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Pakistan accuses India of shooting UN vehicle

Alex Berry
December 19, 2020

Pakistan has summoned a top Indian diplomat over the alleged shooting of a UN vehicle by Indian armed forces in the disputed region of Kashmir.

UN vehicle crossing the border between India and Pakistan
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been increasing in recent years over the disputed Kashmir regionImage: Narinder Nanu/AFP

The Pakistani government has called on the Indian chargé d'affaires to explain the "deliberate targeting" of a UN vehicle in Kashmir, according to an announcement published by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

Previously, the Pakistani authorities accused India of shooting at a vehicle which was carrying two UN observers. The observers were traveling through the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir to meet with the victims of a prior Indian violation of the cease-fire agreement.

The two UN employees were rescued by the Pakistani army and escaped the incident unscathed, according to the dpa news agency.

'Flagrant violation' of international diplomacy

Saturday's statement called the attack "unambiguously premeditated" due to the distinctive markings of the UN vehicle.

"It was communicated to the Indian side that the brazen act was a flagrant violation of established international norms and represented a complete disregard for principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter," the official statement read.

The Twitter account for the spokesperson of Pakistan's armed forces published a tweet showing the damage done to the UN vehicles.

The tweet accused the Indian Army of carrying out "unprovoked fire" in the Chirikot sector of the "Line of Control" (LoC) — a de facto border between the two countries which divides up the region of Kashmir.

"Indian troops deliberately targeted a United Nations vehicle with 2 Military Observers on board," the spokesperson added.

Disputed territory behind the tension

Tensions have increased between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in the wake of India's decision to repeal the autonomous status of the part of Kashmir which it control in August 2019.

"This year alone, India has committed 2,992 cease-fire violations to date, resulting in 27 deaths and serious injuries to 249 innocent civilians, including 92 women and 68 children," the Pakistani Foreign Office told press on Friday.

How India reshaped Kashmir by revoking Article 370

Islamabad and New Delhi have already fought two wars over Kashmir, and both claim ownership over the disputed region.

Kashmiri nationalists, who have been seeking independence from both India and Pakistan, fear moves by the occupying powers to increase control in the region will weaken their cause.

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