See More on Facebook

Diplomacy

‘Pakistan to respond to any misadventure, aggression by Indian forces’

The statement was made by Pakistan’s National Security Council.


Written by

Updated: August 5, 2019

The civil and military leadership, during a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting called on Sunday, reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to respond to any “misadventure or aggression” by Indian forces, a press release by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The meeting was summoned by Prime Minister Imran Khan in the wake of the Indian army’s use of cluster ammunition to target the civilian population in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) across the Line of Control (LoC) in violation of the Geneva Convention and international law.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, and other top civil and military leaders attended the meeting.

The participants condemned Indian army’s “destabilising efforts” in AJK and occupied Kashmir at a time when “Pakistan and the international community were focused on resolving the Afghan conflict”. They also noted that aggression by the Indian forces will “increase the level of violence and turn [the region] into a flash point and a destabilising factor”.

“The more India is exposed internally and internationally in its machinations, the more there are chances that it may resort to desperate and risky options including false flag operations,” the statement read.

In a major escalation in the ceasefire violations, India has begun using cluster munitions on civilian population living close to the LoC. The use of cluster bombs on the Neelum Valley over the past few days has caused multiple fatalities and injuries to several others, including minor children.

Over the past few years, besides a spike in terms of intensity of ceasefire breaches, India has also resorted to calibre escalation and air space violations along LoC. The use of cluster bomb is therefore a step further towards escalation in the situation along LoC.

Read: Indian army used cluster ammunition along LoC in violation of international laws: ISPR

In a series of tweets on Sunday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the political leadership of Pakistan needs to be on the same page and expose the “state terrorism by India in Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK)” and the situation at the LoC.

She said that this was not the time for politics, rather, it was the time to stand up for the nation’s welfare and for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination, adding that the country’s leadership should send a message of unity and solidarity.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir Media Service today reported that Indian army spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kali, based in Srinagar, claimed that seven more individuals had been killed in IoK’s Kupwara district.

In a statement shared by the PML-N on Twitter on Sunday, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif condemned the deaths of the Kashmiris.

He called on United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to take immediate notice of the situation and to play his role in stopping the “murder of innocent civilians in Kashmir”. Additionally, he called on the UN Security Council and the rest of the world to take notice of Indian brutality in occupied Kashmir.

According to Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), the number of casualties increased to four on Saturday as another civilian fell victim to the shelling, whereas one of those wounded on Tuesday succumbed to injuries at a hospital. The SDMA has put the number of wounded in shelling incidents at 40.

Outraged over the firing of cluster munitions on civilian populated areas of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan on Saturday called for world attention to the disregard of the widely accepted international ban on the weapons by India and massive human rights abuses being committed by Indian forces inside occupied Kashmir.

Related: Political leadership condemns use of cluster bomb along LoC

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed that on the night of July 30 and 31, Indian army targeted civilian population in the Neelum Valley through artillery using cluster ammunition, which led to martyrdom of two civilians, including a four-year old boy, and injuries to 11 others. ISPR, the media wing of the army, also released pictures of scattered munitions as well as those of the victims.

“This is [a] violation of Geneva Convention and international humanitarian law,” the military’s media wing said, adding that the use of cluster ammunition is prohibited under the Convention on Cluster Ammunition because of its severe impact on non-combatants.

The NSC meeting came in the backdrop of Indian accusations of a cross-LoC incursion and resultant casualties. The Indian army had claimed it had “successfully foiled” a ‘border action team’ (BAT) operation by the Pakistan Army in the Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir — a claim rejected by both ISPR and the Foreign Office (FO).

Read: Army rejects India’s accusation of cross-LoC incursion as mere propaganda

“Indian allegations of cross LOC action by Pakistan and possession of bodies are mere propaganda. Such blatant lies / staged dramas are Indian disinformation manoeuvre to divert world attention from increased atrocities by Indian occupation forces inside the occupied Kashmir,” said ISPR.

Ban on cluster ammunition

Use of cluster munitions has been banned by 102 countries, most of which are signatories to the Convention on Cluster Ammunition, because of concerns that the weapon causes disproportionate civilian casualties. Some of the unexploded bomblets released from a cluster bomb may remain unexploded and may kill or maim civilians even afterwards.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in a press statement released today, expressed deep concern over the “deteriorating situation in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including reports of deployment of additional paramilitary forces and use of banned cluster munition by the Indian forces to target civilians”.

The OIC called upon the international community to “rise up to its responsibility for the peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute”.

The size of cluster munitions varies from four to five inches and because of their shape — resembling a soft drink can or an orange — villagers refer to them as “toy bombs”.

Military sources say though cluster bombs are designed as anti-personnel and anti-armour weapons, innocent civilians mostly end up being their primary victims, 40 per cent of whom are children who are drawn to the small, toy-like metal objects.

Cluster bombs are believed to be deadlier than landmines, which is why the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions — adopted in May 2008 in Dublin, Ireland, and signed in December 2008 in Oslo, Norway — prohibits their use, production, stockpiling and transfer and requires states to ensure that they claim no further victims.

Increased Indian deployment in occupied Kashmir

India has deployed at least 10,000 troops in IoK in recent days, with media reports of a further 25,000 ordered to the region. There are some 500,000 Indian security forces already based in the region.

The government has also introduced other security measures — including a call to stock up food and fuel — over terror threat claims.

Read: Anxious tourists flee occupied Kashmir after India’s ‘terror’ warning

Tourists and students have been scrambling to leave IoK since the Jammu and Kashmir state government said they should leave “immediately” amid new intelligence about “terror threats” to a major Hindu pilgrimage in the region.

Britain and Germany have also issued warnings against travel to the region.

But while the Indian military and the state government have highlighted the security risk, Kashmiri and opposition politicians in New Delhi have raised concerns that the extra troops were being deployed for other reasons.

They include fears that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government could carry out a threat to scrap Kashmir’s special status under the Indian constitution.

Political leaders in the territory have warned that cancelling constitutionally guaranteed rights — which mean only state domiciles can buy land in the region — could spark unrest in the Muslim-majority state.

On Saturday, the FO had expressed “serious concern over the progressively deteriorating situation” in IoK.

“There is a deepening anxiety and fear among the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir because of reports of deployment of additional 38,000 Indian paramilitary forces in recent weeks,” read the statement.

Pak-India tension

Tensions ran high between India and Pakistan in the wake of a suicide attack on an Indian military convoy in Pulwama district of Indian-occupied Kashmir on February 14, which killed more than 40 paramilitary troops.

In what was the most serious military crisis in South Asia since 2008, Indian and Pakistani warplanes engaged in a dogfight on Feb 27, a day after a raid by Indian jet fighters on what New Delhi said was a militant camp in Pakistan. Islamabad denied any militant camp exists in the area and said the Indian bombs exploded on an empty hillside.

Pakistan downed an Indian plane for violating its airspace and captured its pilot after he ejected in AJK.

The tensions de-escalated after Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to release the Indian pilot as a peace gesture, and following concerted diplomatic efforts by countries including the United States, China and the UAE.

Nevertheless, ceasefire violations along the de-facto border have been occurring regularly.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy

Hong Kong adds another dimension to US-China trade war

Hong Kong’s has become another consideration for Xi and Trump in their ongoing trade dispute. The United States and China have been embroiled in a trade war for almost two years with reciprocal tariffs and fiery rhetoric coming from both sides. Both economies have suffered and the world’s two largest economies both face the looming threat of recession. China, in addition to a tenuous economic situation is also facing more woes in Hong Kong, a Chinese territory that is self-governed. Protesters have taken to the streets in the island-territory after a proposed extradition law was publicly opposed. The protests have evolved beyond the initial grievances to long-held anxieties over the economy, living space and, ultimately, rule by Beijing. As the pro-democracy protests gather steam and threaten to become more widespread and violent, the United States has involved itself and ad


By Cod Satrusayang
August 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Moon urges Japan to choose ‘path of dialogue and cooperation’

Japan and South Korea have been locked in an increasingly ugly trade spat. President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that Seoul will cooperate with Tokyo if it retracts its recent trade restrictions, stressing the importance of international cooperation and free trade. “Within the realm of the international division of labor, if any country weaponizes a sector where it has a comparative advantage, the peaceful free trade order will inevitably suffer damages,” Moon said in his Liberation Day speech. “Better late than never. If Japan chooses the path of dialogue and cooperation, we will gladly join hands. We will strive with Japan to create an East


By The Korea Herald
August 16, 2019

Diplomacy

China will quell Hong Kong protests that show signs of terrorism: Chinese ambassador to UK

China has previously said that the protests have bordered on terrorism. China will use its power to quell Hong Kong protests if the situation deteriorates further after some protesters have shown signs of terrorism, China’s ambassador to London said on Thursday (Aug 15). “Should the situation in Hong Kong deteriorate further… the central government will not sit on its hands and watch,” Ambassador Liu Xiaoming told reporters at a news conference in London. “We have enough solutions and enough power within the limits of (the) Basic Law to quell any unrest swiftly,” Mr Liu said. “Their moves are severe and violent offences, and already shows signs of terrorism.” He added: “The central gove


By The Straits Times
August 16, 2019

Diplomacy

UNSC to hold ‘closed door’ meeting on India’s Kashmir move: Reports

The meeting will be held at Pakistan’s request. The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will reportedly hold a “closed door” meeting to discuss India’s move to revoke Article 37, that had granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. UNSC President Joanna Wronecka told reporters on Wednesday said that they would discuss “the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16”, according to media reports. The development comes after Pakistan wrote a formal letter to the UNSC president calling for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss India’s move to revoke the special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The letter was sent through Permanent Representative Maleha Lodhi to convene the meeting. “I have requested in the letter that a special meeting of the Security Council should be called to discuss those actions of India which we consider as illegal and aga


By The Statesman
August 16, 2019

Diplomacy

China, the United States and the story of agriculture

China says the US responsible for its farmers’ woes. Editor’s Note: Last week the Commerce Ministry said Chinese enterprises have halted the purchase of US agricultural products following Washington’s threat to impose 10 percent tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods. Two experts share their views on the issue with China Daily’s Yao Yuxin. Excerpts follow: Declining exports to hit US farmers The Chinese enterprises’ decision to suspend the purchase of US agricultural products, mainly soybean, dairy products, sorghum and pork, will deal a fresh blow to farmers and traders in the United States. The escalating trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies has slashed US exports of farm produce to China, which used to be the largest importer of US soybean. China imported $9.1 billion worth of US farm produce last year, down fr


By China Daily
August 16, 2019

Diplomacy

India gauges international response to its Kashmir decision

Delhi’s unilateral move has been met with varying response from the international community. India’s decided earlier this month to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir state. The state will be bifurcated it into two union territories – Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh – which will be accountable directly to the federal government. Whether India likes it or not, its Kashmir decision has international ramifications and Modi’s government will be gauging them carefully. That is relatively good news for India’s Narendra Modi-led government which has staked much of its political capital on coming through on this long-promised move after winning a landslide second consecutive election in May. United States President Donald Trump said in a bland statement: “We are closely following the events in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We take note of India’s a


By Ishan Joshi
August 15, 2019