Foreign diplomats taken to Neelum Valley to debunk Indian army claim of destroying ‘terror launch pads’

Int'l envoys taken to Neelum Valley to debunk Indian claims My Country
Int'l envoys taken to Neelum Valley to debunk Indian claims My Country

Int’l envoys taken to Neelum Valley to debunk Indian claims My Country

RAWALPINDI: A team of foreign diplomats posted in Pakistan were taken to the Neelum Valley in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to witness firsthand whether the Indian army had “smashed four terror launch pads” there early Sunday, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said in a tweet on Tuesday.

The diplomats were taken to the Nauseri, Shahkot and Jura sectors near the Line of Control (LoC), as well as the Nausada village, which has suffered severe damage in attacks by Indian troops. The trip was arranged so they can verify for themselves the claims made by Indian army chief Gen Bipin Rawat.

Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor briefed the diplomats and media persons about the situation in the area. The visitors were also shown remains of the artillery shells that allegedly fired by the Indian troops from across the LoC.

DG ISPR said that in 2018, there were 3,038 Indian ceasefire violations and 58 civilians were martyred while 319 were injured. In 2019, so far there have been 2,608 ceasefire violations due to which 44 civilians have been martyred and 230 injured.

He said the difference between the Pakistan Army and Indian army was that the former follows military norms and only targets Indian posts.

DG ISPR added that the foreign diplomats had visited Jura bazaar and met the local population and shop owners and witnessed firsthand the damage inflicted on the shops and houses that were claimed to be launchpads by India.

“It’s all innocent people being targeted by India,” he said.

No official from the Indian High Commission joined the team visiting the LoC today, Dr Faisal said.

“The Indian side has not joined us in the visit to the LoC nor have they provided coordinates of the alleged ‘launchpads’,” the FO spokesperson tweeted. He added that India had also failed to share the coordinates of launchpads which the Indian army claimed to have destroyed.

“‘Claims’ by Indian Army Chief remain just that: ‘claims’,” he added.

Maj Gen Ghafoor — who had last night challenged Indian officials “to take any foreign diplomat/media to ‘prove’ [its allegations] on ground” — also commented on the absence of Indian officials: “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,” he tweeted. “However, a group of foreign diplomats and media is on the way to LoC to see the truth on [the] ground.”

Int’l envoys taken to Neelum Valley to debunk Indian claims My Country