New Delhi claim of destroying ‘terror launch pads’ uncovered; Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing stresses word community to pay attention to Kashmir dispute
Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, in a tweet on Tuesday, said that a team of foreign diplomats posted in Pakistan was taken to the Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir to witness firsthand whether the Indian army had “smashed four terror launch pads” there early Sunday.
He said the diplomats were taken to the Nauseri, Shahkot and Jura sectors near the Line of Control, as well as the Nausada village, which has suffered severe damage in attacks by Indian troops. The trip was arranged so they can verify for themselves the claims made by Indian army chief Gen Bipin Rawat.
Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor briefed the diplomats and media persons about the situation in the area. The visitors were also shown remains of the artillery shells that were fired by the Indian troops from across the LoC.
Director General of ISPR said that last year, there were 3,038 Indian ceasefire violations and 58 civilians were martyred while 319 were injured. In 2019, so far there have been 2,608 ceasefire violations due to which 44 civilians have been martyred and 230 injured.
“Today diplomats and journalists visited the Line of Control and ascertained the ground reality with regards to claims by Indian army chief about presence of alleged terror camps in the area,” DG ISPR said.
“The whole of Pakistan has challenged the Indian government to take diplomats and journalists to their side of the Line of Control in Indian-occupied Kashmir in a similar manner,” he added.
Taking a chide at recent statements made by the Indian officials on occupied Kashmir, Major General Ghafoor remarked how India could see the reverence for Pakistan that people of Kashmir had in their hearts. “I request the international community to travel to occupied Kashmir and tell the world the reality about the situation there. India can take the diplomats and journalists of its choosing from Pakistan,” he said.
“Pakistan is prepared to take these diplomats and journalists wherever India wants to take them. Journalists and diplomats have seen the ground reality with their own eyes here today,” he maintained.
The ISPR chief also lamented how the eight million people in occupied Kashmir had been under siege for 79 days now, cut-off from the outside world, and little or no news trickling out of the valley.
He said the difference between the Pakistan Army and Indian army was that the former follows military norms and only targets Indian posts. The Director General added that the foreign diplomats had visited Jura bazaar and met the local population and shop owners and witnessed firsthand the damage inflicted on the shops and houses that were claimed to be launchpads by India. “It’s all innocent people being targeted by India,” he said.
No official from the Indian High Commission joined the team visiting the LoC today, Dr Faisal said. “The Indian side has not joined us in the visit to the LoC nor have they provided coordinates of the alleged ‘launchpads’,” the FO spokesperson tweeted. He added that India had also failed to share the coordinates of launchpads which the Indian army claimed to have destroyed. “‘Claims’ by Indian Army Chief remain just that: ‘claims’,” he added.
Maj Gen Ghafoor, who had last night challenged Indian officials “to take any foreign diplomat/media to ‘prove’ [its allegations] on ground,” also commented on the absence of Indian officials: “What good [is the] Indian High Commission which can’t stand with its army chief?”“Indian High Commission staff didn’t have the moral courage to accompany fellow diplomats in Pakistan to LoC,” he tweeted.
The challenge was issued by Gen Ghafoor in response to Indian army chief Gen Rawat’s claim that Indian forces had “smashed four terror launch pads” in Neelum valley. Rawat made the claims after six civilians and a soldier of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom
in indiscriminate and “ruthless” shelling by Indian troops from across the LoC on Sunday.
Meanwhile, talking to media, Mr Sakib Foric, Ambassodar of Bosnia, said, “I have special feeling when I see that civilians were targeted here and unfortunately with some casualties and I could see that the people are patriot and have special feelings and they have hosted us and are open to tell what has happened really.”
Deddy Feisal, Deputy High Commissioner of Malaysia, said, “There is no evidence of any terrorist camp in this area. They are all ordinary people and ordinary civilians trying to make their living.”
Mr Yao Jing, Ambassador of China, said “Along with my colleagues I witnessed and saw the damages. Sufferings, injuries by local people here. Am thinking is that people are suffering and that is why Kashmir dispute is more and more, I should say to the international community, pay attention to, and also to find peaceful solution by India and Pakistan according to UN Security Council resolutions.”
Mr Chirsto Janse Van, Acting High Commissioner of South Africa, said that Indian forces are openly against all principles of cavity and humanity.