Notwithstanding India’s tough stance on the continued ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Islamabad appears to be in mood to let go of its provocative tactics along the border it shares with India in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the latest incident, one Border Security Force (BSF) jawan, who was injured in fresh firing from across the border, succumbed to his injuries on Monday.
The jawan was injured after Pakistan Rangers resorted to firing and shelling in the Samba sector of J&K.
Pakistani Rangers violated ceasefire by targeting border posts in Kathua and Samba sectors, drawing retaliation from the BSF.
There was firing on Bobiyan and Pansar forward areas along international border in Kathua district and Ballard post in Ramgarh sub-sector in Samba.
Residents of border villages continue to leave for safer areas in view of the latest round of ceasefire violations by Pakistan since New Year’s Eve.
On January 3, two Army jawans and a woman were killed, while 11 others were injured in the firing. On New Year’s Eve, Pakistani firing had left two persons dead, including a BSF jawan, and nine injured, while five Pakistani Rangers were also killed in retaliatory firing by India.
Over 3,500 people have migrated from border villages in Samba and Kathua districts. Around 2,500 people have migrated from 11 villages in Kathua after shelling from across international border. Almost 1,800 people are in relief camps.
Importantly, the latest round of firing came a day after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sent a stern reply to Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz over the killing of two Pak soldiers in BSF firing.
Swaraj had asked Pakistan to adhere to the mechanisms that have been evolved to ensure peace and tranquility on the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC).
“Pak commanders responded to our defensive fire by using higher calibre weapons, expanding conflict zone, targeting civilian habitations,” Swaraj wrote in the letter.
She was responding to a letter by Aziz which underlined “that the regrettable ambush of the soldiers would undermine mechanisms established by the two countries to ensure peace and tranquility along the LoC and the WB (western border).”