India rejects Pakistan’s allegations about targeting of UN vehicle

Shortly before India made clear its position on Sunday evening, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said it had taken up the incident with the UN and asked it to “initiate a transparent investigation” into the matter.
Indian officials had on Friday rejected claims by the Pakistani military’s media arm and Foreign Office that a vehicle carrying two officers of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was “specifically targeted” by Indian troops from across the LoC.(PHOTO: @OfficialDGISPR.)
Indian officials had on Friday rejected claims by the Pakistani military’s media arm and Foreign Office that a vehicle carrying two officers of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was “specifically targeted” by Indian troops from across the LoC.(PHOTO: @OfficialDGISPR.)
Updated on Dec 20, 2020 06:38 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent | Edited by Sohini Sarkar

India on Sunday dismissed Pakistan’s allegations about a UN vehicle being deliberately targeted by Indian troops on the Line of Control (LoC) as false and said such fabricated allegations were part of Islamabad’s efforts to cover up its failure to protect UN personnel.

Indian officials had on Friday rejected claims by the Pakistani military’s media arm and Foreign Office that a vehicle carrying two officers of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was “specifically targeted” by Indian troops from across the LoC.

Pakistani military spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar had tweeted photos of the UN vehicle with apparent damage to its windows and chassis, and contended the SUV was the target of “unprovoked fire” in Chirikot sector of the LoC.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “Allegations by Pakistan regarding Indian forces deliberately targeting a UN vehicle on December 18, 2020 have been investigated in detail and found to be factually incorrect and false.

“Our forward troops were aware of the visit of UN military observers in the area and did not conduct any firing as alleged.”

Srivastava said that instead of repeating “baseless and fabricated allegations against India to cover up its own failure in ensuring the safety and security of UN personnel in territory under its control, Pakistan should responsibly investigate its lapses”.

He added that India has conveyed its findings and views on “these misrepresentations” to the Pakistani side.

Shortly before India made clear its position on Sunday evening, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said it had taken up the incident with the UN and asked it to “initiate a transparent investigation” into the matter.

In a letter addressed to the UN secretary general and the president of the Security Council, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN alleged the “deliberate targeting of the UN Observers and their vehicle – which was clearly marked with UN logo and flying a blue flag of the UN – appears to be a new coercive and reckless ploy by India to hinder UNMOGIP’s work, and facilitate another Indian military misadventure against Pakistan”.

The letter further alleged Pakistan had information the Indian government “was planning to stage a ‘false flag’ attack to divert attention from its domestic difficulties, and create justification for another misadventure against Pakistan”.

“If that were to happen, Pakistan will exercise its right to self-defence,” the letter said.

Indian officials have dismissed a string of similar claims by Pakistani officials over the past few days, saying they were part of an effort by Islamabad to cover up its failure to counter terrorism emanating from Pakistani soul.

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