New Delhi, June 4: The government would be forced to revoke the Ramzan ceasefire it had announced last month if Pakistan continued to indulge in cross-border firing and terrorism, Union minister Hansraj Ahir said on Sunday. His statement came on a day when two Border Security Force (BSF) jawans were martyred and several civilians injured as Pakistan violated ceasefire violation along the International Border (IB) in Jammu region.
“We had decided to suspend operations in view of Ramzan. However, there is no respite in cross-border terrorism and ceasefire violations on the part of Pakistan. We will be constrained to revoke the ceasefire agreement,” Union minister of state for home said at a press conference in Yavatmal.
Adding further, Ahir said that the provisions of the truce allow India to retaliate if Pakistan initiates unprovoked firing. He asserted that India continues to believe in the “no-first-strike” policy.
The government had on May 16 directed security forces in Jammu and Kashmir to follow what it called “non-initiation of combat operations” during the holy month of Ramzan. The security forces, however, reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people, the ministry had said.
On Sunday, heavy firing and shelling from the Pakistani side continued in Pragwal area of Akhnoor, Kanachak and Khour sectors of Jammu district for almost 12 hours. The cross-border firing ended 12 days of lull in the border skirmishes.
The Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing by targeting forward duty points along the IB in Pragwal around 0115 hours. Assistant Sub-inspector Satya Narayan Yadav and Constable Vijay Kumar Pandey – both residents of Uttar Pardesh – were killed and 13 civilians injured in unprovoked and indiscriminate firing by Pakistani rangers in Akhnoor, Kanachak and Khour sectors of Jammu district today, officials said. The cremation of the martyrs would be held on Monday at their respective native villages in Uttar Pradesh.
The latest deaths in the Pakistani firing raised the casualty figure during ceasefire violations along the IB and the Line of Control (LoC) in the state to 46. The dead include 20 security personnel.
CM Mehbooba Mufti Urges to Stop The Bloodshed
Terming as “unfortunate” the fresh ceasefire violation along the International Border in Jammu region, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said the DGMOs of India and Pakistan should hold dialogue again and stop the bloodshed.
The ceasefire violation on the border, in which two BSF jawans have been martyred and several civilians injured, is very unfortunate and it happened despite DGMO-level talks. It should not have happened, Mehbooba told reporters.
India Fully Equipped to Handle Pakistan, Says Jammu IGP
Inspector General of Police (IGP) SD Singh said the armed forces, civil administration and police are “fully equipped to handle Pakistan.”
“Our forces retaliated, and we are ready to face any situation. The civil administration, armed forces, and the police are fully equipped to handle Pakistan. We have bullet-proof cars and our staff is on the ground. People are also with the army and they have a very high morale,” he told media here.
Adding further, he said, “We are fully prepared to face any situation. 13 civilians are injured but their morale is high, we have made full arrangements to vacate people from vulnerable area.”
Last month, thousands of people residing along the IB in Jammu, Kathua and Samba districts had to flee their homes following intense shelling from the Pakistani side between May 15 and May 23 which left 12 people dead, including two BSF jawans and an infant, and scores of others injured. (Agencies Inputs)