India has rubbished claims by Pakistan that it targeted a United Nations vehicle with two military observers in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on Friday, calling them “baseless”.
“The reports emerging from Pakistan side regarding attack on UN vehicles are completely false and factually incorrect. There was no firing from the Indian side in this sector today. Since movements of UN vehicles are known in advance, the question does not arise of any such firing. The allegations are baseless,” sources in the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Pakistan had claimed that Indian soldiers had fired at the United Nations vehicle that was carrying the observers on their way to meet victims of firing along the Line of Control.
The allegation came while the Pakistan army opened heavy fire and shelled forward posts in two sectors along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, according to officials.
Indian troops retaliated appropriately, they said.
“At 17:40 hours today, the Pakistan army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation by firing with small arms and intense shelling with mortars along the LoC in Mendhar and Balakote sectors in district Poonch,” a defence spokesperson told news agency PTI.
The Line of Control has seen heavy firing and shelling in the last few weeks, resulting in an increased number of casualties and growing fear among the residents of border areas.
On December 1, the Pakistan army violated the ceasefire by shelling forwards posts in Rajouri sector along the Line of Control. A Border Security Force (BSF) sub-inspector was killed in the shelling.
On November 27, two soldiers of the Indian Army were killed when Pakistani troops opened heavy fire and shelled forward posts in Sunderbani sector in Rajouri district.
On November 26, a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the Army was killed and a civilian critically injured in shelling by Pakistani troops in Kirni and Qasba sectors of Poonch.
Over the last eight months, more than 3,000 violations by Pakistan have been reported, the most since the two countries agreed upon a ceasefire in 2003.
India says Pakistani troops often open fire to help terrorists sneak into Jammu and Kashmir. The latest rise in tension comes as India is separately locked in a serious military face-off with China along the de-facto border that the two countries dispute.