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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Indian troops open fire on vehicle carrying UN military observers

ISLAMABAD: Two officials of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) narrowly escaped a firing incident as Indian troops reportedly targeted their vehicle while they were visiting the areas along the Line of Control (LoC).
A statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) claimed that the Indian troops committed unprovoked ceasefire violation. The Indian troops deployed on LoC, ‘targeted UNMOGIP vehicle along LOC in Khanjar sector’, it added. According to the details shared by the military’s media wing, the vehicle was carrying UNMOGIP officers Major Emmanual of Philippine and Major Mirko of Croatia when it came under fire. ISPR further said that the officials, who were on a visit to the LoC, were targeted despite UNMOGIP blue flag hoisted on the vehicle as per procedure.
Both officers remained safe and were rushed back to a safe location.

Last week, Pakistan Army had lodged a protest before military observers from United Nations against ‘unprovoked’ Indian aggression and firing on civilians from across the LoC.
United Nations Military Observers at UNMOGIP were invited to GHQ to register a protest over ‘unprovoked ceasefire violations and targeting of civilian population by Indian Army’. The observers were informed that the Indian army violated ceasefire agreement on May 10, 13 and 16, said an earlier statement issued by the ISPR.
“Indian Army used small arms, automatic and heavy calibre weapons, heavy mortars (122 mm) and field artillery in Sabzkot, Baroh, Tandar, Khuiratta, Kot Koterra and Karela Sectors to target Pakistani villages.”
Director Defence Intelligence Agency Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart said India was updating its military to better position itself to defend New Delhi’s interests in the Indian Ocean region and strengthen its diplomatic and economic outreach across Asia.
“India has sought and continues to move to isolate Pakistan diplomatically and is considering punitive options to raise the cost to Islamabad for its alleged support to cross-border terrorism,” Lt Stewart said during the US Senate Armed Services Committee on worldwide threats.
The Indian army claimed on Tuesday that it had destroyed several Pakistani posts across the LoC. However, the Pakistan Army rubbished Indian claims.
Lt Stewart said that bilateral ties between Islamabad and New Delhi worsened after several terrorist attacks took place in India. “Continued threat of high-level terror attacks in India, violence in Held Kashmir and bilateral diplomatic recriminations will further strain India-Pakistan ties in 2017,” he predicted.

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