News Analysis |
The Pakistan Army befittingly responded to unprovoked firing by the Indian security forces at the Working Boundary (WB), leaving at least one Indian troop dead and two others wounded on Thursday. This is the latest casualty in the series of continuing Line of Control (LoC) violations by India that is causing loss of both life and property.
According to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) resorted to unprovoked firing and targeted the civilian population in Zafarwal Sector earlier today. At least three civilians received serious wounds in the incident.
Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir.
The befitting response to the Indian aggression silenced the enemy’s guns, said the ISPR statement. This is the first incident of ceasefire violation by the Indian troops in 2018. Last year, the Indian forces carried out more than 871 ceasefire violations along the (LoC) and the WB, resulting in the killing of 39 innocent civilians and injuries to 144, compared to 382 ceasefire violations in 2016, according to a Foreign Ministry tally.
Ceasefire violations are a frequent feature along the Line of Control (LoC) despite the leadership of Pakistan Rangers and India’s Border Security Forces agreeing in November 2017 that the “spirit” of a 2003 ceasefire agreement must be revived to protect innocent lives.
Pakistan has maintained that India must respect the 2003 ceasefire agreement between the two neighboring countries and maintain peace on the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary. Pakistan has also urged that the Indian side should permit the United Nations Military Observers group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council resolutions.
Pakistan and India have, most recently, locked horns over Kashmir since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
Indian aggression along the LOC has often been detrimental to peace prospects between both nations. On 8th September 2017, The General Officer Commander-in-Chief (GOC-C) of the Kashmir-based Northern Command, Lt Gen Devraj Anbu said that his forces will cross the Line of Control (LoC) and target its enemies whenever the need arises.
He warned Pakistan that it needs to stop its infiltration attempts and those that are allegedly stoking violence in Indian-occupied Kashmir. “When we want to we will be able to breach it (LoC), go across and strike when we need,” said the three-star general in Udhampur days after his Chief said that the army should prepare for a two-front war with China and Pakistan.
The continuing Indian military presence in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir has been detrimental for civilians on both sides of the border. The plight of the Kashmiris – being stuck in the middle of the battle between Pakistan and India is no new experience for the civilians present there. More than 44 thousand civilians have been killed in the political turmoil of the 1980s.
Before that on November 23rd, nine people were killed when Indian troops targeted a passenger bus in AJK’s Lawat area.
Indian military attacks have come in many forms. The most common have been artillery barrages which have been indiscriminately used against both Pakistani military targets and civilians. Some horrifying examples of targeted Indian attacks against civilians were the attack on a school bus carrying children on 15th December 2016, which led to the death of the driver and injury of at least 10 children.
The driver of the van, carrying 20 students of a private school, died on the spot as the vehicle came under attack in Nakyal sector of Kotli district. Before that on November 23rd, nine people were killed when Indian troops targeted a passenger bus in AJK’s Lawat area.
The plight of the Kashmiris – being stuck in the middle of the battle between Pakistan and India is no new experience for the civilians present there.
There have also been attempts by the Indian army to physically cross the LoC. Many of these attempts have been repulsed by the Pakistani army causing massive casualties on the Indian side. Another form of Indian infiltration has been use of drones such as quadcopters which have been shot down by Pakistani troops.
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Pakistan maintains that India is attempting to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities committed by government forces in India-held Kashmir. Pakistan and India have, most recently, locked horns over Kashmir since Indian forces stepped up a crackdown against protesters after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by government forces in July.
In this battle, continued aggression has caused mass casualties onto the Kashmiris, whether intentionally or as collateral damage. The biggest victim of this battle has been the Kashmiri people. Whether these escalations will continue or not remains to be seen.