Even as Pakistan on Monday violated the ceasefire for the fifth time in three days, defence minister AK Antony warned the neighbour that the Indian Army was free to hit back.
"The armed forces have the freedom to respond appropriately to the developing situation," he said in Kochi in a clear indication that New Delhi has hardened its stance against Islamabad in the wake of the August 6 cross-border raid in which five Indian soldiers were killed.
His comments come on the heels of army chief General Bikram Singh reprimanding top commanders in Jammu and Kashmir for not launching a massive retaliatory strike after last week's attack.
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On Monday, Pakistani troops targeted forward Indian posts along the LoC in Poonch district with mortar shells, rockets and small arms firing. They also opened fire on forward posts along the international border in Samba district.
Indian troops retaliated, resulting in heavy exchanges. There was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the Pakistani firing, defence spokesman SN Acharya said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan upped the ante, summoning India's deputy high commissioner Gopal Baglay to express its "serious concern" over New Delhi's alleged ceasefire violations, "which resulted in the loss of an innocent civilian life (in POK)", a statement read.
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