See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Politics

Border clash with India leaves 7 dead in Pakistan

Kashmir is becoming an untenable boiling point.


Written by

Updated: October 21, 2019

At least six civilians and a Pakistani soldier were killed as Indian troops resorted to “indiscriminate and ruthless” shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), officials said on Sunday.

Officials said that nine other civilians were injured, adding that this was the highest death toll in 2019 in a single day of Indian shelling from across the dividing line.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) notified through a tweet that one soldier had been martyred in the exchange of fire while two others were injured.

ISPR added that in response to unprovoked ceasefire violations by India in Jura, Shahkot and Nauseri sectors, nine Indian soldiers were killed while several others were injured and two Indian bunkers were destroyed.

A subsequent tweet by the Director General of ISPR said: “Indian Army shall always get befitting response to CFVs. Pakistan Army shall protect innocent civilians along LOC [and] inflict unbearable cost to Indian Army. Indian lies to justify their false claims [and] preparations for a false flag operation will continue to be exposed with truth.”

“Indian Army struggling to pick dead bodies and evacuate injured soldiers. Indian Army raising white flag. This they should think before initiating unprovoked CFVs and respect military norms by avoiding to target innocent civilians,” DG ISPR added.

Earlier, AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said Indian forces in occupied Kashmir had “gone berserk”.

In a post shared on Twitter, he added: “This is the height of savagery. The world must not stay silent over it.”

The worst-hit areas were the Nauseri sector of district Muzaffarabad and its adjoining Jura sector of Neelum Valley.

“The shelling began before midnight and it was the heaviest [so far],” said Muzaffarabad Deputy Commissioner Badar Munir.

“They [Indian troops] used field artillery and mortars and targeted civilian populations,” he said.

Residents who posted videos on social media said the Indians had fired tracer munitions as well.

Tracer ammunition are cannon calibre projectiles that are built with a small pyrotechnic charge in their base. Ignited by the burning powder, the pyrotechnic composition burns very brightly, making the projectile trajectory visible to the naked eye during daylight and very bright during night time firing.

Damaged house in Jura village. — Photo provided by Tariq Naqash

Munir said one of the shells pierced through a house in Nosadda village, leaving two family members dead and as many injured. The deceased were identified as Haji Azam and his son Rafaqat and the injured were Rafaqat’s mother Roshan Jan, 55, and daughter Kainat, 4.

In the same village, Haji Sarfraz, son of Ghulam Rabbani was killed and Nargis, 45, wife of Irshad was injured, the deputy commissioner said.

Elsewhere in Nauseri sector, Liaquat Khan, 35, from Swabi, and Faisal, 30, from Taxila were killed when a shell fell near their tent on a link road, he said. The duo was working as labourers at Panjkot road.

The DC said Shabbir, 38, son of Yaqoob and his mother Begum Jan, 60, were injured in Kanoor village of Nauseri sector.

According to Munir, material losses in the area were still being ascertained.

In Neelum Valley, Jura sector in the lower belt was the worst-hit area, said Akhtar Ayub, a disaster management official based in district headquarters Athmuqam.

“It seemed that they [Indian troops] wanted to destroy everything,” said Raza Awan, a resident of Jura.

Faiz Talab, a police official in Athmuqam, told Dawn that a resident of Loralai, identified as Zafar Khan, 45, was killed in Jura village and a woman and three young girls were injured in Islampura village.

He identified them as Robina Bibi, wife of Abdul Ghafoor, Rashima Bibi, daughter of Abdul Ghafoor, Khizra Bibi, daughter of Abdul Qayyum and Zarqa Manzoor, daughter of Manzoor.

The injured were admitted in a military-run health facility in the area, he said.

He added that 43 shops, 53 houses, six vehicles and three motorcycles had been damaged by Indian shelling.

The Indian provocation comes as tensions remain high between India and Pakistan over the former’s move to revoke occupied Kashmir’s special autonomy on August 5. On October 15, at least three civilians had died and eight others injured in AJK after Indian troops resorted to similar indiscriminate shelling from across the LoC, officials had said.

Indian charge d’ affaires summoned

Indian Charge d’ Affaires Gaurav Ahluwalia was summoned to the Foreign Office by Director General (SA & SAARC) Dr Mohammad Faisal, who condemned “the unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the LoC in Jura, Shahkot and Nausehri Sectors on October 18 and 20”.

According to a statement released by the Foreign Office, “due to the indiscriminate and unprovoked firing” by Indian troops, which included the use of heavy artillery, five innocent civilians of Village Nausadda and two non-resident civilian labourers were killed while six others sustained serious injuries.

The statement noted that civilian populated areas along the LoC and Working Boundary have been constantly targeted by Indian forces “with artillery fire, heavy calibre mortars, and automatic weapons”.

“This escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from 2017, when the Indian forces committed more than 1,970 ceasefire violations,” said the Foreign Office statement.

“The deliberate targeting of civilian populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws,” it added.

The FO also categorically rejected Indian media reports about “launchpads” which India claims it targets along the LoC.

In this regard, Pakistan has called upon the P5 countries “to ask India to provide information about the alleged launchpads and stated its willingness to arrange a visit of the P5 diplomats to those locations to expose Indian falsehood”.

The FO said the “heinous” targeting of civilians is “a typical attempt by India to divert international attention from the humanitarian nightmare in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir”.

According to the statement, Dr Faisal urged the Indian side to respect the 2003 ceasefire arrangement, investigate these and other incidents of ceasefire violations, instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire in letter and spirit, and maintain peace on the LoC and the Working Boundary.

He also stressed that the UNMOGIP must be permitted to play its mandated role as per the UN Security Council Resolutions.



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, Politics

Local tourism hit hard by plunge in S. Korean visitors

South Korea and Japan are embroiled in a trade standoff which has extended to other realms of diplomacy. The decline in South Korean visitors to Japan continues unabated, spurred by the deterioration in bilateral relations. The number of South Koreans who visited in October fell 65 percent from a year earlier to a near-record low, and the number of foreign visitors to Japan overall also declined. This has dealt a significant blow to the aviation and tourism industries of both Japan and South Korea, and there are calls for Japan to increase the number of visitors from a wide range of regions to reduce its dependence on neighboring countries, which is greatly affected by political risks. Zero regular flights The international terminal at Oita Airport in Kunisaki, Oita Prefecture, was crowded with South Korean passengers until this summer. On Tuesday, however,


By The Japan News
November 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Dr M: Cabinet reshuffle, possibly before Apec

Malaysia’s ruling party suffered heavily in a recent bi-election. A Cabinet reshuffle must take place, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The Prime Minister said that there will be some ministers who will be dropped but added that it will not be today or tomorrow. “Very likely before Malaysia hosts the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit next year,” said Dr Mahathir. Admitting that reshuffling would not be a solution to recover the waning popularity of Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition, as reflected in the recent Tanjung Piai by-election defeat, Dr Mahathir said it has to be done anyway. Pakatan received its worst by-election defeat in Tanjung Piai when its Bersatu candidate lost by more than 15,000 votes to MCA of Barisan Nasional on Nov 16. He said that the reshuffle should not be “radical” so as to affect the preparations of Malaysia to host Ap


By The Star
November 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Court turns thumbs down on Thanathorn

The opposition leader loses his MP status. The Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday (November 20) that Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of the Future Forward Party, lost his status as a member of Parliament on May 23, having registered to run in the March election while still holding shares in V Luck Media, in violation of the law. The court cited Articles 98 and 42 of the 2017 Constitution and the Organic Act on Election to the House of Representatives in characterising Thanathorn as prohibited from being elected as an MP. The Election Commission brought the matter to court, accusing him of still holding 675,000 shares in his family-owned media company when he registered his candidacy in the general election. Thanathorn failed to prove that he had transferred all shares to his mother, Somporn Juangroongruangkit, before registering.


By The Nation (Thailand)
November 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

China opposes passage of HK bill by US Senate

The bill criticizes the response to protesters in Hong Kong. China firmly opposes the passage of a Hong Kong-related bill by the United States Senate, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Wednesday, urging the US side to stop pushing the bill to become law and stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs. Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks in an online statement after the US Senate passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Tuesday. Noting the act ignores facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, Geng said it is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China condemns and firmly opposes it, he said, adding that the country will take strong countermeasures to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests if the


By China Daily
November 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

Trade disputes between Korea and Japan show no sign of abating

President Moon Jae-in blames Japan’s export controls for GSOMIA withdrawal. Escalating trade tension between South Korea and Japan shows no sign of abating as two rounds of bilateral talks to resolve disputes triggered by Japan’s export curbs could not reach common ground. On Tuesday, the two neighboring nations held the second round of talks at the World Trade Organization in Geneva after failing to reach a consensus at the first consultations on Oct. 11. “During two rounds of six-hour intensive consultations, the two nations became more aware of each other’s measures and positions in the process. But we don’t think the two sides have changed their positions,” Chung Hae-kwan, director general in charge of legal affairs at the Trade Ministry, told reporters at a press briefing in Geneva following a meeting with his Japanese counterparts on Tuesday. “We pointed out that Japan’s exp


By The Korea Herald
November 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Politics

PM Imran welcomes release of 2 hostages by Taliban in Afghanistan

Pakistan has stakes in any high level talks between the Taliban and the United States. The Taliban insurgents released two Western hostages — Kevin King from the United States and Timothy Weeks from Australia — on Tuesday in a prisoner exchange deal with the Afghan government, two Afghan officials said. “This morning at around 10am two American University professors were released in Nawbahar district of Zabul province. They were flown out of Zabul by American helicopters,” a local police source said. “The two professors are safely freed and are being taken care of now,” one of the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. The American and Australian were exchanged with three Taliban leaders, including key militant figure Anas Haqqani, added Reuters. Three Taliban sources in the province also confirmed the release. There was, h


By Dawn
November 20, 2019