External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a written communication to Pakistani Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has dismissed the contentions made by him in his letter of January 2 to her.
“The External Affairs Minister stated that the incidents on December 31 in the Jammu sector commenced when a routine BSF patrol flying an identifying flag came under sniper fire from a Pakistan Border Post, which resulted in the death of one Indian security personnel and serious injuries to another,” a release issued by MEA read. “She emphasised that Pakistani commanders responded to Indian defensive fire by escalating matters by using higher calibre weapons, expanding the zone of conflict and targeting civilian habitations,” it added.
According to the MEA, at no stage did the Indian side seek any platoon-level contact under a white flag as was suggested in Aziz’s letter.
“The consistent Indian message conveyed to Pakistan was that if they were to stop firing on Indian Border Posts, defensive firing from the Indian side would end immediately. Unfortunately, Pakistan’s commanders had chosen to ignore this advice until the evening,” it said.
She emphasized that India always adhered by the mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquility on the border and LoC and would continue to do so.