Jammu: Pakistani forces violated the ceasefire for the third time in two days as they targeted 12 Indian posts overnight along the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir. This was hours after an Indian jawan and four Pakistani soldiers were killed in firing between the two sides.
"Pakistan does not like to stay quiet even on New Year day. They started (cross-border) firing at 12.30 pm and don't seem to learn (any) lesson," Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said today. On Tuesday, he said the Indian Army would retaliate with "double the force" to any ceasefire violation by Pakistan.
"We will lodge a protest against the ceasefire violations," Rakesh Sharma, a senior officer of the Border Security Force (BSF) said today. He said the firing by Pakistan was an attempt to provide cover fire for 50-60 militants waiting to cross over, and also to "internationalise the Kashmir issue."
A civilian was injured in mortar shelling by Pakistani troops through the night in Samba district, 41 km from Jammu.
Pakistan had on Wednesday evening summoned the Indian envoy in Islamabad to register protest after four of its rangers were killed in retaliatory fire by India. A BSF jawan was killed earlier when Pakistani Rangers fired on a patrol party.
Indian troops stopped firing when the Rangers raised a white flag, asking for time to remove the bodies.
"Pakistan should not have done this. If Pakistan challenges us at the border, our army and BSF will give a fitting reply," Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today asked National Security Advisor Sartaz Aziz to raise the issue of cross-border firing with New Delhi.
Cross-border violence has, in recent months, been the worst in over a decade. In October, at least 20 civilians were killed on both sides. The worst violence was in the Kashmir Valley in early December, when terrorists killed 11 Indian soldiers and police in the middle of elections in the state.
India summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Abdul Basit earlier this week to protest against the possibility of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi walking free.
Lakhvi, who was arrested in 2009 for orchestrating the Mumbai attacks, was granted bail by a Pakistani court on December 18, drawing strong condemnation from New Delhi. Pakistan this week arrested him in another case, ensuring that he remains in jail for now. Pakistan had said it will appeal against his bail in the Supreme Court.