There had been no let-up in tension between India and Pakistan on Saturday as the latter resorted to unprovoked small arms firing and mortar shelling along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Mankote area of Poonch district.
Giving details, sources said that Pakistani troops along the LoC on Saturday morning started firing from small arms and mortars on the Indian side in Mankote area. The firing was intense till 1.30 pm, sources said, adding that though its intensity decreased thereafter, the firing from across the LoC was continuing at frequent intervals.
Meanwhile, BSF foiled an infiltration attempt from across the international border and captured alive a Pakistani intruder in an injured condition in Samba sector. His identity is yet to be ascertained.
The Indian army retaliated to the ceasefire promptly and there had been no casualties or damage on the Indian side as mortar shells fell in the fields.
In view of continued tension, there was no exchange of sweets between the two countries at any place along the international border and LoC in the state, sources said. The situation is not congenial for exchange of pleasantries between both the countries in view of continued incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops.
Ever since the start to 2019, Pakistani troops in a bid to push in armed terrorists into the state have been resorting to unprovoked firing on the Indian side almost on a daily basis, an army official said. While an Assistant Commandant of the Border Security Force was killed in firing by Pakistani troops along the international border in Kathua district’s Hiranagar sector on January 15, an army Major was among two killed in IED explosions in Rajouri district’s Lam area on January 11. Over half a dozen army and BSF personnel have been injured in firing or IED explosions from across the border.
There has been heavy damage on Pakistan side as well, due to the retaliation by the Indian Army and BSF.
According to reports, there were nearly 300 terrorists camping at launch pads across the border waiting for an opportunity to sneak into the state from Pakistan, ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. The Pakistani troops were desperate to push in terrorists in view of the successful conduct of panchayat and municipal elections in Jammu and Kashmir recently, sources said.
There had been 2,936 instances of ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018, the highest in the last 15 years. At least 61 people were killed and over 250 were injured in the ceasefire violations last year.