Ceasefire violations: It’s time to act now

Overall, the situation at hand has to be controlled. Either the Pakistani PM will have to leave his passive aggressiveness and take control of the situation in border areas, or Indian PM needs to launch some action.

Pakistan troops resorted to heavy shelling at Indian positions in R.S. Pura sector of the international border in Jammu district late Monday night.

A senior para military Border Security Force (BSF) officer told IANS that Pakistan troops used 82 millimetre mortars and other heavy weaponry to target our positions in Nikkowal and Abdullian areas of R.S. Pura sector.

“The firing started at 9.45 p.m. on Monday. We have retaliated strongly to Pakistan shelling. Firing exchanges continued till early morning on Tuesday in these areas,” the officer said.

The incidence took place just a day after Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah had said that if Pakistan continues to violate the ceasefire agreement, India would have no option but to respond with force.

Addressing a state police function in Srinagar, Abdullah had said, “In case Pakistan doesn’t respect the ceasefire agreement and continues to violate it, then New Delhi should look for other options… If they (Pakistani troops) violate ceasefire and continue attacks on us, we won’t tolerate it.”

Showing his concern towards his people who have been badly hit by consistent attacks on villages in  Samba, RS Pura and Akhnoor, Abdullah had said, “It has made the local people leave their homes, abandon agricultural activities and flee to safer places.”

“Obviously, this cannot be a one-sided affair. It cannot be a situation where we are at the receiving end and no response is given,” he had further added.
Stating that he would ask the Centre to take up the issue with Pakistan, he had said, “Tell them that the answer to shelling cannot be given by words. We do not want to retaliate with the bullet for the larger interests of the civilians living near the LoC and IB, but that does not mean that the answer to the bullet is not the bullet.”

He had added that the “forces behind creating tension on the border… will not be allowed to succeed”.

Stating that India and Pakistan had worked out a mechanism “whereby the DGMOs of the two countries would meet and find ways to deescalate tension on the LoC and IB”, Abdullah had said, “I believe that is an option that needs to be exercised, failing which the Government of India will have to look at responding to the ceasefire violation.”

On Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement seeking US intervention in resolving the Kashmir issue, Abdullah exhorted that Sharif was “guilty of playing to his home audience as he knows that India won’t accept any sort of foreign intervention.”

This was the second time in the last three days that Abdullah has expressed concern over the ceasefire violations on the LoC and IB. 

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will be visiting some places along the international border in Jammu region on Tuesday along with Abdullah to take stock of the situation.

Given that there have been 108 ceasefire violations by Pakistan this year only, Abdullah’s statement holds merit. The recent attack has made it more than clear that Pakistan is looking for some retaliation by the Indian side.

On Friday night itself in the Pakistani attack, two Border Security Force jawans sustained grievous injuries. The BSF had also lodged a complaint with the Pakistani rangers over the incident.

The government has till now showed no intention of serious action against Pakistan. The talks between Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of UN meet saw some strong words but yielded no results.

Stating that he wouldn’t accept any third party intervention in Kashmir, Abdullah targetted Sharif saying the government cannot stay silent despite the continuous attacks. “Pakistan PM is guilty of playing to his home audience. I don’t understand whether the Pakistani Prime Minister is involved in this (ceasefire violations) or whether he has no control on what’s happening in his country,” Abdullah said.

Overall, the situation at hand has to be controlled. Either the Pakistani PM will have to leave his passive aggressiveness and take control of the situation in border areas, or Indian PM needs to launch some action.

-with inputs from IANS

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