Pakistan “protested the deliberate” targeting of civilians along the Line of Control (LoC) during the Pakistani and Indian armies’ special hotline contact on Monday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.
“Indian troops are deliberately targeting innocent civilians, including children,” the Pakistan’s director-general of military operations (DGMO) told his Indian counterpart, according to the statement. “Such deliberate actions are [a] serious concern.”
According to ISPR, when the Indian side alleged that Pakistan had targeted Indian civilians along the LoC, Pakistan “clarified that the country considers people living across LoC as [sic] brethren.”
“Pakistan Army, as a professional force, has never done this,” the ISPR statement added.
The heavily militarised LoC has recently been witnessing sporadic skirmishes and artillery duels.
On Oct 24, two women were killed and five men were wounded when Indian troops opened fire in Leepa valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. On the same day, Adeeba Kosar, a 12-year-old girl ─ who had been injured in an incident of firing by Indian troops on Oct 18 along with seven others ─ succumbed to her injuries.
The Oct 18 incident was described as the “heaviest incident of shelling” by Indian troops across LoC. Women and children were among those injured on that day.
According to Indian media, during Monday’s hotline contact, the Indian army warned of continued retaliation to “acts of aggression”, while alleging that Pakistan is supporting terrorism.
Times of India quoted India’s DGMO, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, as saying that the country would “continue to retaliate [against] ‘provocative acts of aggression’.”
“Pakistan Army’s support [for] terrorism is unacceptable,” The Statesman quoted the DGMO as saying.
Hotline contact was established two days after Pakistan Army said it had shot down an Indian ‘spy drone’ along the LoC.
Tensions between the two countries have continued to flare amid unrelenting ceasefire violations at the heavily-militarised de facto border.