Our vehicle monitoring Kashmir hit by ‘unidentified object’: UN
One of the vehicles of the United Nations, with its monitoring group in Kashmir, was “hit by an unidentified object” but no one was hurt in the incident, according to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq. He said, on 18 December, that the incident was under investigation, several media outlets reported on Saturday.
Haq did not confirm if the vehicle, belonging to the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), was hit by gunfire on the Pakistan-administered side of Kashmir.
“At this stage, we’re simply aware that a vehicle was hit by an unidentified object,” he said when asked about the incident at the daily UN briefing, adding, “No one was harmed in this incident but a vehicle sustained some damage, and we are investigating the incident.”
India had earlier denied Pakistan’s allegations that the UNMOGIP vehicle was hit by gunfire from Indian forces.
Reports quoting Indian sources said that since the movement of UNMOGIP are known in advance, there was no possibility of its vehicles coming under fire and that there was no firing from Indian forces in the Chirikot sector.
Pakistani Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri had alleged that the UNMOGIP vehicle that was on its way to Polas village came was fired at from Indian border forces in the Chirikot sector along the Line of Control.
The UN outfit began operations in 1949 under the UN Commission for India and Pakistan and when that ended, UNMOGIP was constituted. India maintains that the UNMOGIP has no relevance under the current conditions, even though it continues to allow it to operate.
It is currently led by Uruguayan Major General Jose Eladio Alcain and has a total of 69 personnel, with troops drawn from ten countries. (With inputs from IANS)