On Friday, the United Nations reported that a UN Military Observation Group vehicle in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) was destroyed after being struck by a “unidentified object” near Rawalakot on the Pakistani side of the Control Line (LoC).
“The Mission is currently investigating the incident,” Secretary-Deputy General’s Spokesman Farhan Haq said at a routine briefing in New York in response to a query from the APP. He said nobody was injured in the crash, according to information present with him but damage was caused by the UNMOGIP car.
In response to a query from an Indian journalist as to whether the UN was aware of the denial of Pakistani reports by the Indian government, Haq said, “We are aware of what both sides have said.”
We are simply conscious at this point that a car has been struck by an unseen object, like I said no one was hurt[…] and we are investigating the incident.
He said the incident occurred when as part of the mandate of the Mission to observe and report on ceasefire violations at the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, UNMOGIP military observers performed regular monitoring activities near Rawalakot.
In Islamabad, in what was called a new low” in Indian actions, the Foreign Office said Indian troops “specifically targeted” the UN vehicle carrying two UNMOGIP officers.
When they came under fire, the UNMOGIP officers were on their way to Polas village to meet with the victims of Indian ceasefire violations, the Foreign Office said.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations, the officers were subsequently evacuated by the Pakistan Army and taken back to the UNMOGIP field station in Rawalakot (ISPR).
Sharing photographs of the UN vehicle with bullet holes, the military media arm said the attack was “deliberate” because “UN vehicles are clearly recognisable even from long distances due to their distinct make and type and clearly visible markings.”
“Such illegal and unlawful acts against all established international norms, signify mal-intent of Indian Army to target not only innocent civilians residing along the Line of Control but UN Peace Keepers as well,”
“This act only goes to show Indian Army’s complete disregard to principles enshrined in the] UN Charter. It is indeed a new low for Indian Army.”
The ISPR claimed that the Pakistan Army was in unity with UNMOGIP officials and valued the “selfless services rendered by all members of UNMOGIP in discharge of their UN-mandated duties”