A day after a major flare-up in hostilities along the LoC, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday described Kashmir as an “unfinished agenda” of the Partition and said Pakistan will “never abandon Kashmiris in their freedom struggle”.
Sharif made the remarks while chairing a meeting of the civilian and military leadership to review the situation along the Line of Control in Kashmir following the death of three soldiers and 10 civilians in shelling.
The premier further said Pakistan will not tolerate the “deliberate targeting” of civilians and ambulances by the Indian side, according to state-run media.
Indian troops mounted a massive bombardment of Pakistani positions along the LoC after three Indian soldiers were killed and the body of one of them was mutilated on Tuesday. The Indian side has expressed grief at civilian casualties but said its troops were only targeting Pakistani positions involved in ceasefire violations.
During the meeting in Islamabad, Sharif said, “The world in general and India in particular should know that the Pakistani nation would never abandon their Kashmiri brethren and would continue to support them in their just and UN-mandated freedom struggle.”
Sharif was quoted by state-run APP news agency as saying that Pakistan had “exercised maximum restraint despite the continuing ceasefire violations by Indian security forces along the LoC”.
The world community should take note of the “deliberate targeting” of civilians and civilian transport and play an “active role” in tackling the deteriorating security situation along the LoC.
Sharif was briefed by his foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz, ISI chief Lt Gen Rizwan Akhtar and National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retired) Nasser Janjua on the situation along the LoC.
The meeting re-affirmed Pakistan’s “political, diplomatic and moral support” to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their “struggle for their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions”.
Pakistan Army chief Gen Raheel Sharif also held a special meeting at the Corps Headquarters in Rawalpindi to review the situation. He described the targeting of civilians as “unprofessional and unacceptable”.
Following Wednesday’s flare-up on the LoC, the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two sides had an unscheduled interaction on their hotline to discuss the situation.