Ahead of Independence Day, More Ceasefire Violations
POONCH: On the eve of India’s Independence Day, there have been more incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops at the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. Firing with small arms began from across the border in the Balkote area of Mendhar and Tarkundi area in Poonch last night. Indian troops retaliated and the exchange of fire lasted for about two hours.
Firing along the Line of Control or de facto border has escalated in the last few months. There have been more than 50 incidents since the Narendra Modi government took charge in May this year and India and Pakistan have accused each other of violating the ceasefire that they agreed to in 2003.There has also been an exchange of strong words days before foreign secretaries of the two countries are scheduled to meet in Islamabad.
On Tuesday, Mr Modi visited Jammu & Kashmir for the second time in two months and told officers and men from the army and air force in Leh, “The neighbouring country has lost the strength to fight a conventional war but continues to engage in the proxy war of terrorism.”
Pakistan reacted strongly to Mr Modi’s accusation, describing it as “baseless rhetoric” and said “instead of engaging in a blame game, the two countries should focus on resolving all issues through dialogue.” To which India said on Wednesday, “Terrorism for us is a real and present danger. The Prime Minister was articulating what is for us the core concern in our relation with Pakistan. Mere denials of selective
approaches towards terrorism are not going to drive away our concerns.” An external affairs ministry spokesperson also said India would deal with its concerns on terrorism effectively as “our tool kit is not restricted in any manner”.Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day today, August 14.