Pakistan summons Indian diplomat to protest firing on UN observers

Bullet marks are easily visible on this vehicle, which was carrying UN military observers to a village in Azad Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.–File photo

Pakistan on Saturday summoned the Indian chargé d’affaires to the Foreign Office to register its protest against “deliberate targeting” of UN military observers who were going to meet the victims of Indian ceasefire violations in the Chirikot Sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a press release issued by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The Indian Chargé d’Affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office to register Pakistan’s strong protest at the deliberate targeting of Observers belonging to the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP). The UN Observers were on their way to Polas village in Azad Jammu & Kashmir to meet with the victims of the Indian ceasefire violations in Chirikot Sector of the Line of Control (LOC).

“Both the Observers present in the vehicle thankfully remained unharmed and were safely rescued and evacuated to Rawalakot by the Pakistan Army. However, their vehicle sustained damage. The attack was unambiguously premeditated as UN vehicles are clearly recognizable even from long distances due to their distinctive marking and blue flag.

“The deliberate targeting of a UN vehicle, engaged in discharging the mandate of the UN Security Council, constitutes a grave violation of India’s obligations, under the Council’s resolutions and the UN Charter, which includes the obligation to ensure the safety and security of the UNMOGIP Observers. It appears to be a new coercive and reckless Indian ploy to hinder the observers’ work.
“It was communicated to the Indian side that the brazen act was a flagrant violation of established international norms and represented a complete disregard for principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

“It was also conveyed that the reprehensible act also represented a new low in the conduct of Indian occupation forces which target not only innocent civilians residing along the Line of Control but United Nations Observers as well.

“The Indian side was called upon to desist from such blatant violations of international law; respect the 2003 ceasefire understanding between India and Pakistan; and let the UNMOGIP perform its role mandated by the UN Security Council.”

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