Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has pleaded for US President Donald Trump to mediate in the Kashmir dispute, something that the POTUS has previously offered to do.
“This is the time to do so as [the] situation deteriorates there and along the LOC [the Line of Control in the disputed region] with new aggressive actions being taken by Indian occupation forces. This has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis”, the head of the Pakistani government posted on Twitter, condemning “India's attack across LOC on innocent civilians”.
In a series of tweets, he accused the Indian forces of the “use of cluster munitions in violation of int [sic] humanitarian law and it’s [sic] own commitments under the 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons” and called on the United Nations’ Security Council to “take note of this international threat to peace & security”.
“It is time to end the long night of suffering for the people of Occupied Kashmir. They must be allowed to exercise their right to self determination according to UN SC resolutions. The only road to peace & security in South Asia runs through a peaceful & just settlement of Kashmir”, he posted, reacting to the unrest in the region.
I condemn India's attack across LOC on innocent civilians & it's use of cluster munitions in violation of int humanitarian law and it's own commitments under the 1983 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons. UNSC must take note of this international threat to peace & security.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 4, 2019
According to a Pakistani military statement, the Indian Army on the night of 30-31 July targeted civilians, including women and children, in the Neelum Valley using cluster munitions. As a result, the military claims, two people died and eleven more were injured. The Indian Army has denied the accusations of using prohibited weapons, the news agency ANI reported.
The remarks were made a day after Indian media reported on New Delhi’s decision to significantly boost its forces in Jammu and Kashmir by sending 28,000 troops from the country's Central Armed Police Force to the India-administered part of the region last week, in addition to 10,000 soldiers already deployed there.
The security boost comes amid intermittent firing across the Line of Control (LoC) that the Kashmir Valley has been witnessing since 8 July. Numerous civilians have been killed and injured on both the Pakistani and Indian sides of the LoC. As tensions peaked in late July, the Indian authorities warned of terror threats in the region and issued an evacuation order for thousands of tourists and pilgrims travelling to a Hindu shrine located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
For its part, the Pakistani authorities have also issued an advisory notice for civilians in the region, warning of Indian Army aggression. Pakistan has evacuated around 50 Chinese nationals who were working on a dam project in the area.
The recent escalation comes half a year after a 14 February terrorist attack on an Indian military convoy in Kashmir in which over 40 servicemen were killed. The Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad allegedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
Following the assault, India carried out an airstrike in the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir, targeting what it claimed was a training camp belonging to the terrorist group. India has blamed Islamabad for supporting terrorists and having a "direct hand" in a deadly attack on the Indian paramilitary police force in Jammu and Kashmir, something which Pakistan denies.