The Pakistan Army has come down to its low as it is using Kashmiri lives as a human shield in the Kashmir valley. 82mm and 120mm mortar guns bang in the middle of villages located along the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been installed by the army of the enemy country.
The Sunday Guardian exclusively took aerial photographs of one of these villages in which heavy guns can be seen installed in houses of the civilians in PoK. The village is facing Poonch on the Indian side and is situated near Kahuta in PoK at a distance of around 3 km from the LoC.
The mortar guns are installed in such a way that if Indian Army backfires at Pak firing coming from these mortar guns, the Kashmiri civilians will be exposed to Indian shelling, along with the position of Pakistan army. This will give severe casualties to civilian. In this manner, Pakistan army is using Kashmir lives in PoK as human shields. This is the condition not only of one village but almost all the villages along the LoC in PoK. When the photographs are seen closely, it shows a number of circular structures that are Pakistan army’s 82mm and 120mm mortar guns. The rectangular structures indicate the houses of the Kashmiri population living there.
Commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A.K. Bhatt and Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) while talking about the dirty tricks Pak army uses said, “Pakistan army is known for using PoK villages situated in the vicinity of LoC to hide their mortar positions and headquarters.”
The former Director-General of Defence Intelligence Agency, Lt Gen (Rtd) V.G. Khandare said, “Whenever under pressure from Indian Army on the LoC, Pakistan army employs civilians to act as shields while simultaneously targeting and causing casualties to Indian civilians by putting pressure on the Indian side and preventing us from accurate and effective firing.”
The former Indian Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh has also the similar story to share. He considered the employing of innocent locals as human shields as a perennial modus operandi of the Pak army unscrupulous practice. General also described the way by which Pak army deliberately keeps its mortar and guns positions virtually hugging the villages in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, “They have repeatedly exploited and undermined the human rights of the innocent locals and soldiers from PoK. During the Kargil conflict also they had made the Northern Light Infantry soldiers into cannon fodder and disowned them.”
Gen was commanding a battalion at Tangdhar on the LoC in the early 1990s as a colonel and at that time the Pakistan army had the information about the movement timings of the UN vehicles on the Nausheri-Jura road in the PoK, “would open fire on our posts a couple of minutes before their arrival to provoke retaliation from us. Our retaliatory fire would then be projected to the UN personnel as unprovoked and even as a blatant disregard for their safety,” said Gen. When the UN teams reached the spot, they would see the firings open only at Indian side and not at the Pakistanis. This would leave an impression that the Indian Army was targeting civilians in PoK.
Pakistan for last few months has been putting allegations on India in various International forums for violating human rights in the Kashmir valley. However, the photographs revel the opposite side of the story. Pak has been using Kashmiri lives to defame India’s name on the International level.