MUZAFFARABAD: A chopper carrying AJK Prime Minister (PM) Raja Farooq Haider and some members of his cabinet was attacked by the Indian army from across the Line of Control (LoC) on Sunday.
Firing on the civilian helicopter took place at Tarori village near the LoC in Haveli District of Azad Kashmir, where the AJK premier went to condole the death of a colleague’s elder brother.
However, PM Haider is safe and sound and there is no report of any human or material loss.
While talking to journalists in Islamabad, he termed the incident as cowardice act on the part of India. He said India out of sheer frustration arising out of its failure to crush the resistance put up by valiant people of Kashmir is trying create an atmosphere of war in the region.
The Indian warmongering is also aimed at to deflect world attention from the gross violation of Kashmiris’ human rights that have been exposed UN Human Rights Commission report, PM Haider added.
President Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sardar Masood Khan strongly condemned the unprovoked fire by Indian occupation forces on the AJK PM’s helicopter.
He said such acts by the Indian forces will not intimidate our leadership and civilians in their struggle towards ascertaining the right to self-determination of Kashmiris living under oppressive Indian rule.
The President said that this act displays India’s insecurities and has exposed their aggressive posturing and warmongering methods. He added that such maneuvers by the Indian government and forces is aimed at diverting attention from the grave human rights violations taking place in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
President Khan also said that this incident was a tactic used to raise tensions in the area and delay any prospective talks on Kashmir in a peaceful manner as envisioned under the UN Security Council resolutions.
Later, the President called PM Haider and inquired about the incident apart from expressing relief on his safe return.
Border forces stationed on both sides of the LoC regularly report to each other about aerial movement over the disputed border.
The aerial movement of AJK PM was already informed to the Indian security forces and the helicopter’s white colour clearly indicated that it was a civilian chopper.
The helicopter returned after the firing incident and landed safely without any damage.
On the other hand, the Indian Army issued a statement terming it a Pakistan Army helicopter.
A video has also been released by the Indian Army related to this incident.
The firing incident reflects the state of affairs of panic-stricken Indian army and the media that termed a white-coloured civilian chopper a Pakistan Army helicopter.
The incident comes a day after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi criticised the Indian government for its human rights violations in the Indian-occupied Kashmir and its failure to initiate bilateral peace talks between the two countries on the sidelines of UN General Assembly.