5 ceasefire violations by Pak after flag meet

published on January 15, 2013
JAMMU/NEW DELHI: The meandering 778-km Line of Control (LoC) remains red-hot, with Pakistan violating the ceasefire at least five times after the Brigadier-level flag meeting was held at the Chakkan-Da-Bagh crossing point in Poonch district on Monday afternoon.

“Pakistan came to the flag meeting with a prepared script…He (the Pakistani brigadier) read out from a prepared text and denied everything. Even after the flag meeting, there were three ceasefire violations. They fired from small arms as well as mortars,” said Lt-General K T Parnaik, who as the Northern Army Command chief is responsible for the LoC as well as J&K.

The senior officer said Pakistan chose to remain in “denial mode” during the flag meeting despite all evidence that Pakistani Army’s SSG commandos had intruded well into Indian territory in the Mendhar sector and beheaded Lance-Naik Hemraj of the 13 Rajputana Rifles, apart from mutilating the body of Lance-Naik Sudhakar Singh, on January 8.

This comes a day after Army chief General Bikram Singh said he had instructed all battalion commanders on the LoC to retaliate “aggressively and offensively” if the Pakistani Army provokes them by violating the ceasefire or pushing militants into J&K.

The fresh ceasefire violations since Monday afternoon were reported from the Mendhar, Balnoi and Uri sectors, which are also traditional infiltration routes. “We did not respond because they were not effective…we do not believe in reacting in haste and anger…We have lot of options and plans. We will react in time,” said Lt-Gen Parnaik.

“We accused them (at the flag meeting) of carrying out the barbaric act…we insisted that the head (of Lance-Naik Hemraj) be returned. We also drew their attention to the frequent firing in the area,” he added.

Apart from registering a strong protest about the “dastardly act”, the Indian delegation at the flag meeting also presented a file with photographs to show landmines planted by Pakistani troops in forward areas inside Indian territory. Pakistan, however, rejected all the evidence, and instead accused India of cross-border raids and escalation in ceasefire violations.

Lt-Gen Parnaik said the infrastructure of terrorism was still “very much intact” across the border, with over 2,500 militants in 43 terror-training camps. Moreover, around 450 terrorists are present on “border launch pads” waiting for an opportunity to sneak into India, with militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) working in close conjunction with the Pakistani Army to launch attacks on India.

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