was hit by an "unidentified object" near Rawalakot on the Pakistani side of the LoC. The vehicle was damaged but two UN military observers remained unhurt.
According to the ISPR on Tuesday, the COAS was briefed about the latest situation along the de facto border, including Indian ceasefire violations, deliberate targeting of innocent civilians on the Pakistani side and the recent attack on a UN vehicle by Indian troops against all international norms and conventions.
Appreciating the operational preparedness and high morale of troops, Gen Qamar lauded the officers and men for continued vigilance and professionalism.
“Indian provocations, particularly the recent targeting of UNMOGIP vehicles, are threat to regional peace and stability,” he emphasised.
Gen Qamar said that the Indian troops shall always get a befitting response to any misadventure or aggression against the country.
Earlier, Gen Qamar was received by Rawalpindi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Azhar Abbas upon arrival at the LoC.
Meanwhile, a UN spokesperson maintained that the investigation by the UNMOGIP into Friday’s incident continues.
“The investigation is ongoing,” UN secretary general’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in response to a question at the regular noon briefing in New York on Monday.
“Nothing further to add,” he said about the progress in the probe.
Pakistan had taken up the reprehensible attack by India on the UNMOGIP observers and their vehicle with the United Nations and urged the world body to initiate a transparent investigation into the incident.
In a letter addressed to the UNSG and the Security Council president, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN stated that deliberate targeting of the UN observers and their vehicle – which was clearly marked with UN logo and flying a blue flag – appeared to be a new coercive and reckless ploy by India to hinder UNMOGIP’s work, and facilitate another Indian military misadventure against Pakistan.
The letter also informed the secretary general and the UNSC that Pakistan had credible information that the RSS-BJP government was planning to stage a “false flag” attack to divert attention from its domestic difficulties, and create justification for another misadventure against Pakistan. If that were to happen, Pakistan will exercise its right to self-defence, the letter warned.
The letter from Pakistan’s permanent representative requested the UN to forcefully condemn the attack on the UNMOGIP observers and called on India to observe the 2003 ceasefire understanding.
The UN must respond positively and urgently to repeated calls by Pakistan to strengthen UNMOGIP and improve its ability to observe and report on ceasefire violations, the letter contended.