Pakistan takes diplomatic corps to LOC
Islamabad: In an attempt to reject claims by the Indian Army Chief, who alleged that Indian forces had targeted terror launch pads/terrorist camps during its recent offensives along the Line of Control (LoC); Pakistan government arranged a visit of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad, by helicopter to the site, which it claims are targeted by Indian shelling in recent violations of ceasefire along the LoC.
"Pakistan arranged the visit of diplomatic corps in Islamabad along with media, including foreign media, by helicopter to the site of recent Indian ceasefire violations which resulted in the shahadats (martyrdom) of five innocent civilians on the Pakistani side and injuries to six others," read a statement of Pakistan Foreign office.
"After the baseless and fallacious statement of the Indian Army Chief alleging that recent Indian ceasefire violations were targeting 'launch pads/terrorist camps' on the Pakistani side of the LoC, Pakistan requested the Indian High Commission in Islamabad to share details, including longitudes and latitudes of the alleged location to back the Indian allegations. No response has been received so far from India," the foreign office statement added.
Foreign office said that the diplomatic corps and media persons "personally witnessed the destruction of life and property resulting from recent Indian ceasefire violations, including use of heavy artillery", adding that "the Indian High Commission officials in Islamabad were also invited but did not show up".
Rejecting what it called "irresponsible allegations of the Indian Army Chief", foreign office in Islamabad slammed India for accusing Pakistan and then backing out when asked to share details.
"The irresponsible allegations of the Indian Army Chief and the lack of response from India when asked to back its hollow assertions with details of the alleged launch pads/ camps not only expose the lies and deceit being employed as state policy and Indian aggressive posture which is a growing threat to regional peace and stability," read the statement.
Pakistan insists that false claims by India of terror launch pads are aimed as diverting attention of the International community from the "humanitarian nightmare in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K)".
The diplomatic corps that was taken to the LoC included ambassadors, diplomats and defense attaches from 24 countries and representatives of international organisations. They were taken to the Jura Sector along the Line of Control (LoC).
The diplomats were from Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, European Union, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, Iran Iraq, the UK, Poland, Uzbekistan, Germany, Switzerland, Egypt, France, Afghanistan, Greece and Libya.
Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar briefed the visitors on the latest situation along the LoC and the Indian ceasefire violations. Gen Babar told diplomats that the ceasefire violations (CFVs) had increased since 2014.
"Indian troops were committing CFVs to divert the world's attention from what was happening in the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and to the minorities in India", he said.
The diplomats were briefed that the Indian troops intentionally targeted the civil population along the LoC and had committed2,333 violations this year so far.
During the visit, the diplomats visited the bazaar and talked to the people affected by the shelling.
"Indian troops also used cluster ammunition against the civilians on July 30 and 31," said DGISPR while briefing the diplomatic corps.