Ceasefire violations by India threaten stability, warns Pak Army

The Army has warned that renewed ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB) pose a threat to regional stability.

The observation was made by the military’s top brass at the monthly corps commanders’ conference at the General Headquarters on Wednesday.

Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa presided over the meeting.

Last year, some of the worst exchanges were witnessed along the LoC and WB as India after several years used heavy weapons for shelling areas across the LoC.

Forty-six civilians and soldiers lost their lives on Pakistani side, whereas, according to the Pakistan Army, at least 40 Indian soldiers were killed in retaliatory fire by Pakistani troops.

The frequency of violations declined in December, but the trend is reversing and an increasing number of breaches have been reported over the past fortnight.

Pakistan earlier expressed fears that India’s escalation on the Line of Control could lead it to a strategic miscalculation.

First Pakistani casualty occurred on Tuesday due to Indian firing in Khuiratta Sector when a 25-year-old construction worker identified as Raja Ashfaq was killed.

Military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted: “Another innocent life lost to Indian irresponsible attitude.”

Indian deputy high commissioner J.P. Singh was summoned to the Foreign Office for receiving a demarche over the incident.

The demarche called for an end to attacks on civilian population, respecting the 2003 ceasefire understanding, and maintaining peace on the LoC.

“Director General Dr Muhammad Faisal deplored the deliberate targeting of civilians, which is a crime as well as violation of international human rights and humanitarian laws,” the FO said in a statement.

Pakistani officials appear concerned about the increasing frequency of ceasefire violations.

The emerging trend contravenes the assumption of the Pakistani side that India could move towards normalisation of relations after the last year’s hostilities.

According to one source, the forum also deliberated on the action against Mumbai terror attacks suspect Hafiz Saeed, who was put under house arrest on Jan 30. The action, Gen Ghafoor had earlier said, followed a policy decision by the state institutions.

Internal security

Gen Bajwa directed the continuation of intelligence-based operations (IBOs) and other counterterrorism operations till the “achievement of desired end state”.

Some 26,000 IBOs have been conducted across the country in parallel with kinetic operations in North Waziristan and Khyber Agencies since the start of Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014. The operations helped lower the frequency of terrorist attacks.

Gen Asif had at a media briefing last week said that the IBOs would continue till the elimination of remaining terrorists and their facilitators.

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