New Delhi: At a time when the ceasefire violation from Pakistan is still on the rise, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the Pakistan army was involved in a total of 3,479 ceasefire violations along the Jammu and Kashmir border in 2019. Also Read - Ceasefire Violations: China Asks India, Pakistan to Exercise Restraint Along LoC

The Union Defence Minister said this in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha. He further informed that 13 Indian Army personnel and two soldiers of the Border Security Force (BSF) were killed in action in 2019 due to ceasefire violations (CFVs) and cross border firing (CBF) from the Pakistan side. Also Read - J&K: Indian Army Retaliates to Pakistan's Ceasefire Violation in Shahpur

“Very often terrorists attempting to carry out reconnaissance to facilitate infiltration also become casualties and these are then depicted as civilian casualties to portray India’s action as being aggressive,” Singh informed Rajya Sabha. Also Read - J&K: Army Jawan Martyred in a Ceasefire Violation by Pakistan in KG Sector

The minister added that the ceasefire violations are done from the Pakistan side to draw the attention of international media to CFVs and CBF, and divert the attention from the support provided to terrorists, who are trained by Pakistan.

He also informed that the appropriate retaliation to the CFVs, as needed, is being carried out by the Indian Army or BSF.

“In addition, all violations of ceasefire are taken up with Pakistan authorities at the appropriate level through the established mechanism of hotlines, flag meetings as well as weekly talks between the Directorate Generals of Military Operations of the two countries,” Singh stated.

Saying that in January, February and March, there were 216, 251 and 275 CFVs, the minister added that in October, November and December, there were 398, 333 and 393 CFVs from the Pakistan side. “At 190, the lowest number of CFVs in 2019, were observed in the month of June,” he informed.