Pakistan violated the 2003 ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control (LoC) 77 times in 2008an exponential rise over previous yearsDefence Minister A K Antony said on Monday.
The ceasefire was violated 21 times in 2007 and only thrice in 2006. Nine incidents of ceasefire violation have been recorded so far this year,none of these in Kargil region where the two countries fought a bloody war ten years ago.
The sharp jump in the number of ceasefire violations last year,analysts say,was a result of Pakistans deliberate decision to work out the threshold of Indian Armys tolerance as well as force it to rework its counter-infiltration grid so that more infiltrators could be pushed into India. This,experts say,was put to practical use earlier this year when several large groups of infiltrators tried to cross the border while the LoC fence was still under snow.
Antony said nine defence personnel were killed and 25 injured in cross-border firing and shelling since 2006. In the same period,Army lost 690 personnel,including 54 officers,to counter-infiltration and anti-terror operations in J&K and North-east. Earlier figures had shown that Army is losing more soldiers in North-east than in J&K,which has been a little more peaceful since the 2003 ceasefire.