Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday gave a stern warning to Pakistan for frequently targeting Indian civilians, saying the country “will have to stop indulging in ceasefire violations — whether today or tomorrow”.
Singh was addressing a rally of border migrants at Government Higher Secondary School in Nowshera, in Rajouri district along the border.
Over the past fourth months, nearly 3,000 people have migrated from their homes along the Line of Control to camps set up by civil administration. Referring to the largely peaceful situation prevailing along the nearly 200-km international border in Kathua, Samba and Jammu districts, he said, “In 2014 also, Pakistan used to fire frequently without any provocation there.
Recalling former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s observation that one can change friends but not neighbours, Singh said, “I then told the Director General of BSF to ensure that the first bullet shall not be fired from our side as Pakistan is our neighbour. However, if any bullet comes from across the border, then there shall be no counting of the bullets fired from Indian side.”
“You wait for sometime,” he told the border migrants, “Pakistan will have to stop firing, whether it stops today or tomorrow.” Describing people living along the borders as “real guardians of the country’s frontiers”, Singh assured migrants resolution to the problems they are facing. “I will again come to you only after I have been able to make some achievement on this front,” he said.
Accompanied by Union Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, besides various senior civil and police officers of the state, Singh said people living along the border face unnecessary problems on account of unprovoked ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops.
Referring to the Central government ‘s decision to raise four battalions of the India Reserve Police, Singh said he has asked the Director General of Police to expedite the recruitment process and ensure that 60 per cent recruits are from among youth living in border areas. “It may take some time, but I will do one more thing that 60 per cent of recruitments in BSF, CRPF, CISF and ITBP also take place from among youth living in border areas,” he said.
Barely hours before the Home Minister arrived at Nowshera, Pakistani troops on Monday resorted to unprovoked mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Shahpur area of Poonch. They also fired from automatic and small arms, sources said. The Army retaliated; there was no loss of life or property on the Indian side, they added.