Pak Muscle-flexing Marks ‘hottest’ Ramzan

Pak Muscle-flexing Marks ‘hottest’ Ramzan

20 August 2012
The Daily Pioneer
Mohit Kandhari

Jammu: After a long hiatus, Jammu & Kashmir has witnessed one of the ‘hottest’ months of Ramzan both along the Line of Control and international border with Pakistan. The situation remains tense along the border with both the sides fortifying their defences and maintaining tight vigil. The border residents are also living under the shadow of gun after a gap of nine years following recent skirmishes. The situation across some of the border villages in Jammu frontier is such that villagers avoid visiting fields during day time out of fear that they would get trapped in ‘unprovoked’ firing from across the border. The prevailing peace was shattered close on the heels of detection of 25 feet-deep and 400 metre-long secret border tunnel in Cheechwal village of Samba sector on July 27. The tunnel was being dug along the same axis where a Pakistani forward post was located. Since then the Pakistani rangers have been regularly turning their guns towards the Indian borders. The frustration is writ large over the actions of Pakistani rangers as they have started targeting residential areas in the forward areas to create panic. In the last fortnight, Pakistan has violated ceasefire agreement with India on 15 occasions. Despite strong protests by India, Pakistani rangers are not willing to mend their ways and provoking Indian reaction in different sectors along the International border. The BSF has also pulled its socks and is mapping the vulnerable spots and camouflaged border pits to rule out the possibility of more tunnels for easy access of armed militants after detecting the secret border tunnel on the tip off by a local farmer. The situation along the Line of Control is relatively calm but in the last one month it has also witnessed hot exchanges in the run up to the Independence Day celebrations where attempts were made to infiltrate large group of armed militants. In the hot skirmishes one BSF jawan was killed while half-a-dozen others were injured. Usually, incidents related to militant violence and cross border firing recorded downward trend in the past nine years after the introduction of the ceasefire agreement between India and Pakistan on November 26,2003. For first 14 months of ceasefire not a single incident of border firing was reported and peace prevailed along the border. The first time peace was shattered on January 18, 2005 when Pakistan violated ceasefire ageement by resorting to unprovoked firing in Poonch sector. In 2006 only three incidents of ceasefire violation were reported from across the border. The incidents of border firing increased in 2007 to 21. The ceasefire violation peaked to highest number of 77 in 2008 and again showed signs of improvement in 2009 with only 28 incidents,official sources said. According to records of the Ministry of Defence 44 incidents of ceasefire violations were reported in 2010,51 in 2011. Till August 20 more than 36 incidents of ceasefire violations have been recorded. Meanwhile, ahead of exchanging sweets with their Indian counterparts on festival of EID Pak rangers and army had violated ceasefire agreement in Garkhal area of Akhnoor and in Balnoi forward area of Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch district along the line of control late sunday evening. Internally, the situation showed signs of improvement across Jammu & Kashmir. The security forces established their supremacy by eliminating militants belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen and wanted in the Delhi blast case. In Kashmir valley attempts were made to target tourists durign the Amarnath yatra but alert security forces foiled several attacks and ensured peaceful conduct of the yatra. The security forces busted several hideous and exposed the game plan of militant handlers who exploited minors in Kashmir to lob grenades on security personnel.