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Pakistan targets 15 BSF posts in J&K, blames India of unprovoked ceasefire violations

JAMMU: Pakistani troops heavily shelled 15 Border Outposts and hamlets along the International Border overnight, leaving three persons injured, one of them seriously in Jammu district. Meanwhile, Islamabad accused India of ‘unprovoked violations of ceasefire agreement and cross-border firing.

According to sources, BSF troops retaliated and intermittent firing and mortar shelling was continued. “After heavy firing, Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling in Arnia and parts of RS Pura sectors of Jammu district overnight”, a BSF Spokesman said.

He said about 15 Border Outposts (BoPs) were targeted. Earlier on Saturday night, “flat trajectory weaponry fire came at 2010 hours in our area of Operation in three BoPs along International Border (IB) in Arnia sector of Jammu district”, he said.

Pakistani troops also shelled several border hamlets in these areas, in which, three persons were injured, one of the critically in Jabowal village along the IB, District Magistrate, Jammu, Ajeet Kumar Sahu said.

The critically injured person has been shifted to Government Medical College Hospital here for specialised treatment, he said, adding “firing and shelling is going on when the reports last came this morning”.

The shelling hit Arnia town besides villages of Kuku-Da Kothay, Mahasha kothe, Jabowal, Treva, Chingia, Alla, Sie, Chenaz and Devigarh. Dozens of shells landed and exploded in deserted Arnia town, the reports said.

However, peace prevailed in forward sectors of Samba, Ramgarh, Hiranagar and Kathua as there were no reports of any firing or shelling in these areas.

On Saturday, Pakistani troops had resorted to firing on forward Indian posts along the LoC in Banwat-Shahpur sector of Poonch district from 1300 hours, a senior Army officer said.

Pakistan heavily shelled civilian areas in Shahpur, Kirni, Banwat, Mandaar, Kalsaam, Doda along LoC in Poonch. Pakistani troops of 641 Mujahid Regiment also shelled six Posts including Doda, Jangalvon, Jungal two, Kranti, Sher and Shakti in the area.

Five houses suffered minor damages and one house caught fire in the area but there was no casualty. The IB has witnessed heavy firing this month that has left eight persons dead and 90 people injured, including 13 security men.

Besides over 32,000 people have fled from their border homes leaving 113 hamlets deserted along the IB.

Meanwhile, stepping up its attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, Pakistan has written to the UN chief on the security situation along the LoC and the International Border with India and sought the world body’s intervention in resolving the issue.

In a letter to UN chief Ban ki-moon, Adviser to the Pakistan Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz accused India of “deliberate and unprovoked violations of the ceasefire agreement and cross-border firing” over the past weeks.

“I write to bring to your urgent attention the deteriorating security situation along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as along the International Border between Pakistan and India…

“As you are aware, the Jammu and Kashmir dispute is one of the long outstanding issues on the agenda of the UN Security Council, whose resolutions promising the holding of a plebiscite, under the auspices of the United Nations, for self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, remain valid though unimplemented to date,” Aziz wrote in the letter which was released by Pakistan Foreign Office here.

He added that Pakistan has been reminding the UN and the international community since decades to fulfil that promise, in the interest of “durable peace and security in the region.”

Referring to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address to UN General Assembly last month during which he emphasised on the need to resolve the whole issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Aziz said “unfortunately, India has adopted a policy that runs counter to its stated desire to engage in a serious bilateral dialogue with Pakistan.”

He added, “India cancelled, unilaterally and without any plausible justification, the Foreign Secretary level talks that were scheduled to be held on August 25, 2014.”

Asking Ban to circulate the letter as an official document of the Security Council, Aziz said Pakistan believes that the UN has an important role to play in promoting the objective of peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue, including through his “good offices, which we have always welcomed, and the crucial role of the UNMOGIP on ground, which needs to be strengthened and facilitated under the current circumstances.”