BSF Jawan Dies In Firing By Pak Troops11 January 2010
The Telegraph (Kolkata)
Srinagar: A BSF jawan was killed in firing by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control and an infiltration bid was foiled on the international border amid renewed efforts from across to rejuvenate militancy. A week ago, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had promised a thousand-year ideological war on Kashmir. Following the fresh eruption of tension, defence minister A.K. Antony, army chief General Deepak Kapoor and defence secretary Pradeep Kumar are reaching Jammu tomorrow to take stock of the situation. They are scheduled to visit forward areas in Jammu region and address a meeting at the Unified Headquarters, officials here said. The fresh ceasefire violation took place this morning in Sabzian sector in Poonch when Pakistani troops reportedly fired from automatic weapons on the forward post, killing a BSF jawan. “Between 11.30am and 12 noon, Pakistan troops opened fire on our forward posts in which one of the BSF jawans got killed. We exercised restraint and did not retaliate,” defence spokesperson Lt Col Biplaw Nath said. This was the first ceasefire violation on the LoC in 2010 and came hours after troops foiled an infiltration bid on the border, the fifth in Jammu since the beginning of the new year. Around midnight, the BSF foiled an infiltration attempt in Akhnoor sector, firing at a group of militants trying to cut the fence and sneak into Jammu. DIG BSF J.B. Sangwan said the troops forced the militants to beat a hasty retreat after they tried to sneak in taking advantage of the dense fog. “They tried to cut the fence but we opened fire at them. The exchange of fire lasted half an hour,” he said. The BSF followed it up with a search operation as it was found that the infiltrators had cut some wires on Pakistan’s side of the border, leading to suspicion that some militants may have succeeded in entering. On Friday night, there was an exchange of fire after a group of militants tried to sneak in from Pakistan in Pargwal sector taking advantage of the fog. Increased activity on the line dividing the two parts of Kashmir is another reminder of how Pakistan wants to keep the pot of militancy boiling despite its peace overtures. Pakistan President Zardari threatened a thousand-year “ideological war” with India to “liberate” Kashmir during last week’s visit to Muzaffarabad. Zardari’s hawkish rhetoric is a U-turn from his March 2008 statement when he favoured keeping Kashmir on the back-burner and betrays his vulnerability to the increased troubles on the domestic front. The Pakistan President has found few takers for his talks initiative in India following the Mumbai terror attacks. The embattled Zardari now appears to be toeing the line of hardliners. Kashmir witnessed the first fidayeen attack in more than two years last week. Sources said there were 433 infiltration attempts in 2009, around 90 more than the preceding year.