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

North Korea beefs up self-defense capabilities in military reorganization

The North have been making many changes ahead of talks. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the top military decision-making body to accelerate the development of self-defense capabilities ahead of key events that will decide its national strategy, its state media reported Sunday. Discussions on ways to bolster its military capabilities through organizational restructuring and personnel reshuffle were highlighted during the third expanded meeting of the seventh central military commission of the ruling Workers’ Party. Details on what measures were discussed were not disclosed. “At the meeting, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un


By The Korea Herald
December 23, 2019

Diplomacy

China-US trade deal bullish news for both countries, rest of world

From Chinese state media. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the China-US deal on the text of a phase-one economic and trade agreement serves as bullish news for both countries and the rest of the world. Speaking at a joint press conference with Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, Wang said China has, as always, been opposed to settling economic and trade disputes by imposing tariffs as there is no winner in a trade war. China has also rejected the use of unilateral pressure as it violates the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Wang. He pointed out that following rounds of back-and-forth negotiations, China and the United States have agreed on the wording of a phase-one economic and trade agreement, and the US side has promised to phase out additional tariffs on Chinese products. The agreement demonstrates the spirit


By China Daily
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Biegun arrives in Seoul amid deadlock in NK-US nuclear talks

Pyongyang says it conducted “another crucial test” at Sohae site. US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun arrived in Seoul on Sunday for a “close coordination” with allies amid the deadlock in the denuclearization talks with Pyongyang just weeks before the communist regime’s year-end deadline. A day before, North Korea issued statements to announce that it had carried out “another crucial test” at a satellite launching site, warning the United States to “hold off” any action to “rattle” the regime. During his three-day trip here, the US special envoy is expected to meet with officials here to discuss on the


By The Korea Herald
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

Myanmar to be sincere in implementing Rohingya repatriation deal

This according to the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister. Bangladesh expects that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing trial at the International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said today. “My expectation is that Myanmar would be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal that signed with Bangladesh on repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh,” he told journalists at his ministry office in Dhaka. “Myanmar has invited me before a case lodged with the International Court of Justice. In response, I told that I would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar,” the foreign minister said. “I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” Momen said. Globally it has been established that there was a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas, that was des


By Daily Star
December 16, 2019

Diplomacy

10 US senators criticise Suu Kyi for representing military’s interest

Suu Kyi is in the Hague defending Myanmar from genocide accusations. Ten US Senators have severely criticized Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for representing the military’s interest before the International Court of Justice and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingyas and other ethnic minorities. “Representing the Burmese military’s interest before The Hague and defending the mass atrocities committed against the Rohingya and other ethnic minorities would undermine what remaining credibility you have before the international community, including in the US Congress,” said a letter to Suu Kyi issued on December 9. The Senators said a defense of the Burmese military at this high-profile international forum is also an affront to the inclusive, multi-cultural and democratic Burma that she claims to champion. They said when Buddhist nationalism is on the rise in


By Daily Star
December 13, 2019

Diplomacy

India under Modi is moving systematically with a supremacist agenda, says PM Imran

Imran Khan made the comments after India passed a controversial citizenship requirement. Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been moving systematically with a Hindu supremacist agenda. The prime minister was referencing the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by India’s upper house amid protests on Wednesday. The bill will let the Indian government grant citizenship to millions of illegal immigrants who entered India from three neighbouring countries before 2015 — but not if they are Muslim. Modi’s government — re-elected in May and under pressure over a slowing economy — says Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are excluded from the legislation because they do not face discrimination in those countries. Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister I


By Dawn
December 13, 2019