Pakistan accused the Indian military on Friday of shooting at a vehicle carrying two officers from the United Nations Military Observer Group.
Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri as claiming that Indian border forces engaged in “unprovoked firing” near Kashmir at U.N. officials traveling to meet victims of alleged Indian ceasefire violations. According to Chaudhri, the shooting resulted in damage to the vehicle, but the officials escaped unhurt.
“The reprehensible act of unprovoked firing by India on the UNMOGIP officers is indicative of a new low in the conduct of Indian occupation troops,” Chaudhri said.
Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) announced on Twitter that Indian forces had “deliberately targeted” a U.N. vehicle containing two military observers in a “new low” for the Indian army.
According to the statement:
Indian Army resorted to unprovoked fire in Chirikot Sector of #LOC. Indian troops deliberately targeted a United Nations vehicle with 2 Military Observers on board, enroute to interact with CFV victims in Polas Village in Chirikot Sector. It must be noted that the UN vehicles are clearly recognisable even from long distances due to their distinct make and type and clearly visible markings. While the vehicle was damaged, the two UNMOs luckily remained unharmed. They were safely rescued & evacuated by Pakistan Army to Rawalakot.
Such illegal and unlawful acts against all established international norms, signify mal-intent of Indian Army to target not only innocent civilians residing along the Line of Control but UN Peace Keepers as well. This act only goes to show Indian Army’s complete disregard to principles enshrined in [the] UN Charter. It is indeed a new low for Indian Army.
Indian Army resorted to unprovoked fire in Chirikot Sector of #LOC. Indian troops deliberately targeted a United Nations vehicle with 2 Military Observers on board, enroute to interact with CFV victims in Polas Village in Chirikot Sector. It must be noted that the UN (1/4) pic.twitter.com/9MB0uLpq6d
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) December 18, 2020
Indian officials denied the report.
“The reports emerging from the Pakistan side regarding attacks on UN vehicles are completely false and factually incorrect,” an unnamed alleged military source told the Hindustan Times. “There was no firing from the Indian side in this sector on Friday. Since movements of UN vehicles are known in advance, the question does not arise of any such firing. The allegations are baseless.”
The allegations are the latest example of the ongoing tensions between India and Pakistan close to the Line of Control, as the two sides continue their bitter dispute over the territories of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared this year that his forces could defeat Pakistan in less than a week if war eventually broke out.
“Pakistan lost three wars to India in the past,” Nodi told a group of military officers in New Dehli. “India’s military will need less than seven days to make Pakistan bite the dust.”