Pakistan takes foreign diplomats to LoC as tension with India escalates

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Officials from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry accompany a group of foreign diplomats to the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir on October 22, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Foreign Office of Pakistan)
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Pakistan military spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor briefed the diplomatic corps and the media about the damages because of Indian in Kashmir along LoC. (Photo Courtesy – Radio Pakistan)
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Officials from Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry accompany a group of foreign diplomats to the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir on October 22, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Foreign Office of Pakistan)
Updated 22 October 2019

Pakistan takes foreign diplomats to LoC as tension with India escalates

  • Indian army chief claimed on Sunday India had destroyed four terror camps in Azad Kashmir
  • Pakistan rejected the statement, arranges foreign diplomats’ visit to concerned area to verify “facts on the ground” firsthand

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities on Tuesday took a group of foreign diplomats on a visit to the Line of Control (LOC) — a cease-fire line agreed with India that is one of the most militarized borders in the world — to debunk what it says are “false claims” made by the Indian army chief about destroying terror camp’s inside Pakistan over the weekend.

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said on Sunday that Indian forces had “smashed four terror launch pads” in Azad Kashmir, the part of the disputed Kashmir Valley administered by Pakistan. Pakistan’s military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said India had no evidence to support the “false claim,” and announced that foreign diplomats and media would be taken to the area in question to verify for themselves “facts on the ground.” Pakistan also said six civilians and a soldier had died in “ruthless” shelling by Indian troops from across the LoC on Sunday.

Tuesday’s visit, arranged by the Pakistani army and foreign office, comes at a time of high tension between the rivals, with Pakistan particularly aggrieved over recent Indian government measures in its part of the divided Muslim-majority region of Kashmir. Both countries claim the Himalayan region in full but rule it in part.

“The Indian side has not joined us in the visit to LoC, neither have they provided coordinates of the alleged ‘launchpads’,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal, who was part of the group, tweeted on Tuesday.

“‘Claims’ by Indian Army Chief remain just that: ‘claims’,” Faisal said in another Twitter post.

In February, India said it had hit a terror training camp in Pakistan and killed hundreds of “terrorists” and their trainers and associates. Pakistan denies any such camps exist or were hit, and said the Indian airstrikes barely destroyed a few trees. Analysis of open-source satellite imagery has also widely cast doubt on India’s claims.

During Tuesday’s visit, diplomats were taken to the Nauseri, Shahkot and Jura sectors along the LoC, including Nausada village, which Pakistan says suffered severe damage in attacks by Indian troops on the weekend.

Foreign diplomats and the media were shown pieces of the shells fired by Indian soldiers, state-run Radio Pakistan said.

According to local media reports, the diplomats also visited a local market, met shop owners and residents, and were shown damaged shops and houses.

Commenting on the absence of Indian high commission staff from the group, Ghafoor said in a tweet: “What good [is the] Indian High Commission which can’t stand with its Army Chief? Indian High Commission staff didn’t have the moral courage to accompany fellow diplomats in Pakistan to LOC.”


Pakistani officials: 2 Daesh members arrested

Updated 14 November 2019

Pakistani officials: 2 Daesh members arrested

  • The authorities seized bomb-making material during the raid
  • Pakistan has previously said Daesh has no organized presence in the country

MULTAN: Pakistani security officials say they have arrested two suspected members of Daesh in a raid on their hideout in the eastern Punjab province.
In Thursday’s statement, the province’s counterterrorism force said it had arrested the men in Bahawalnagar city.
It said security officials also seized bomb-making material during the raid.
Pakistan’s counterterrorism forces have announced the arrest of accused Daesh members before, although the government says the group has no organized presence in the country.
Daesh militants are active in neighboring Afghanistan, where they regularly stage attacks against civilian and military targets.