From just eight in January 2017, ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) in January this year are already up to 134 according to data with the Ministry of Defence. With 860 ceasefire violation recorded in 2017, January is likely to record the highest number of ceasefire violations along the LoC in 14 years.
Of the 860 ceasefire violations in 2017, December accounted for 147, the highest ever so far. Pakistan has claimed there were more than 1,900 ceasefire violations last year and Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has alleged there were over 75 ceasefire violations by India in January 2018, so far.
Sources in the Indian Army’s Northern Command headquartered in Udhampur told The Indian Express they expect the number in January to go past the ceasefire violations in December, which will make it the month with the highest number of ceasefire violations since October 2003. India and Pakistan agreed to a formal ceasefire in 2003 along the LoC which, which lasted, with certain exceptions, till late 2016. There were 271 ceasefire violations on the LoC in 2016, a climb-down from 387 violations in 2015.
Historically, Infiltration during the snow-bound winter months has been low and even the International Border (IB) in Jammu have witnessed increased ceasefire violations over the last few days.
Sources told The Indian Express that the increase in ceasefire violations is primarily due to two reasons: Pakistani violates the ceasefire to provide cover to help militants infiltrate across the LoC, which draws an Indian response and as part of India’s proactive counter-terror strategy to target Pakistan army posts on the LoC acting as terror launch-pads.
Meanwhile, the death toll in border firing is up to 12 since in the last five days. The dead include seven civilians, three armymen and two BSF personnel. While army is deployed on the LoC, BSF is in-charge of the International Boundary in Jammu region.