In view of repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan over the last few weeks, the Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistani Rangers held a flag meeting on Thursday, where India lodged a strong protest over ‘unprovoked’ firing by Pakistan along the International Border (IB), reported PTI quoting BSF. The flag meeting was necessitated after a spike in ceasefire violations along the International Border that have resulted in more casualties on both sides – among civilians and in the two militaries – than at any other time in the last 14 years.
The 30-minute meeting held at noon saw a five-member BSF team led by BSF Deputy Inspector General (DIG) P S Dhiman sitting across a 10-member Pak Rangers team that was headed by Brigadier Amjad Hussain of Pak Rangers, sector commander of the Chenab (Sialkot) sector. During this period, the statement said, the BSF “successfully foiled a number of infiltration attempts from the Pakistani soil, including neutralisation of one intruder who tried to infiltrate on January 4 in the Arnia Sector.”
The BSF had fired over 9,000 rounds of mortar shells across the Jammu IB in the last few days as part of “pinpointed” retaliatory action against this “unprovoked” firing from across the border.
The tension along the border has prompted civilians to evacuate their villages, and schools have been advised to shut in some areas. From only eight in January 2017, ceasefire violations by Pakistan along LoC this month stands at 134, as per Defence Ministry data. With 860 ceasefire violation recorded in 2017, January is likely to record the highest number of ceasefire violations along the LoC in 14 years. Also Read: January likely to record most violations of ceasefire on the LoC since 2003
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. Also Read: Day-by-day account: Fire and deaths on India-Pakistan LoC, International Border
(With PTI inputs)