Pakistan violates ceasefire a day after demanding restraint
New Delhi, Oct. 22 (IANS): Pakistan violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday even as its Army claimed to have taken a group of diplomats and journalists on a guided tour of a mountainous region to show damages allegedly caused to civilians in Indian artillery fire two days ago.
The exact number of diplomats taken on Tuesday’s guided tour, which Pakistan claimed to be in the Neelam Valley of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) opposite the Tangdhar sector of India, was not known.
On Tuesday, Pakistan violated ceasefire in Balakote, in the Poonchh district of Jammu and Kashmir at 11.30 a.m.
A day earlier, the Indian Army had acceded to Pakistan Army’s demand, put through established channels of communication, that no ceasefire violations should be undertaken as a group of diplomats and journalists were to be taken on a tour along the LoC.
“Shelling went on from Pakistan side in Balakote till 2.30 p.m. There have been civilian injuries too in the shelling,” said sources.
On the intervening night of October 19 and 20, Pakistan violated ceasefire in Tangdhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir resulting in the death of two soldiers and a civilian.
As per Army sources, kids have been restrained from attending schools along the LoC with incessant ceasefire violation from Pakistan.
The number of ceasefire violations by Pakistan has been one of the highest in the past several years. Till October 10 this year, ceasefire violations had crossed the 2,300 mark as compared to 1,629 in the entire calendar year of 2018.
On Monday, even as Pakistan Army formally requested India of restraint along the LoC, its Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed had warned of a nuclear war with India. Pakistan-based English newspaper Dawn quoted Rasheed as saying: “God forbid, a nuclear war could break out if India continues its aggressive designs.”
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, when asked about Rasheed’s comment, at a Naval Commander’s Conference in New Delhi on Tuesday said Indian forces are capable of giving a befitting reply to whosoever casts an evil eye on the country.
“India has never been offensive and it has been a character of our country. India has never acquired an inch of land forcibly. However, whosoever casts an evil eye on India will be given a befitting reply by its armed forces,” said Singh.
Meanwhile, in an embarrassment to Pakistan Army and its Prime Minister Imran Khan, protests and sloganeering were reported from the PoK on Tuesday even as diplomats were reportedly taken on a tour. Local citizens of PoK took to the streets demanding freedom from Pakistan rule.