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PMO awaiting spot report to decide course of action

delhi Updated: Jan 10, 2013 00:36 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times
Shishir Gupta

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is awaiting a spot report on the exact sequence of events from a deputy national security advisor on the brutal killing of two soldiers in Mendhar sector of Jammu before deciding on the course of action against Pakistan.

Soon after the incident occurred in the sensitive Nangi Tarkri area of Krishnaghati, Poonch sector, National Security Advisor Shiv Shanker Menon sent one of his two deputy NSAs for a ground check on Tuesday morning.

Top official sources said the government's response would have to be based on an assessment whether the killing of the two soldiers was done at the behest of rogue Pakistan Army regulars, or whether Islamabad was trying to ratchet up tension along the LoC in the run up to the March 2012 general elections. It is understood that the deputy NSA returned to Delhi on Wednesday evening after meeting Northern Army commander Lt Gen K T Parnaik at Udhampur in order to understand the situation along the LoC as well as ceasefire violations.

Sources said the brutal killing appears to be a culmination of a series of ceasefire violations carried out by the Pakistan army over the past three months in the Jammu region, with civilians losing their lives in cross-border firing. While Pakistan director general of military operations spoke to his Indian counterpart on Monday to complain about death of a Pakistan soldier in Uri sector on January 6, the government is trying to examine the trigger for the Tuesday beheading of the 13 Raj Rif Lance Naik in Poonch.

"As of now, we want to de-escalate the tension along the border to ensure that the 2003 ceasefire stands firm, and the integrity of the LoC is respected. The Indian reaction will be calibrated and, by no chance, immediate," said a senior official.

This is not the first time that the Pakistan army has engaged in savagery. Two soldiers of the 20 Kumaon Regiment-Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh-were beheaded in a cross-border raid on August 6, 2011.