Pakistan taught 'befitting lesson', says Modi after decline in firing

  • Rahul Singh, Tarun Upadhyay and Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Jammu/Islamabad
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2014 08:57 IST

As firing from across the border declined following strong retaliatory response by India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said Pakistan has been taught a "befitting lesson" with the Army "shutting their mouth".

"Pakistan has got a befitting lesson. They will not dare to repeat it again. Our jawans have shut their mouth," he said addressing an election rally at Dhamangaon in Maharashtra.

The Prime Minister said those living close to the border with Pakistan who had to leave their homes following nine days of heavy mortar shelling and firing will be adequately compensated by the Centre.

"I assure you, the government of India will act promptly to provide adequate compensation to those who had to leave their homes due to shelling and migrate elsewhere," he said.

Modi also slammed Congress for targeting him over his government's response to Pakistan's aggression.

"Congress is busy issuing statements over what is happening on the Pakistan border. This not the time for empty 'boli' (talk) by them, but for 'goli' (bullet) by our jawans," he said.

Meanwhile Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif Friday called for honouring the sanctity of the border with India.

Sharif, who chaired a National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, said that Pakistan's desire for peace should not be misunderstood, Dawn Online reported.

The meeting was attended by Pakistan's interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, defence minister Khawaja Asif, the advisor to prime minister on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz and senior military officers.

The top military leadership briefed the meeting about the latest situation along the Line of Control and the International Boundary and said that Pakistani forces were only firing in self-defence and not targeting civilian areas.

Sharif also deplored the loss of lives in the Pakistani side as a result of the firing.

Except for firing by Pakistan in Hiranagar sector of Kathua district for about 20 minutes at four BSF outposts, there for was no firing along the IB on Thursday night.

Read: Pak’s logic for targeting border stumps Army, BSF

"There was no cross-border firing during the intervening night of October 9 and 10 along the International Border in Jammu and Samba districts", a BSF spokesperson said.

The IB has witnessed heavy firing for nine days that has left eight persons dead and injured nearly 90 people, including 13 security personnel.

Besides over 32,000 people have fled from their border homes leaving 113 hamlets deserted along the IB.

India and Pakistan troops traded heavy fire along the IB on the intervening night of October 7 and 8 after Pakistan Rangers shelled almost the entire IB by targeting 60 outposts and over 130 border hamlets in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, in which 15 people including 3 BSF jawans were injured.

Earlier on Thursday defence minister Arun Jaitley warned Pakistan that it would have to pay an “unaffordable” price if it persisted with unprovoked firing along the border, upping the ante amid the most intense fighting between the South Asian rivals in over a decade.

“If Pakistan persists with this adventurism, our forces will make the cost of this adventurism unaffordable for it,” Jaitley told a press conference. “India is a responsible state. It is never an aggressor but at the same time it has a paramount duty to defend its people and its territory.”

Watch: Pakistan to pay ‘unaffordable’ price for their ‘adventurism’: Arun Jaitley

Jaitley said Indian forces were doing a commendable job in the face of acts of aggression by Pakistan and ruled out talks until the firing continued.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India responded to the aggression from across the border with courage.

“The enemy has realised that times have changed and their old habits will not be tolerated,” Modi told an election rally in Maharashtra's Baramati on Thursday .

“Today, when bullets are being fired on the border, it is the enemy that is screaming. Our jawans have responded to the aggression with courage.”

Read: To minimise casualties, BSF asks locals to restrict movement

This is the first major fighting with Pakistan that the Prime Minister has dealt with since winning the election in May. It comes after weeks of destabilising anti-government protests in Pakistan and just a few days ahead of state assembly elections, for which Modi has been campaigning.

While exchanges of sporadic fire are common along the border, the extent and intensity of the exchanges and the number of civilian deaths is unusual

Analysts say the violence comes at a time when Pakistan's army is taking a more assertive role in the country’s politics while India has toughened its stance ahead of assembly elections this month.

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