Villager shot dead in PaK in cross-border firing by Indian forces

Indian troops on Tuesday shot dead a resident of a border village of Pakistan-administered  Kashmir (PaK) in the latest incident of cross-border firing, residents and officials said, Dawn reported.

Muhammad Shakil Qureshi, a resident of Taroti Dharamsal village in Abbaspur tehsil of Poonch district, became the victim of “targeted killing”, since he was sniped by Indian forces, in an apparent violation of the two-week-old understanding between top military officials of Pakistan and India to “fully implement a 15-year old truce agreement in letter and in spirit”, the officials said.

“The 45-year old victim was grazing cattle near his home when he was hit from across the divide with a single gunshot at about 3:30pm without any provocation, leaving him dead on the spot,” said police official Hassan Wazir Afridi.

On May 29, the Directors General of Military Operations of India and Pakistan had established a special hotline contact and agreed to undertake sincere measures to improve the existing situation, ensuring peace and avoidance of hardships to the civilians along the LoC and Working Boundary.

The officers had also agreed to fully implement the ceasefire understanding of 2003 in letter and in spirit forthwith and to ensure that henceforth the ceasefire will not be violated by both sides.

However, within 72 hours of the hotline contact, Indian snipers had shot at and injured a man in PaK’s Poonch district on June 1.

Two days after that, an elderly woman and a minor girl were killed and 24 others were injured in heavy mortar shelling along the Working Boundary in Sialkot district.

Besides, two civilians were injured along the LoC in PaK’s Kotli district after Indian troops had fired a single mortar shell near their homes.

PaK officials regret that apart from the exchange of heavy shelling across the LoC, Indian troops have added a new cowardly and dreadful practice to incessant ceasefire violations — sniping with heavy calibre weapons and targeting innocent men, women and children while they carry out their daily chores.

“It is very unfortunate that the Indian troops have not given up their practice of sniping at innocent civilians, even after the May 29 agreement between the two sides,” said PaK’s senior minister Chaudhry Tariq Farooq.

According to State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), at least 22 people have lost their lives and at least another 122 have sustained injuries in different areas of PaK in the ongoing year due to ceasefire violations by the Indian army.

Last year, the number of deceased and injured was 46 and 262, as against 41 and 142, respectively, in 2016.

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    By: KN Web Desk

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