UNITED NATIONS, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 17th Nov, 2016 ) : Pakistan has told the United Nations that Indian occupation troops in Kashmir launched artillery barrages last week in a "major escalation" of attacks on the Line of Control (LoC) threatening regional peace and security. "This was the first use of such weapons in 13 years, and was a clear indication of the Indian intention to further escalate tensions and undermine regional peace and security," Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said in identical letters addressed to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council President for November, Fod Seck of Senegal, while referring to the use of artillery in LoC's Shahkot and Jura on November 9.
On Sunday night, seven Pakistani soldiers embraced "Shahadat" (martyrdom) in unprovoked firing by Indian troops in Bhimber sector of the LoC. "It (India) seeks to divert international attention from its continued violations of human rights in Indian occupied Kashmir," the Pakistani envoy said in the letter which has been released as a document of the 15-member Security Council. Ambassador Lodhi called on the UN chief and Security Council, "as the custodians of international peace and security", to take note of the continued ceasefire violations by India that pose a real danger to regional peace and security.
On his part, the secretary-general has been voicing his concern over the escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan and calling on them to exercise restraint and dialogue to resolve their outstanding issues. He even offered his good-offices, but India rejected any UN involvement. Tensions have been fraught since July when India occupied Kashmir was rocked by street protests after the killing of popular Kashmiri youth leader, Burhan Wani.
Pakistan launched an international campaign to highlight rights abuses by Indian security forces in Kashmir. In her letter, Ambassador Lodhi said, "The occupation forces have been engaged in unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations on both sides of the Line of Control and the Working Boundary (WB). The frequency of these violations has increased over the last two months. Indiscriminate firing and shelling, deliberately targeting civilian populated areas, have resulted in 26 civilian casualties and injury to another 107 civilians, including women and children in the past two months.
"Pakistan has condemned these continued ceasefire violations which are a contravention of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, as well as of International Law. "India has also continued its non-cooperative attitude and denial of access to the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) that has been mandated to maintain peace and tranquility on the Line of Control and the Working Boundary. Pakistan, of course, fully cooperates and provides unhindered access to UNMOGIP on its side of the Line of Control and the Working Boundary." APP/ia/ff/qmr