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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

'If Pak violates truce again, India should respond in kind'

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times  Srinagar, October 21, 2013
First Published: 09:05 IST(21/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:00 IST(21/10/2013)

Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said India should explore other options if Pakistan continues to violate truce along the borders in the state.

“India should, in very strong words, tell Pakistan that such behaviour won’t be tolerated. We have to explore other options if talks are not helping put an end to ceasefire violations,'' he said. 

“We have to tell Pakistan that we won't resort to mere dialogue in case the violations continue.

"Obviously this cannot be a one-sided affair. There cannot be a situation where we are the receiving end and no response is given," Omar said.

Referring to the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in New York last month, Omar said Singh was very forthright in putting across India's serious its concerns in a clear manner.

"A mechanism had been worked out whereby the directors general of military operations of both countries would meet to discuss cooling of the LoC and International Border,” he said.

“That has not happened so far. I believe that is an option that needs to be exercised, failing which obviously, the government will have to look at responding in kind," Omar said.

Officials say Pakistan violated the ceasefire agreement 150 times this year, the highest since 2005.

Throughout Sunday night, Pakistan rangers fired at 25 posts of Border Security Force (BSF) along the IB in Samba district, Jammu, injuring a paramilitary soldier and a special police officer.

The rangers fired along Ramgarh, RS Pura, Arnia and Pargwal areas along the IB.

“The rangers fired mortar shells which hit many civilian areas,” deputy inspector general BSF (Jammu frontier) Dharmender Parikh told HT.

He said a BSF jawan received minor injuries in Ramgarh sector, while a special police officer was injured in Pargwal.

Earlier, addressing policemen at a function, Omar said if Pakistan continued to violate the ceasefire, “we also know how to respond in kind but so far we do not want to do it”.

In the past, Omar’s father and Union minister Farooq Abdullah has also advocated a military response, a euphemism for either surgical strikes or an all-out attack on Pakistani military formations and militant training camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.

“Following the violations, many villages have been evacuated. People are losing lives, livestock has been hit but there seems to be no end to the violations from Pakistani side,'' Omar said.

The chief minister said that he has sent his deputy along with a team of ministers to visit the border area and will be visiting affected villages on Tuesday.

(With inputs from Tarun Upadhyay from Jammu)


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