The United Nations has confirmed that a vehicle of the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was hit by an “unidentified object” near Rawalakot and that it was investigating the matter.
“The Mission is currently investigating the incident,” Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said in response to a question from APP at the regular briefing in New York.
Haq said that the the incident occurred when UNMOGIP observers were conducting routine monitoring activities near Rawalakot.
“UNMOGIP personnel and the driver were not harmed but the vehicle sustained some damage,” the spokesman said.
The Indian Army, a day earlier, resorted to unprovoked aggression at the Line of Control (LoC) by targeting a United Nations Military Observers vehicle, according to the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR).
Indian Army resorted to unprovoked fire in
Chirikot Sector of #LOC. Indian troops deliberately targeted a United Nations vehicle with 2 Military Observers on board, enroute to interact with CFV victims in Polas Village in Chirikot Sector. It must be noted that the UN (1/4) pic.twitter.com/9MB0uLpq6d
— DG ISPR (@OfficialDGISPR) December 18, 2020
The ISPR said that two military observers were on-board the vehicle which was damaged in the attack. Both observers were rescued and safely evacuated to Rawalakot.
The UN vehicle, according to the military’s media wing, was on its way to meet Indian ceasefire violations’ victims at the Polas Village in the Chirikot sector.
Slamming India for targeting innocent civilians and UN peacekeepers across the border, Pakistan condemned the Indian Army for its naked aggression.
“It must be noted that The UN vehicles are clearly recognisable even from long distances due to their distinct make and type and clearly visible markings,” said the ISPR.
“Such illegal and unlawful acts, against all established international norms, signify mal-intent of Indian Army to target not only innocent civilians residing along the Line of Control but UN Peace Keepers as well,” it added.
Pakistan Army said it stands in solidarity with UNMOGIP officials and appreciates “the selfless services rendered by all members of UNMOGIP in discharge of their UN mandated duties.”
The incident was reported while Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in Abu Dhabi, told a press conference that he had received information “through our intelligence agencies” that India was preparing to launch a surgical strike against Pakistan and fanning a new wave of terrorism.
Terming the situation as sensitive, he said Pakistan was fully aware of India’s conspiracies and vowed that Islamabad would respond befittingly should New Delhi initiate military action.
FM Qureshi said that India was “trying to seek tacit approval” from “important players who they consider to be their partners”.
The foreign minister said that this misadventure, in Pakistan’s opinion, was being done to divert attention from serious issues. “To begin with: The situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.”
FM Qureshi said that the situation was minimal, but now it has deteriorated further, and because of the current Indian regime’s policies, there is a country-wide protest of farmers.
“The mishandling of the coronavirus by Indian authorities is known to everyone and the impact that it is having on their economy is known to all of you,” he said.
The farmers’ protest is growing as Opposition parties, civil society, and trade unions have expressed their support for them, he said, adding that the minorities were “uncomfortable in India.”
“The citizenship act, the protests that you see in Assam because of NRC. They have not gone away. The Sikhs, Dalits, and Muslims are very disturbed,” he said.
Keeping these points in mind, the foreign minister said that in India’s opinion, it was a good way to unify a “divided nation”.