PAK ARMY USING KASHMIRIS AS HUMAN SHIELDS
Pakistan army is resorting to, Commander of t he Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A.K. Bhatt, who was Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) earlier, said, “Pakistan army is known for using PoK villages situated in the vicinity of LoC to hide their mortar positions and headquarters.”
This was reiterated by Lt Gen (Rtd) V.G. Khandare, former Director-General of Defence Intelligence Agency, who 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.”
While describing a similar story, the former Indian Army Chief, Gen Bikram Singh termed this unscrupulous practice of employing innocent locals as human shields as a perennial modus operandi of the Pakistan army. He explained how Pakistan army deliberately keeps its mortar and guns positions virtually hugging the villages in PoK. “They have repeatedly exploited and undermined the hu- man 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.” As a Colonel, when Gen Singh was commanding a battalion at Tangdhar on the LoC in the early 1990s, the Pakistan army, which knew 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.” By the time the UN teams would reach the spot, they would see only the Indians firing and not the Pakistanis. This would create an impression in the UN officials’ minds that the Indian Army was targeting civilians in PoK.
In the last few months, in different international forums, Pakistan has been accusing India of human rights violations in Kashmir, when the truth, as this photograph reveals, it is for the Pakistani army that Kashmiri lives come cheap in their ploy to defame India.