Two Pakistani civilians martyred in Indian firing: ISPR

SIALKOT: At least two people including a minor girl were martyred and seven others wounded on Monday when Indian border troops resorted to unprovoked firing on Harpal and Chuprar sectors of Working Boundary in Sialkot district.

“Due to Indian unprovoked firing at working boundary last night, a civilian Muhammad Latif of village Janglora and a minor Haniya age one and a half embraced martyrdom while seven civilians were injured,” the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) reported.

The ISPR further stated that Indian forces resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling which was befittingly responded to by Pakistan Rangers Punjab in Harpal, Pukhlian and Charwah sectors on working boundary. Intermittent exchange of firing continued throughout night. Injured civilians were shifted to Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Sialkot.

In a statement, Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria said, “Indian troops targeted civilians in violation of ceasefire agreement.” He said that heating up of Working Boundary and Line of Control by India is endangering peace in the region. Tensions between the two arch rivals have been boiling since the Indian government accused Pakistan of supporting an assault on an army base in the held Kashmir that killed 19 soldiers.

The Indian military blamed the Pakistan-based “Jaish-e-Mohammad” group and also pointed fingers at Pakistan. Islamabad rejected the charges and suggested independent investigation. Occasional violations of a 2003 ceasefire between the nuclear-armed rivals are not uncommon. The last was reported on October 19 that killed a civilian during another episode of firing across the Line of Control (LoC).

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India, but both claim it in full. Kashmiris in the Indian-held part of the territory have been fighting for decades to break free from New Delhi. They seek either a sovereign state or a merger with Pakistan. The nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain seven decades ago, two of them over Kashmir.