Three members of the United Nations Army Observers Mission for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) had an in depth name alongside the restive Line of Management (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday after Indian troops shot at and injured two locals who had been briefing them on the scenario prevailing within the wake of ceasefire violations, officers and residents stated.
The incident occurred at midday in Abbaspur sector of Poonch district the place the UN observers had reached in two white automobiles hoisting blue UN flags, Qazi Arslan, a police official in Abbaspur, informed Daybreak by telephone.
“The UN observers were interacting with local people in Polas village when suddenly Indian troops resorted to burst firing from across the dividing line located hardly one kilometre away from there,” the official stated.
The firing left two individuals — recognized as Sardar Saghir and Muhammad Azam Qureshi of Polas and its neighbouring Taroti village, respectively — critically injured.
“It was yet another incident of targeted firing which has become a hallmark of Indian troops manning the bloody dividing line,” stated Chaudhry Saqib Mushtaq, a civil society activist within the space.
Arslan stated the UN observers barely saved their lives and rushed to Abbaspur to inquire concerning the situation of the firing victims who had been evacuated to a well being facility by different individuals.
Because the information unfold in Abbaspur, individuals took to streets to sentence the incident.
A few of the demonstrators took robust exception to the UN observers “abandoning the firing victims” as a substitute of eradicating them to the well being facility of their automobiles.
Nevertheless, police official Arslan stated the UN observers themselves had been in a state of shock, as they didn’t anticipate firing from the Indian aspect of their presence.
He quoted them as saying that they’d already handed a ‘hotline message’ to the Indian authorities concerning their go to to the LoC on this sector.
Arslan stated because the injured individuals had been shifted to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahayan Hospital Rawalakot, the UN observers additionally left for the district headquarters of Poonch to report their statements.
The Inter-Providers Public Relations (ISPR), the media affairs wing of the Pakistan Military, has but to situation any assertion on the incident.
Saira Yousuf, an Abbaspur-based journalist, appreciated the UN observers for speeding to the well being facility in Abbaspur after which to Rawalakot to inquire concerning the well being and report statements of the victims.
“They [UN officials] travel under a set protocol and we cannot and should not blame them. The remarks against them by some of the demonstrators were the outcome of some serious misunderstanding,” she informed Daybreak.
Nevertheless, she added, as an establishment the UN did come beneath scathing criticism for its “failure to address the root cause of the problem haunting the Kashmiris since a long time”.
Civil society activist Mushtaq stated many of the demonstrators chanted anti-India slogans and referred to as upon the UN and the federal government of Pakistan to “take urgent measures for their protection amid constant threat to their lives and properties at the hands of trigger-happy Indian soldiers.”
“There were unanimous calls that the UN Security Council session should be convened to discuss the situation along the LoC,” he stated.
“This incident should also serve as an eye-opener for the UN because today they have seen for themselves how brazenly Indian troops target the civilians without any provocation,” he added.
The closely militarised LoC has been witnessing ceasefire violations in a critical breach of the November 2003 truce settlement signed by the Pakistani and Indian armies notably after September 2016, when an Indian military base in Uri was attacked by suspected militants, leaving 18 Indian troopers lifeless.
Scores of civilians have both misplaced their lives or suffered critical accidents in frequent ceasefire violations in numerous components of AJK.
Nevertheless, of late Indian troops have resorted to deliberate focusing on of civilians in AJK whereas they’re doing day by day chores within the weak areas alongside the LoC.
The mission of UNMOGIP
In response to the UN’s web site, the primary crew of unarmed navy observers, who ultimately shaped the nucleus of the UNMOGIP, had arrived within the mission space in January 1949 to oversee the ceasefire between India and Pakistan within the state of Jammu and Kashmir; and to help the Army Adviser to the UN Fee for India and Pakistan (UNCIP).
Following renewed hostilities of 1971, the UNMOGIP has remained within the space to watch developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of December 17, 1971 and report thereon to the Secretary-Common, the positioning provides.
Monitoring of the LoC scenario by the UN navy observers has typically upset India which has lengthy been opposing their presence on each aspect of the divide.
New Delhi has argued that the UN had little function to play after India and Pakistan signed Simla settlement in 1972 beneath which the 2 nations agreed to resolve all disputes together with Kashmir bilaterally.
Nevertheless, Pakistan has ceaselessly referred to as for third-party involvement to settle the dispute in Kashmir.
In Could 2017, two UN observers had a slender escape in AJK’s southernmost Bhimber district, when their car was allegedly focused by Indian troops from throughout the LoC.