Islamabad, Nov 24 (IANS) Amid escalated border firing, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that Pakistan has shown utmost restraint in the face of Indian belligerence and will not tolerate India’s “deliberate targeting” of civilians and ambulances.
Sharif’s remarks, made during a high-level meeting chaired to review the LoC situation, came a day after Pakistan claimed that nine of its civilians and three soldiers were killed in firing by the Indian Army.
“We cannot tolerate deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, particularly children and women, the ambulances and the civilian transport,” Sharif said, Dawn reported.
Pakistan on Wednesday said three of its soldiers were killed in Indian firing along the Line of Control, while nine civilians were also killed as Indian troops allegedly targeted a passenger bus in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
“Pakistan has exercised maximum restraint despite the continuing ceasefire violations from the Indian side,” Sharif said.
Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and National Security Adviser Naser Janjua briefed the meeting about the “unprovoked Indian firing”.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that Indian troops fired at an ambulance which went into the area for evacuation.
At least 18 persons were injured in Wednesday’s firing, the ISPR said.
The meeting, also attended by Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General Rizwan Akhtar, paid tributes to the killed soldiers and deplored the targeting of the ambulance as a violation of International Humanitarian Law, a statement said.
Sharif reviewed the situation along the LoC and called upon the international community to play its active role in defusing tension between the two nations, “which has been deliberately escalated by the Indian side”, said the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office.
The meeting concluded that India was trying to divert the attention of the international community “from the grave human rights violations, massacres and atrocities being committed by the Indian security forces” in Kashmir, it said.
In a related development, Pakistan Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman on Thursday said Pakistan’s armed forces were “not worried about India at all”.
Aman said: “We are not worried about India at all, it is better if they show some restraint.”
He called on India to resolve the Kashmir issue, saying: “They should speak on matters of principle and our ties will improve.”
The Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India spoke to each other on Wednesday as tensions flared in the aftermath of deadly clashes on the LoC.
Firing exchanges and a bitter diplomatic war between the two neighbours have escalated after the September 18 killing of 19 Indian soldiers in a terror attack on an army base in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir.