India summons Pak Dy HCover civilian killings in J-K's Poonch
New Delhi: India summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest against the killing of five civilians in "unprovoked firing" by Pakistani forces, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday.
Terming the incident "highly deplorable", the MEA also stated that such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct. "It was conveyed that the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, who are located two kilometers away from the forward line of defences, by Pakistan forces using high caliber weapons, is highly
deplorable and is condemned in the strongest terms," the ministry said.
On Sunday morning, five members of a family, including three minor children, were killed and two others injured as Pakistani troops resorted to "unprovoked and indiscriminate" shelling in over half-a-dozen villages near theLoC in Balakote sector, in Poonch district.
The victims have been identified as Mohammad Ramzan (35), wife Malika Bi (32), sons Mohammad Rehman (14), Mohammad Rizwan (12), and Razaq Ramzan (7). Ramzan's two daughters, Nasreen Kousar (11) and Mahreen Kouser (5) are reported to have suffered serious injuries.
According to Defence Ministry spokesperson, Lt Colonel Devender Anand, the Pakistani Army initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of 81 mm and 120 mm mortar shells, besides other small arms fire, in Balakote area, from 7.45 am to 11.30 am, on Sunday.
He said they targeted innocent civilians, their homes and livestock in villages close to the LoC.
The shelling from across the LoC came a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while targeting Pakistan for giving political legitimacy to terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed, said Indian security forces could cross the LoC, if needed, to protect the country's territorial integrity.