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Pakistan, India use hotline to defuse border tension

Senior Pakistani and Indian military officials spoke to each other on the hotline on Tuesday and discussed ways and means to reduce tension along the Line of Control (LoC) and the working boundary, a team of UN Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) visited villages which have been badly hit by Indian firing in Charwah, Chaprar and Pukhlian sectors on the working boundary near Sialkot.

“Contact was established between directors of military operations of the Pakistani and Indian armies,” a senior military official said.

The official said Pakistan Army’s DMO conveyed the country’s concern to his Indian counterpart and pointed towards the neighbouring country’s consistent, unprovoked firing on the civilian population living along the LoC and the working boundary.

Tuesday’s was the first ever registered contact between the two armies since tensions flared on the LoC and the working boundary.

The latest skirmishes have continued nearly unabated for almost 10 days and 13 Pakistanis have lost their lives and 53 others have been injured. Fifty incidents of violations by Indian troops have been reported during the period with the latest happening in Nezapir Sector near Rawalkot.

In 2013, the Pakistani and Indian DGMOs had pledged to uphold the 2003 LoC ceasefire accord intact.

UN monitors visit Pakistani border villages

Meanwhile an Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement said that a team of UN observers met villagers, witnessed and gathered firsthand account of damage caused to human lives and property due to recent Indian hostility on the working boundary.

“Indians have committed 24 ceasefire violations on working boundary and 26 on Line of Control since October 1 and have been targeting civil population living in villages all along the working boundary,” the ISPR statement said. “Day to day living of civilian population all along working  is badly affected. People have almost fled their homes and taken refuge in nearest safe places,” it added.

The observation team also visited the Combined Military Hospital Sialkot and met civilians injured by the ‘unprovoked’ Indian firing.

Pakistan on October 9 lodged a strong protest with the UNMOGIP over the recent border clashes and asked the UN team to visit the working boundary and LoC.

Pakistan upholding the UN resolution utilizes the office of UNMOGIP to investigate such incidents or violations by either of the nuclear-armed neighbours.

“It is also relevant to highlight that Pakistan offers full access to UNMOGIP observers to investigate and bring the facts in front of the world, however Indians have always been reluctant and deny access to UNMOGIP observers on their side,” ISPR asserted.

Source: Pakistan Today

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