9 civilians, 3 soldiers die in unprovoked Indian shelling

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7 Indian soldiers also killed in retaliatory fire; DGMO established hot-line contact with Indian counterpart

Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—The Direc-tor-General Military Operations contacted his Indian counterpart on the hotline and registered strong protest over the Indian targeting of civilians travelling in a bus.
The DG military opera-tions also raised the issue of Indian unprovoked firing on Line of Control.
At least nine civilians were killed and several including women and children were injured as a result of unprovoked Indian shelling at the Line of Control (LoC) on Wednesday.
The Indian troops fired a rocket at a passenger bus near Dhaundiyal. They also fired at an ambulance and targeted the settlements along the border, ISPR said.
A shell was fired at a house where a girl was died and three people were injured.
The ISPR added that Pakistani troops responded in a befitting manner to the Indian aggression and 7 Indian sol-diers were killed.
According to the ISPR, three Pakistani soldiers who died were Capt Taimoor Ali Khan, Havildar Mushtaq Hussain, and Lance Naik Ghulam Hus-sain.
“It may be mentioned here that in order to distract attention from the real issue of atrocities in India-held Kashmir by Indian troops, they are now targeting civilians population from across the LoC towards the Pakistan side,” the ISPR said.
With each passing day, India is upping the ante and resorting to aggression tactics to divert attention from Kashmir dispute. The other day Pakistani soldiers shot down an Indian drone near the LoC while Pakistan Navy also thwarted an Indian attempt to enter into Pakistani waters a few days back.
Altaf Hamid Rao adds:
According to Neelam valley police, a coaster bearing number MDAJK-3866 was going towards Muzaffarabad from Kel when it was attacked by mortar shells fired by In-dian troops near Lawat Kanari Bala, some 100 kilometres away from Muzaffarabad.
Those killed by the Indian firing were identified as Mukhtar Shah, Muhammad Younas, Ahmad and Arif Mustafai while body of a child is yet to be identified. Those injured in the incident were identified as Raja Gul-fam, driver of the coach, police personnel Bashir Ahmad, Shafi Bhat, Sul-tan, Fazl Hussain, Man-zoor Ahmad, Jawad Sul-tan, Imran and Sharafat Shah.
In a similar incident, a motorcyclist died after being hit by an Indian mortar shell in Karen area of Neelum valley.
The Indian troops also resorted to unprovoked firing in Bandala, Chahawalian in Samani sector in Bhimbher district besides Tattapani and Karaila Majhan sector in Kotli districts.
The injured have been shifted to nearest district and divisional headquar-ter hospitals in Mirpur and Muzaffarabad divisions.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister (PM) Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has condemned in the strongest words the unpro-voked firing by Indian secu-rity forces on a civil bus car-rying innocent civilians along Line of Control (LoC) near Neelum valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and soldiers of Pakistan Army on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister prayed for eternal peace of the de-parted souls and grant of courage to the loved ones of the martyrs to bear this ir-reparable loss with fortitude. He said that the three val-iant Jawans of armed forces who embraced martyrdom at LoC today are held in highest esteem.
Despite our exercise of maximum restraint in the wake of continuing naked Indian aggression along LoC resulting in the martyrdom of innocent civilians including children and women, India has failed to comprehend the gravity of the situation. No responsible state can permit targeting innocent ci-vilians in general and ambu-lances carrying the injured in particular.
In fact, India is trying to divert the attention of the in-ternational community from the grave human rights viola-tions and atrocities being committed by the Indian se-curity forces in the Indian Occupied Jammu & Kash-mir. Pakistan will never abandon their Kashmiri brethren and will continue to support them in their just and legitimate freedom struggle for their right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC Resolutions.
The Indian Deputy High Commissioner J.P. Singh was summoned to Foreign Office Wednesday on the ceasefire violations by the Indian forces.
According to Foreign Of-fice Spokesperson, Pakistan lodged a strong protest. The Indian DHC was summoned by Director Gen-eral (SA & SAARC), Dr. Mohammad Faisal. The Director General urged the Indian side to re-spect the 2003 Ceasefire Un-derstanding; investigate the continued incidents of cease-fire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit, stop targeting the villages and civilians and maintain peace on the LoC.