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India lodges protest with Pakistan over ceasefire violations


Army personnel during an encounter with militants, at Lolaab Forest in Kupwara district on Tuesday. India's army clashed with suspected militants in Indian Kashmir near the disputed border with Pakistan, leaving two soldiers and four rebels dead, a military official said. Photo: AFP
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New Delhi/United Nations/Jammu: India on Tuesday lodged a protest with Pakistan over increased border ceasefire violations as top military officials of the two countries held telephonic talks and agreed to hold flag meetings to defuse the situation as guns fell silent along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu sector after fortnight-long continuous firing by Pakistani troops and shelling exchanges in which two civilians were killed and 17 others injured in 22 ceasefire violations.

At United Nations, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has asked India and Pakistan to resolve their issues peacefully and through dialogue, against the backdrop of cancellation of foreign-secretary level talks between the two nations and continued ceasefire violations by Pakistan along border posts.

The DGMO (Director General Military Operations) talks were held around 1200 hours for about 10 minutes during which "all relevant issues" were raised, army officials said.

During the talks, the Indian side is understood to have raised the issue of frequent ceasefire violations and lodged protest over the issue, Army sources said here.

There have been 95 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control and it has also breached the ceasefire pact 25 times on the International Border.

"The two sides have agreed to hold flag meetings at field levels by both Army and BSF to defuse the situation," the Army officials said.

The DGMOs—Lt Gen PR Kumar from India and Major General Amir Riaz from Pakistan—discussed the border situation during their talk on hotline which takes place every Tuesday.

The DGMOs hold talks every week during which they discuss issues related to the Line of Control (LoC) and other areas.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has said in New Delhi that India has been responding effectively and strongly to the ceasefire violations by Pakistan side.

In Jammu, BSF officer Vinood Yadav said: "Borders are clam. There was no ceasefire violation along the International border (IB) in Jammu and Samba sectors.

Guns have fallen silent after strong retaliation, he said.

"After fortnight-long firing and shelling, there has been peace along the border during the night. Entire border belt had been disturbed due to it. It was a tough time dealing with the situation", Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), R S Pura, Devender Singh said.

As calm returned, many border dwellers reportedly rushed back to their villages.

According to a statement given to Indian news agency PTI from the office of Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson in response to questions about the cancellation of the talks and ceasefire violations:  "The secretary-general calls on both sides to solve the issues peacefully and through dialogue."

The statement did not respond to a question whether the UN chief would intervene in the tensed situation and encourage the leaders from the two countries to meet.

The BSF said that it was for the first time after the 1971 that Pakistani troops were firing at Indian posts on such a massive scale.

BSF Director General D.K. Pathak said: "It is for the first time after the 1971 that Pakistani troops have been violating the ceasefire on the international border on such a large scale, targeting even civilian areas in Jammu and Kashmir."

Pathak was speaking to the media at the Miran Sahib headquarters of the BSF in Jammu district.

He said the BSF had been effectively retaliating against the Pakistani military on the international border.

"We are giving them a befitting reply as we ensure that no civilian areas on their side are affected by our response."

Pathak said there were 25-30 launching pads where heavily armed militants were waiting on the Pakistan side to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir.

"These launching pads are located in schools, community halls and forest areas on the other side," he said.

Pathak is also visiting a government medical college hospital in Jammu to meet those injured by Pakistan firing.

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Why is this not mentioned that this firing of Pakistani military was not unprovoked. The Indian Border Security Force has been attacking with fires and shells at places along the border at numerous times. 1 civilian was killed by the Indian Firing. The BSF even attacked a post in Sialkot region thereby provoking a hard retaliation. The Pakistan Military is capable of replying to these attacks with Might and aggression and here is just your proof ....