Pakistani forces targeted at least 12 Indian outposts in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday after the Border Security Force (BSF) killed five Pakistani soldiers on New Year’s Eve in retaliation to unprovoked firing, officials said.
A top government representative said about 100 terrorists were waiting to sneak into the Indian side in Jammu and Kashmir and the Pakistanis were opening fire at the border repeatedly to facilitate infiltration.
“In its retaliatory fire, the BSF destroyed a terrorist launch pad in Abhial Dogra on the other side. As per our information, around 25 to 30 terrorists escaped narrowly there during the BSF counter-fire. They again tried to push terrorists on this side in the night,” he said.
India reacted sharply to this fresh ceasefire violation, as home minister Rajnath Singh said security forces will give a fitting response “if anyone dares to cast an evil eye on India”.
“If Pakistan Rangers fire on us, we will also fire on them. If they suffer collateral damages (in our action), they (Pakistan) should be ready for that," inspector general of BSF, Jammu Frontier, Rakesh Sharma, told reporters.
BSF chief DK Pathak met home secretary Anil Goswami in the evening and briefed him about the situation on the ground.
Five Pakistani soldiers were killed in India’s counteroffensive on Wednesday after a jawan lost his life in heavy firing from the other side on a patrol along the International Border (IB) in the Samba sector.
Pakistan sued for peace and opened all channels of communication, asking BSF to stop firing so it could lift the bodies and evacuate those injured.
"Whenever there is an internal problem in Pakistan, they try to engineer ceasefire violations in a bid to divert attention of its general public there,” Sharma said. “But we never open fire on Pakistan first. You have seen that we have never fired first on the Pakistan on IB.”
However, Pakistan’s foreign ministry summoned the Indian deputy high commissioner in Islamabad on Wednesday alleging India had violated the ceasefire pact.
"Pakistan does not like to stay quiet even on New Year's Day. They started (cross-border) firing at 12.30 am and don’t seem to learn (any) lesson," defence minister Manohar Parrikar said while attending an event in Bengaluru.
Over 550 incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan were reported in 2014, the highest since the truce came into force in 2003, as thousands were forced to flee their homes in border areas.