Lahore: The Senate Defence Committee today toured the Nakial Sector of the Line of Control in Kotli district of Azad Kashmir and visited forward positions, where the Senators expressed solidarity with the soldiers and civilians, affected by the Indian Army’s shelling. The Senate Defence Committee delegation was led by its Chairman, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.
The Senate delegation landed at Nakial Tehsil of Kotli district of Azad Kashmir where they were briefed by the Brigade Commander, Brig Tufail. During the briefing, the Senators were informed that as a result of Indian wilful violations of the ceasefire, there were a large number of civilian casualties including fatalities of women and children.
The aggressive Indian military approach began after the Modi government took office in India in 2014, and this part of Kotli district, where the Line of Control extends to an area of 77 kilometres, witnessed large-scale shelling, mortar fire and other kinds of attacks targeting the civilian population. During the September 2015 clashes, the Pakistan Army hit back and a number of Indian casualties took place, including 18 deaths and 41 casualties for the Indian Army.
Speaking to the media, Senator Mushahid Hussain strongly condemned the Indian aggression saying India had become more aggressive since Prime Minister Modi took office in 2014and termed the Indian role asa violation of all canons of civilised behaviour as well as UN resolutions, since the Indian side was also violating the Geneva Conventions by attacking civilians.
He said the parliament and people of Pakistan were proud of the bravery and valour of the Pakistan Army and he said the civilian population too, living on the LoC, showed tremendous courage and tenacity. He also lauded the morale of the people living on the LoC. He also criticised the Indian government and military for undermining UN resolutions by their non-cooperation with the UN Military Observers stationed on either side of the LoC.
Senator Mushahid Hussain said the Senate Defence Committee always spoke above party lines, viewing defence and security in a national perspective. He said the Senate Defence Committee also endeavoured to be a bridge between the khaki and mufti, urging both the civilians and soldiers to work in harmony and mutual coexistence to protect national security and promote national development.
The Senate Defence Committee also met a delegation of notables and affected people of the area, including former Azad Kashmir President Sardar Sikander Hayat Khan.
The Senators affirmed to the local people to take up their issues of compensation and provision of amenities like hospitals and ambulances in the Parliament of Pakistan. The people thanked the Senate Defence Committee for visiting far-flung areas across the Line of Control.
The delegation included Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Maulana Ataur Rahman, Senator Javed Abbasi and Senator Brig (r) John Kenneth Williams, plus the Senate Defence Committee Staff Director Riaz Khan and Senate Secretariat deputy secretary, Hammad Marri.