PM Nawaz condemns AJK shelling

'Pakistan will not tolerate targeting of innocent civilians'

A day after Indian troops killed 10 civilians in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan will not tolerate India’s “deliberate targeting” of civilians and ambulances.

“We cannot tolerate deliberate targeting of innocent civilians particularly children and women, ambulances and civilian transport,” the Prime Minister said during a high-level meeting on Thursday.

“Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint despite the continuing ceasefire violations from Indian security forces along the Line of Control (LoC).”

On Wednesday, Indian troops resumed heavy shelling after a day-long lull and targeted a passenger bus in AJK’s Lawat area, killing nine people and injuring 11 others. Indian troops also fired at an ambulance which went into the area for evacuation, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

A total of 10 civilians and three Pakistan Army soldiers were killed and at least 18 others were injured in firing by Indian forces yesterday.

The meeting paid rich tributes to the slain soldiers of the Pakistan Army and deplored the belligerent targeting of the ambulance which was rescuing those injured in the attack on the bus, a blatant violation of International Humanitarian Law, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The meeting reviewed the situation along the LoC and called upon the international community to play its active role in diffusing the deteriorating security situation along the ceasefire line which has seen deliberate escalation from the Indian side, the statement said.

Participants of the meeting said India was deliberately trying to divert the attention of the international community “from grave human rights violations, massacres and atrocities being committed by Indian security forces against the innocent and defenceless of IHK”.

“Kashmir issue is an unfinished agenda of the Partition; we will never abandon our Kashmiri brethren in their freedom struggle,” the prime minister said during the meeting.

“The world in general and India in particular should know that the Pakistani nation will never abandon their Kashmiri brethren and will continue to support them in their just and UN mandated freedom struggle,” the statement said.

The prime minister was briefed by Adviser to the PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence Rizwan Akhtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and National Security Adviser Lt-General (R) Nasser Khan Janjua on the prevailing situation along the LoC.