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Fresh firing at LoC even as India talks tough with Pak

Updated: January 15, 2013, 8:50 PM IST
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Fresh firing at LoC even as India talks tough with Pak
According to sources, small arms were used in the firing that continued for a few minutes and then stopped.

New Delhi: Even as India talked tough with Pakistan on Tuesday over the repeated ceasefire violations and the killing of two Indian soldiers last week, there were reports of fresh firing at Mendhar sector in Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday evening.

According to sources, small arms were used in the firing that continued for a few minutes and then stopped.

The reports of the fresh firing came just hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned Pakistan that after the "barbaric" killings of the two Indian soldiers, it won't be "business as usual".

Speaking on the occasion of the 65th Army Day, the Prime Minister said that those responsible for killing and mutilating Indian soldiers should be brought to book. "What happened at the Line of Control is unacceptable," said Singh.

When asked about Pakistan being in denial over the ceasefire violation and killing of Indian soldiers, the Prime Minister expressed hope that the neighbour realises it. The Prime Minister, however, said that the options against Pakistan cannot be discussed in the open.

Later on, the Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement demanding a fair probe by Pakistan. Islamabad welcomed it, saying it did not want to vitiate atmosphere further by making irresponsible statements.

Pakistan further reiterated its demand for a UN-probe into the soldiers' killings and said that it was committed to resolve the crisis at LoC through agreed mechanism.

Earlier on Tuesaday, the Indian Army kept up the pressure on Pakistan and called its army a frustrated force which was trying to violate the ceasefire at the Line of Control to help terrorists infiltrate into India. General Officer Commanding, Northern Command, Lieutenant General KT Parnaik said on Tuesday that the Pakistan troops have been provoking the Indian side so that the LoC remains "hot and active".

"Pakistan has been resorting to violence. In 2011, there were more than 100 ceasefire violations as compared to 52 last year. Pakistan is frustrated as infiltration is not taking place. Our troops are exercising great restraint," said Lt Gen KT Parnaik. While Pakistan continued to dismiss India's charges, Lt General said, "They were as adamant and arrogant as they are."

"Pakistan has continuously tried to infiltrate from a nallah at Uri. We have restricted that to a large extent and that's what frustrates them," Lt Gen Parnaik added.

Lt Gen Parnaik appealed to the troops at the Line of Control to exercise restraint, but be alert. He said India will continue to retaliate whenever provoked. "Pakistan is provoking us so that the LoC becomes hot and active. Our troops exercise great restraint. Whenever we are provoked we have retaliated and we will continue to do so," Lt Gen Parnaik said.

Terming the killing of Indian soldiers and decapitating one of them by Pakistani Army as 'barbaric', Lt General Parnaik added, "On January 8, Pakistan breached the LoC on Mendhar sector, in a very barbaric act and mutilated our soldiers. It violates the Geneva Convention and violates the ceasefire agreement. My heart goes out to the families of these two soldiers."

He also said that Pakistan was continuously violating ceasefire and stopped only after warnings from India. "We had the meeting on January 14, on the night of Jan 13 and 14 they fired motors. We spoke to them on the hotline, we asked them that when they have agreed for a meeting, why were they violating the ceasefire. We told them we are recording all of this, their firing stopped then," Lt Gen Parnaik said.

First Published: January 15, 2013, 8:50 PM IST
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