Border Violations Spark Arun Tough Talk

30 August 2014
The Telegraph (Kolkata)


New Delhi: Defence and finance minister Arun Jaitley today sounded a warning on the situation along the borders with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir, describing a spurt in ceasefire violations as 'extremely serious' and 'provocative'. 'Incursions at the border, both at the LoC (Line of Control) and the international border, are extremely serious and provocative. 'The army is fully alert and responding to every situation,' he said. 'This is creating an environment which is not conducive to relations between the two countries,' Jaitley added. The defence minister said India was hopeful that the ceasefire violations by Pakistan would abate after the directors general of military operations (DGMO) talked on Tuesday. But today, an Indian soldier was killed in firing near the LoC. It was not immediately clear if the soldier was killed in firing from the Pakistani side or in a firefight with militants near the LoC. Shortly after India called off foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, Jaitley had said: 'With these kinds of provocative ceasefire violations and more seriously invitations being given to separatists to meet the Pakistan high commissioner, it is for Pakistan to decide what kind of relationship it wants with India.' The minister noted that the violations were not only along the LoC but also along the international boundary, particularly a stretch in Jammu that India considers a settled border but Pakistan calls a 'working boundary'. The Border Security Force is deployed by India along that stretch. Jaitley said the BSF and the army were responding adequately to ceasefire violations by Pakistan. The Indian Army counts more than 97 ceasefire violations by Pakistani forces so far this year, while the Pakistan high commissioner had said earlier this month that India had violated the ceasefire 57 times since May after the Modi government was sworn into office. Last year, according to army sources, there were 92 ceasefire violations by Pakistan.