Pakistan

Deliberate targeting of civilians unacceptable: General Raheel Sharif

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RAWALPINDI: Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Thursday held a special meeting at Corps Headquarters in the garrison city and reviewed the Line of Control (LoC) situation focusing on the bus attack that resulted in the martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers and innocent civilians.

“Deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is unprofessional and unacceptable,” observed the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

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The army chief also appreciated morale of Pakistani troops in the meeting and the most befitting response they gave to the Indian forces.

COAS General Raheel Sharif ensured that any such incident and ceasefire violation must get an instant and effective response from the Pakistan army.

Indian shelling across the frontier into Pakistani-controlled Kashmir hit a bus on Wednesday, killing at least nine people, and three Pakistani soldiers in cross-border firing.

Lawat, where the bus was hit, is 100 km (60 miles) north-east of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), in the upper belt of the Neelum Valley that straddles the de facto border dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

Following the incident, Pakistan had summoned the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, J.P. Singh and protested.

Relations between nuclear-armed neighbours have been strained for several months, while cross-frontier shelling has intensified leading to the deaths of civilians and soldiers stationed along the disputed frontier.

Kashmir lies at the heart of the tension. Pakistan and India have fought two of their three wars over the region since partition and independence from Britain in 1947.

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