Indian envoy summoned over ceasefire violations

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-Concern conveyed to the UAE over isolation conditions of workers

By Asghar Ali Mubarak

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lodged a strong protest on Tuesday against ceasefire violations by Indian troops along the Line of Control (LoC) in Bagsar Sector on May 4 which resulted in critical injuries to six civilians.
According to the Foreign Office, a senior Indian diplomat was summoned to register Pakistan’s protest. Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by the Indian forces, Waheed, 45, Nazima Bibi, 55, Aqeel, 12, Shaheen Begum, 30, Zareena Begum, 50, and Jamil, 45, were critically injured, stated the FO.
Condemning the violation, FO noted that Indian forces “along the LoC and the Working Boundary (WB) have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons”.
A senior Indian diplomat on Tuesday was summoned to register Pakistan’s strong protest over the ceasefire violations by the Indian occupation forces along the Line of Control (LoC) in Bagsar Sector, on May 4, resulting in serious injuries to six innocent civilians.
Due to indiscriminate and unprovoked firing by the Indian occupation forces, 45 years old, Waheed, 55 years old, Nazima Bibi, and 12 years old, Aqeel, residents of Khaulian village; 50 years old, Zareena Begum, and 30 years old, Shaheen Begum, residents of Penga village; and 45 years old, Jamil, resident of Bandala village, sustained serious injuries, Foreign office spokesperson said in a press release.
“Condemning the deplorable targeting of innocent civilians by the Indian occupation forces, it was underscored that such senseless acts are in clear violation of the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding, and are also against all established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct. These egregious violations of international law reflect consistent Indian attempts to escalate the situation along the LoC and are a threat to regional peace and security,” it added.
It was further added that by raising tensions along the LoC and the WB, India could not divert attention from the grave human rights situation in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).
Indian side was called upon to respect the 2003 Ceasefire Understanding; investigate this and other such incidents of deliberate ceasefire violations and maintain peace along the LoC and the Working Boundry (WB).
The Indian side was also urged to allow the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) to play its mandated role as per the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions. The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-caliber mortars and automatic weapons.
During the recent year, India has so far committed 957 ceasefire violations. Pakistan has raised concerns with the United Arab Emirates that workers are returning home from the Gulf nation with high rates of COVID-19 and that crowded living conditions in the UAE may be helping the virus to spread, its foreign ministry said. “It has been taken up officially with UAE authorities,” ministry spokeswoman Aisha Farooqi told reporters via Whatsapp. “Both govts are working together to find (an) optimal solution to this shared concern.”
The UAE’s foreign ministry did not immediately comment when contacted by Reuters. Pakistan’s leading newspaper reported that on one repatriation flight from Abu Dhabi late in April, 105 of the 209 passengers on board tested positive. The Foreign Affairs Ministry did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the figure.
The UAE is home to around 1.5 million Pakistanis, many of whom are low-wage workers who live in crowded housing and are now out of work but stranded due to limited repatriation flights. Around 60,000 Pakistanis have registered to return home from the UAE, according to Pakistan’s consulate general in Dubai.
The UAE earlier warned it could review labour ties with countries refusing to take back nationals who have been stranded, lost jobs or been put on leave due to the coronavirus pandemic and want to return home. Pakistan is facing the challenge of quarantining thousands of overseas workers wanting to return home while it deals with its own fast-growing number of cases, as infections reached more than 21,000 with over 500 deaths. Gulf Arab states have ramped up testing after recording a growing number of cases among low-income migrant workers in overcrowded housing. Abu Dhabi’s government media office tweeted on Monday that 335,000 people living and working in the industrial Musaffah area, where many low-income migrants live and work, would be tested for COVID-19 over the next two weeks.