Ahead of the secretary level talks between the two neighbouring countries, Pakistani troops resorted to ceasefire violation thrice targeting forward Indian positions along the international border and Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
Significantly, the unprovoked firing came from across the border after a lull of 48 hours as the last ceasefire violation by Pakistan had been along the LoC in Poonch district on August 14, when its troops resorted to mortar shelling on forward Indian positions in Balakote area of Mendhar and Hamirpur in Poonch tehsil. This has been the 11th ceasefire violation since the beginning of August.
Sources said that the first ceasefire violation took place when a burst came from across the international border at BSF naka points in R S Pura sector around 1.15 am. After nearly an hour came another burst in the area from Pakistan side, but the BSF did not retaliate.
However, Pakistani Rangers resorted to firing on BSF positions in Arnia sector around 2.35 am. As it escalated in another one hour, the BSF retaliated with equal caliber weapons, the spokesman said, adding that the intermittent exchange of fire ended in Arnia sector around 6 am and an hour later in R S Pura sector. There was no casualty or damage to property on the Indian side.
However, barely two hours after the firing stopped along the international border, Pakistani troops started targeting forward Indian positions along the LoC in Mendhar and Poonch tehsils. A defence ministry spokesman here said that Pakistani troops resorted to small arms and automatic weapons fire on the Indian side in Hamirpur area of Poonch sector around 8.40 am.
The Indian Army also retaliated with equal caliber weapons. However, there was no casualty or damage on the Indian side
Pakistan has been resorting to unprovoked firing on Indian side, both along the international border and the LoC, at frequent intervals since August 5th. The ceasefire violation which initially took place on the LoC in Poonch on August 5th, later spread to international border with Rangers targeting even residential areas in Arnia and R S Pura sectors with mortar shells on August 11th.
Early last week, four people including two BSF jawans were injured in firing by Pakistani Rangers in Arnia sector. Some structures had also sustained damage when Pakistani mortars fell in residential areas.
Tension has been mounting along the international border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors following repeated incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan Rangers during the last many days. In view of the mounting tension, there had been no exchange of sweets between the two sides on the international border in Jammu frontier despite Pakistan’s goodwill gesture of returning a BSF jawan to India after he had swept across the border by Chenab waters.
Significantly, the continuous incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan are taking place when foreign secretaries of both the countries are slated to meet in Islamabad on August 25. Sources attributed the ceasefire violations as cover fire by Pakistani troops to terrorists who have been desperate to sneak into the state ahead of the coming assembly polls, which are likely to take place by year end.