India told Pakistan that it will have zero-tolerance to cross-border firing and infiltration bids. Pakistan was also asked to act in a responsible manner.
“We straight away started the DIG sector level meeting between BSF and Pak ranger to lodge protest over killing of civilians in mortar shelling by the rangers. Rangers were told in categorical terms that we will show zero-tolerance to cross-border firing and infiltration attempts,” IG BSF (Jammu frontiers) Rakesh Sharma told the media after the meeting.
Pakistan had called the meeting after a spurt in cross-border firing. One person had died and about 10 were injured in firing from Pakistan for four consecutive days in Samba and Kathua sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.
The meeting was held in Pakistani territory. Rangers’ brigadier Wasim Jafer Bhatti, headed a team of five wing commanders and nine other officials. DIG BS Kasana led the Indian side.
IG said Pak rangers also stated the damage inflicted and number of casualties, caused by Indian firing on their side. “We told them that BSF fired only in retaliation and if there was any damage then it’s the Pakistan which is responsible for it,” said the IG.
It was first local commanders meeting after DG BSF and Rangers held a meeting in New Delhi in September where they had agreed to end the cross-border firing.
The ceasefire continued along the border till Pakistan started firing again from October 23. However, there was no incident of firing reported till last night.
“We are hopeful that Pakistan will now act in a responsible manner as it has responsibility to its own border residents also. We assured them that India will never fire first but will react appropriately if hit,” said the IG.
BSF official said the approximately two-hour meeting was held in a cordial manner but the Pakistan side refused to acknowledge having violated the ceasefire.