India Pak troops trade fire in Kathua
Jammu, Feb 15: Pakistan Rangers on Saturday “violated the ceasefire’ by resorting to “unprovoked” firing on forward posts and villages along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district early on Saturday, officials said.
The Border Security Force retaliated effectively, and the exchange of fire, which started around 4 am at Chakra village in Hiranagar sector, lasted for over two-and-a-half hours, according to the officials.
There was no report of any casualty on the Indian side, the officials said, adding that the Pakistan Rangers also fired dozens of mortars.
Meanwhile, senior civil and police officers on Saturday visited Shahpur sector along the LoC in Poonch district and took stock of the situation in the aftermath of Pakistani shelling that left a villager dead, officials said.
Sixty-year-old Badar Din was killed and four others were injured when Pakistan army targeted civilians while they were heading towards a mosque to offer Friday prayers in Shahpur hamlet.
District Development Commissioner, Poonch, Rahul Yadav and Senior Superintendent of Police Poonch Ramesh Angral visited the shelling-hit village and handed over a cheque of Rs 1 lakh as ex-gratia relief and Rs 10,000 out of the Red Cross fund to the next of kin of the deceased, the officials said.
The officers also inspected the mosque, which was hit by splinters during the shelling by Pakistan, they said.
They took stock of the situation and assured all possible help to the villagers, the officials said.
Pak summons Indian diplomat over ‘ceasefire violations’ along LoC
Islamabad, Feb 15: Pakistan on Saturday summoned a senior diplomat from the High Commission of India and lodged a strong protest over the alleged ceasefire violations along the LoC.
The Foreign Office said that the Indian security forces fired in Nezapir and Rakhchikri sectors of the Line of Control (LoC) on February 14.
The “indiscriminate and unprovoked firing” caused serious injuries to a 13-year-old girl in Fatehpur village, it said.
The FO alleged that the Indian forces along the LoC and Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons which still continues.
“The unprecedented escalation in ceasefire violations by India is continuing from the year 2017 when the Indian forces committed 1970 ceasefire violations. This year India has committed 287 ceasefire violations to date,” it alleged, adding that they are a threat to the regional peace and security, and may lead to a strategic miscalculation.
Pakistan urged the Indian side to instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit; and maintain peace on the LoC and the ‘working boundary’.
The FO said India should permit the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.
India maintains that the UNMOGIP, established in January 1949, has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the LoC.