Pak violates ceasefire in Poonch, Omar questions timing

RSTV Bureau

Pakistan troops on Friday violated the ceasefire by targeting Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir with heavy firing and mortar shelling, drawing retaliation by Indian forces.

In Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah questioned the timing of the ceasefire violation a day ahead of Defence Minister Arun Jaitley’s first visit to the state since assuming office.

“Is it just a coincidence that the Defence Minister is visiting J&K, for his 1st visit, to review the security situation tomorrow?” Omar twitted.

While speaking to the reporter on the issue of firing Foreign Secretary Sujata Singh said that peace on Loc pre-condition peace and tranquillity on the border is of the highest importance in establishing the pre-condition for peaceful and normal relationship.

Pakistan troops fired 81-mm mortar shells and directed automatic and small-arms fire at Indian posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Mendhar-BhimberGali-Keri forward areas of Poonch district at around 07:30 hours today, said a senior Army officer.

No casualty or damage has been reported on this side of the LoC due to the firing, he said.

Indian troops guarding the border effectively replied with similar calibre weapons, he said, adding that the “exchanges occurred in three forward areas”.

Omar said that the ceasefire violations in the Rajouri and Poonch areas were significant as some of shells had landed in civilian areas.

“Significant ceasefire violation in Rajouri and Poonch with reports of some shells having landed in civilian areas, some livestock loss,” he further tweeted.

The firing comes a day after an IED blast in the Tarkundi forward area along the LoC in Poonch in which one jawan was killed and three others injured.

While In Islamabad, a Pakistani military official claimed that two civilians were injured in mortar shells fired from across the LoC.

“Indian army resorted to unprovoked firing injuring two civilians,” the official claimed.

“Pakistan troops responded to Indian firing effectively,” he added.

Between end of April and mid-May, 19 incidents of ceasefire violation were reported along the LoC here.

In 2013, 12 jawans were killed and 41 injured in 149 ceasefire violations and firing incidents by Pakistan troops on forward posts, civilian areas and patrolling parties along the Indo-Pak border.