Antony to Pak: Don’t take our restraint for granted

Army Chief General Bikram Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for update on cross-border firing.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2013 1:07 am

Days after Parliament passed a resolution against Pakistan over the killing of five Indian soldiers along the LoC,the Rajya Sabha called for a befitting response. Defence Minister A K Antony warned Pakistan that India’s restraint should not be taken for granted and asserted that the recent killing of five soldiers will have consequences on bilateral ties. Later in the evening,Army Chief General Bikram Singh met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to update him on cross-border firing and recent incidents of ceasefire violations.

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“Naturally,this incident will have consequences on our behaviour on the LoC and for our relations with Pakistan. Our restraint should not be taken for granted nor should the capacity of our armed forces and resolve of the government to uphold the sanctity of the LoC ever be doubted,” Antony said. Pakistan to respond to tensions with restraint: Sharif

However,he remained evasive on questions by members,including Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley,as to whether talks will be held with Pakistan as there are plans for a meeting between PM Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York next month.

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Antony said the troops have been mobilised to effectively retaliate every violation along the LoC and “they will do everything to ensure the sanctity of the LoC and the nation”. Defending his August 6 statement that “twenty heavily-armed terrorists along with persons dressed in Pakistan Army uniform” were responsible for the killing of jawans,he said he was speaking based on the information available at that time. Antony said the government received more information on the incident after Army Chief Gen. Bikram Singh visited Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the number of ceasefire violations have gone up in the last few years. In 2011,there were 61 violations while in 2012,the figure rose to 117. “This year,there have been 82 violations till August. From August 6 till 6 am today,there have been 24 violations including the tragedy in which our soldiers were killed in Poonch,” Antony said.

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